Saturday, October 26, 2013

Give It Up: Losing Control

Those who know me well agree that I like order.  I'm not a big fan of surprises, I like to know what's coming, and have predictable, straight lines.  If I'm going to be "spontaneous,"  it had better be written on my check off list for the day.

I find that my need for control has only grown since burying my daughter. I hunger for the peace of mind that I have done everything possible to protect my loved ones from whatever complications the day could present.

Life is not conforming to my plan.

Maybe that's the point... to let go.

But I don't like it.

Recently,  I missed work for the first time because of my disease.  It was humbling and  frightening. I have fought hard.  I have trudged to dozens of appointments, complied with every treatment, pushed through days of pain and not wanting to get out of bed, all with the desperate hope that I can control this instead of it
controlling me. But this day came that no matter how hard I pushed, I couldn't do it; I literally could not walk down the stairs that day.

Mark had faithfully tended to me through the night, bringing my medicine, quietly letting me squeeze the circulation from his hand through the pain, and offering words of comfort and encouragement when I didn't want to breathe through another minute.  I was at the mercy of my body and my sickness, and it terrified me.

My family has been weathering my storm with such grace.  My husband has never complained when he has worked all day and then come home to clean and cook and tend to the kids so I can rest.  He has never uttered an ill word about accompanying me to all my appointments, or missing an opportunity to go out when I needed someone to sit next to me while I slept.  My sweet children have quietly understood when we have missed special outings because mommy wasn't up to it.

 They have cried with me, snuggled up beside me, and whispered earnest prayers for healing.  I will never forget the disappointed sweetness on Jacob's face when we were supposed to go out on a Mommy/Son date and I felt terrible that day.  Trying to hide his discouragement, he said, "that's OK
Mommy, how about we snuggle on the couch together and watch a movie instead so you can rest."
 Always a tender heart

I want to call a time out... I want to shout that I have already done my "tough."  I want my "get out of jail free" card.  I know that sounds so selfish... but I'm scared, and I'm worn, and I don't want my husband and my kids to have to bear the burden of fear again.

I am struggling to accept that the things I imagined for my future are being reshaped by this new normal.  Right now I am fighting with letting go. It is a hard battle, one that in reality probably every person struggles with in some way.

People try to give comfort by saying "God won't give you more than you can handle."  Have you heard it? Have you asked where He said that?  He didn't.  So maybe when I reach the point of being burdened beyond my strength, when I am empty and have nothing left, when I reach the point of giving up...maybe that's when His strength will be seen in me.

I am terrified to get to that point... but I am thankful beyond words for my faithful team that is here to walk through it with me.

"Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart." 
                                                                                      Psalm 27:14

He will strengthen my heart!! YOUR heart!!  What a powerful promise; one I will be clinging tight to as I learn to loosen my grip on the things I can not control.

Time for more patient waiting, and less kicking and screaming.  Oh boy. That's not my strong suit. Please pray me through it, and my poor family and friends who have to put up with me along the way.

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

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Last week I tried to be normal.  I insisted hair be combed and clothes be matching, and made sure smiles were pasted on, so as to not make anyone uncomfortable.  I tucked in the ragged edges of my soul and leaped high over my protective wall to face the picture perfect world that I have scowled at for so long... and I landed with a thud.   No matter what face I put on, the truth is something on the inside has changed, and that is why I just don't fit in.

But that was the day I also realized I really don't want to.

These days instead of boasting coordinating shoes and hair ribbons, it is an achievement for my children to make it through the day without breaking down sobbing.  Instead of performance in school or sports, it is a joy when they sneak out of bed for "one more hug and kiss."  It is an accomplishment  to get up and make them breakfast instead of staying curled up in a ball under my covers.

My little people are my life, and I don't ever want to take one moment with them for granted.

There came a day  when it stopped mattering if pigtails were lopsided and if I ended up sharing my bed with three sets of sharp elbows by morning... because it matters more that I am still getting to experience these moments, no matter how imperfect.

Everything feels so shallow, so trivial compared to the depth of missing a life instead of a milestone.  With my youngest, now those milestones are miracles no matter what age they may come. With each adorable new outfit he grows into, I am thinking about a lonely stack of unworn clothes tucked away in a closet stacked with memories.  That is the new normal.

I decided not to fit in.  I would rather wear my raw heart on my sleeve and scare away the shallow-minded, than become a facade playing pretend in real life.  I want my children to remember that I cherished their winter-boot-summer-dress style, cheered at whatever age they reached a new goal, and accepted them whether they had a smiling-skidding-through-the-house-in-socks-day, or a hide-under-the-covers-cry-cause-I-miss-my-sister day.

I want them to know it's ok to be real, because it's too hard to pretend... that they don't have to act like everything is ok, when they feel like the world is crumbling.

If I have learned anything from these past few years, it is that no moment should be taken for granted.  I hope I can instill in my children to cherish the things that are eternal.

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