Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Ugly

This week was not pretty.  Rather, the way I acted was not pretty.

I threw an all-out "inner" foot stomping, arm crossing temper tantrum.

This was supposed to be the week that began the uphill climb.  For the past three months, that day was my target, keeping me looking past the muck and focused on a goal.

That day did not go exactly how I had planned.  Well, not AT ALL how I had planned, so I took my hope and my patience, put them on a shelf, and embraced a frustrated rebellion.  I will spare you the picturesque details... it was bad and ugly.

I apologize to those of you who asked how I was doing and got more than you bargained for.  I am also sorry for those of you that wanted to pray and got held back at arm's length.  I am embarrassed at the despair my husband and my children witnessed, and also so humbled at the way they stood close and waited for me.  I am married to one of the most gracious, steadfast, patient men on the planet.  I truly do not deserve.

And that is not even my REAL pouty face... thank goodness no one took a picture of that...

My turning point came through the words of my wise friend, Matthew.  It came from a simple verse I have heard many times, but I guess never really let it sink deep.  That night it sank, and it sliced.

"In this world you will have trouble, but take heart; He has overcome the world."

He spoke of how our time here is such a tiny glimpse in the picture of eternity... how our troublesome days are nothing compared to the number of days we will spend in perfect joy.


I felt silly for having missed that.  I do not like to be uncomfortable, so I bargain constantly!  "Ok God, I got through that hard season, now you owe me a smoother one."  That evening I realized, maybe this all is the hard season... we were never promised it would be easy.

As I chewed on this through the evening, my temper tantrum ended.  I need to stop trying to cram this twisted world into a shape it will never fit.  I need to accept whatever I have to walk through, and only then, I realize, will I be able to truly say I found joy in the midst of suffering.

Please forgive me if I hurt you this week.

I won't apologize for the things I said, because they were truth... coming from the pits of a dark and very real desperation... but I will apologize for not saying it more gracefully, or being willing to  listen past my own screaming.

At least next time you can point me back to this post and help me remember that I didn't get anywhere stomping the hole deeper.

I am ever grateful for each of you that journeys with me... in my joy and in my sorrow.  Someday I hope you get to see the story He is writing in me.

My Love brought me my favorite flowers in the best color to lift my spirits...

On that note.... a new week is beginning.  I am embracing it; the good, the bad, and the ugly... what about you?

Please leave me a comment; it lets me know you're listening!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Half Empty

My "glass half-full" husband has always sighed at my "glass half-empty" attitude, while I try to persuade him I am simply being a realist.  Lately the level in my cup has dropped dangerously low.  I have cried with my kids when I am too weak to get them out of the house and thrown temper tantrums in my mind when I glare at the handful of medications I have become reliant on.

While my loving husband has tried to focus me on the next appointment and the hope of relief ahead, I have buried my head beneath the fear of the future where my wandering thoughts take me. The enemy has been hard at work planting thoughts of despair and defeat.

The past few months have been hard; each day feeling like a mountain I don't have the strength to climb. I have let my anger grow at the thought of the struggle ahead, wishing instead for a break from these refining fires.  I have begged for mercy, screamed to know when enough is enough.

As I battled the weight of discouragement that lays heavy, and pondered the suggestions of misunderstanding friends that assume God is singling us out, I heard the simple and hope-restoring answer to my desperate pleas.

Right now we can not understand the pain that we have walked through, or the fear that we are facing ahead... but there is a platform being built beneath us. A platform that the Mitchell family will stand on and share an incredible story of hope and redemption.  The valleys that we are walking are giving us a story that will be able to reach the hearts of many.  We will be able to offer hope to those in despair, not with empty words, but because we have walked through the fire.  What  an incredible promise.

This doesn't erase my fears for the future, the questions about what will be left of me and how it will affect my husband and my children, but it gives me a thread to cling to; a promise that our scars are not for nothing.

I had to share that, because I want you to watch it happen. Doesn't mean it will be pretty... there is going to be a lot of yuck in the process, but stay tuned for the beautiful ending, and please pray us through the here and now.

Pray for Mark that he would have people in his life that can encourage and fill him, especially on the days when he feels helpless with a wife who has nothing left to give.  Pray for our children that peace would be spoken to their fear.  That they would grow with the changes instead of becoming bitter at the new "normal."  Pray for me that I would not allow my discouragement to make me hard.  That I would be able to embrace the small triumphs instead of focusing on the big disappointments, and that I would have the strength and determination to fight instead of allowing my joy to be stolen.  Pray for our story... that it would be a beautiful reflection of why we made it through, and Who sustained us in the battle.

Please leave me a comment; it lets me know you're listening!