Prescription for Trust

It’s frightening to be diagnosed with something real.  It’s more frightening to stop eating and sleeping and know you should both eat and sleep, but not feel the hunger or the exhaustion.  Still more terrifying, is to have felt a moment of sheer joy…

And lose it in a chemical cocktail…  The first prescription locked me out at the top of the range of emotion and focus and energy.  The second, has me locked out at the bottom.

I can’t think about myself.  I sat in a conversation the other day, and I couldn’t take the question: “What is God emptying you of and what is He filling you with?”; and apply it to myself.  I could understand the answers others gave, but I couldn’t answer it for myself.

I apologized to my sisters for sitting in silence in a very personal and vulnerable conversation(as I am typically a sharer, a feeder back and a verbal processor); because I didn’t want my silence to be attributed to anger or offense.  And I began to cry.  Well, now.  If I can’t complete a thought as it applies to my own heart, mind, and spirit.  What am I crying about?

Fear?  There is actually no middle ground between mania and misery. I can understand you, but I am a stranger to myself.  I can’t connect.

Anger?  This is the very reason I’ve avoided doctors and diagnosis for years.

So…

I go to the auditorium.  There, waiting for the good stuff to begin, is a new friend– the one  I just wanted to get to know because she’s raised such remarkable children.  She stopped me and asked me how I was doing.

I broke down.  I was so embarrassed.  I am still today, 4 days later.  So weak.  So out of control.  At this point, so ugly, as this was my second cry in an hour.

She understood.  She knew what I was going through.

She took me by both arms and stared me in the eyes and said, “God is with you.  He is with you.”  Over and over.

I locked on her eyes.

I’ve seen them all week, when I’ve heard her words.

I can see them now.

It was only this morning(or last night, I’m really not sure.  It was dark.), that I understood them.

I cannot feel anything.  I cannot do any higher order thinking.  I cannot connect on anything deeper than surface level (Hi, you are wearing a red shirt today.).

God is still here.

He hears my hunger for connection.  He knows I remember the spiritual moments I had when I could feel thankfulness, intimacy, and delight.  He knows that the memory is slipping away. Even though, I can’t even think or reason or decide or pray–He is still here and still actively protecting me and providing for me and the ones I am supposed to be caring for who shouldn’t be having to take so much care of me.

He is here.  He knows my thoughts and my lying down and my going out.

He is here with me, right now.

It turns out she understands better than I do myself.

She’s been through it and had to learn that the hard way, I guess.

So I stare back in those sparkling eyes.  And drop into her aching arms.

To wait until My Deliverer passes by.

 

 

 

The Actual Prayer Going Out

“My prayers are going out…”  “My thoughts are with…”  Or am I just letting someone else know I know about the news ?

Are we really praying but not letting God take center stage because my unbelieving friend might take this as further reason to reject Him?  Go ‘head.  As the song says, “God can handle your honesty.”  He can handle you in any state you find yourself.  He invented you.

Life is a breaking process.  Sometimes we break stuff on purpose and with deliberation.  A Pane of Glass, a cookie.  A Diamond.  We plan and prepare and do everything right and it breaks in the right place.  Or, for no good reason, it breaks in the wrong one.

GOD.

We are broken.  Wounded.  Afraid.  Selfish.  We’ll I’ll donate a guilt offering.  To appease You so it doesn’t happen to us me.

Remind us me You don’t work that way.

Remind us me that You didn’t do this.  You don’t approve it.

But the same free will that allows us me to choose mate, profession and what to entertain ourselves myself with; comes with the hazard of choosing to harm.  May You deal with us me ever so severely if we I forget that we I use that option to be rude to the kid behind the counter at Panera our my husband or our my kids whenever we I want to.

The same free will establishes our my right to reject You and all Your blessings.

I gotta say, God, it pisses me off that he will not face his accusers.

Something about it tells me he wasn’t THAT sick.

He was mad.  Angry mad.  That drove him insane mad.

You love him the same way You love me.  In spite of myself.  In the face of my continual daily rejection of Your character.  I don’t like this truth.

Which intersects in a bad way with my world view.  I want to demand causality and assign blame like the rest of the world that feels massive survivor guilt.  Demanding laws, demanding controls.  Never considering that law and control only control those who are already controlling themselves.

Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Break me in the right places.

Never ever let me be whole again.

If the tears of a billion eyes can water the seeds of healing.

If the blood of a single innocent can cleanse one heart of hate.  Heal one heart of torture.

Let it be so with our my soul.

Whisper peace to the soul of the survivor.

Peace be with you…

And also with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When It’s Legit. Holiday Stress.

After all that lovely, well-intended, self-effort the other day about looking towards the positive, I began to realize I’m going around like a Xanax ad.

The anxiety is just present.

But let’s review. Shall we?

2011 — Christmas was provided by angels. While we feared the firm was going under*. January 3, we found out a  merger had been in the works for months.

2010 — My total expenditure for gifts for the kids was a hundred dollars.  Yes, your memory serves.  We’d just welcomed a new person into the family.  We were dealing with the standard emotional upheaval AND what was beginning to be a real material need on the part of the girls.  January that year was the year of the two weeks with a “broken” furnace.  Which just needed the re-set button hit, but no one we called was willing to tell us that without a service call and we couldn’t pay for a service call.  That was also the year I shopped ALDI, to the tune of $100 something and didn’t get in a grocery in any appreciable way until the income tax return came.

2009 — The first year of reduced salary.  Still believing, next month we’ll go back on full.  In view of the “temporary” nature of the thing, we thought we’d just charge it.

2008 — Mickey’s mom died of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.

2007 — Christmas holiday went fine.  In January, my grandfather died within minutes of the pastor emeritus of our church.  They were also born within days of each other.

2006 — Christmas holiday went fine; in January, my cousin died of an overdose.  On my birthday.

2005 — My Grandmother (Dad’s mom) and my Great Grandmother (Mom’s Grandmother) died within the same 24 hour period.  In the week of Christmas.  That was the same year we traveled to see Mickey’s mom, at his stepdad’s request, because he felt she was extremely ill and he needed her kids to see and know what was up.  He’d told the doc she was taking too much medicine, and she asked him, “Between the two of us, which one’s a physician?”

I could go on, but I’m already back to Kansas City.  Or I could start at the other end of my life and work forward.

This December has already got enough trouble of its own…

Minor crap.

Mickey got hit in the blue car.  He’s fine, but it’s a mess.  So we’re on one car.

One of the girls is pleasantly standing in my face with no intention of doing what she’s told.

The other one threw down over decorating the tree.  Ultimately, they apologize, but I’m not Caillou’s mother.  It’s not okay.

I’ve slacked on Li’l Dude’s speech interventions.  Now.  I gotta hustle up or the speech therapist I met with will retire and we’ll have to re-evaluate with someone who didn’t do the initial evaluation.

Financially, I don’t have peace.  I don’t feel like the events of the last several years are any excuse.  I should have tried harder.  Worked to teach the children more about how to be better than our circumstances.  “Attacked the fear and let it become my claim to fame.”**  Now it seems like a big pile.

No pony.

And last but not least.

A man has begun behaving inappropriately toward me.  I’ve kept Mickey apprised of the situation. Now, he’s gone so far as to act like this in front of Mickey and others. I’m insulted.  This person thinks I’m so morally low that I’d entertain that kind of attention from a man who isn’t my husband. Or that I have so little going for me that I’d think it was just dandy for someone to pay attention to me at all.  He also has so little respect for Mickey. It’s a slap in the face.

Happy Freaking Holidays.

Holiday stress is supposed to be that you don’t think you are having as good a time as everyone else. You aren’t loving the parties and the busyness and the meeeeeeaning.  It’s supposed to be that you put too much on the credit card and are dreading the bill coming in the mail.  It’s supposed to be that your family is going to have the same old miserable time. It’s supposed to be that the kids want ham, but Grandad wants turkey.  At least, your weird aunt just wants her Camels that brought the Wise Men and O Holy Night Train.

Or that there are fewer hours of daylight.

I’m calling bullroar.

At least in my own case.  This is a time of year crammed with memories I didn’t ask for and have no control over.

I am deciding that I will reach past the anxiety for the truth.  No one  ever said the holidays had to go off like a rehearsed performance.  What if we carry on with the act of celebration objectively?  Singing the truth over the noise of anxiety and the cultural pressure for the holiday to look like a photo in a magazine.

Months ago, I got a strong impression that God said, “Abide.  Obey.  Lay down your life.”

I think His birthday is a great time to meditate on that.  His banquet is set out.

I just have to figure out how to get to the table.  And sit down.

Clearly knows how Christmas fun is done.

 

 

*2011 was the first year since 2006 they didn’t let people go between Thanksgiving and New Year’s; once firing a single mom in the week after Christmas.  We don’t know if they did it before that.

**I don’t know who said this originally, but I heard it from a MK director who disappeared the next week and was thought to have gone to South America to elude the authorities. So take it with a grain of salt.

 

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