It has been so long since I have had any time to sit down and write. It feels so good to be able to be alone and process the last three months. I feel like a player in a dodgeball game. I have been dodging things that have been hurled at me since Mother’s Day weekend. My life has been crazy since then. I would like to catch you up on what has been happening and what I am learning.
I was at Purdue for my youngest daughter’s graduation. I was so looking forward to being with her and celebrating with her. We had barely been there a few hours and I got a call that my Mom was having trouble with her vision. She was driving and could barely see where she was going. Thank heavens she was close enough to home and was able to make it there. At that time, she had women staying with her in the evenings, so I was able to get one of the ladies to go get her and take her to the hospital.
After extensive testing, the doctor finally had an answer to the symptoms she had been displaying for over a year. We thought she had dementia, but she was actually having epileptic seizures caused from a stroke she had over a year ago. We didn’t even know she had a stroke! There hadn’t been any physical evidence displayed with the stroke or the seizures. The seizures were causing her to hear things, see things and smell things. We finally had an answer to her issues. The doctor told us that this was fixable. She needed to start on medication to help her with the seizures— but with that diagnosis—no more driving and no more independent living. That was not a pleasant thing to hear for her or for me. Her independence was going to be taken away from her and that was something both of us were dreading.
She spent the next few weeks recovering in a nursing home and then on to assisted living. She really has been a trooper through the whole ordeal. So, I have spent the last three months getting her settled and cleaning out her condo to sell. My brother has been in town as much as he possibly can to help me, but I am the only child in town. Robby and I make decisions together, but I am the day to day person. I am sure there are quite a few of you who can relate to this type of situation. It is hard to watch your parents age and lose their ability to do things that seem so simple but are so hard or impossible for them to do now. It is painful and it is hard.
In the midst of all of this, my middle daughter delivered a beautiful baby girl on May 24th. She came into this world at a whopping 10 pounds 10 ounces. My daughter labored 34 hours. She is a beast! So, I am now a grandma or what I like to be called, “LiLi.” I have to say that I have always heard how great it is to be a grandmother, but I really struggled with it because that meant that I was old. Well, I guess I am, but I didn’t want to be, if you get what I mean.
Rebekah was only home 24 hours and then had to go back into the hospital with an infection. The long labor caused this condition. They didn’t tell us it was sepsis at the time, but that is what she had. (So glad I didn’t know that because my Mom almost died from it a few years ago.) Of course this would happen the same weekend my brother and his family were in town to help me work on moving my Mom. So we were deep in the midst of moving and praying for my daughter to be healed quickly. Rebekah was able to come home after a few scary days. Baby was fine so that was a blessing!
We moved Leah home after graduation weekend, but our other daughter Sarah, who lives in Indianapolis, also needed help moving. There was no way this Momma could help, so my husband and some friends in Indianapolis came to the rescue. In a three week time period, two daughters moved, grandchild was born, one daughter got very sick after delivery and one mother was diagnosed with epileptic seizures and moved into assisted living. WHEW!!!!
I have had some rough times in my life, but this time is in the top 10. I am just now starting to feel like life is getting back to normal. (Whatever that is!) Thank goodness I had the foresight to start back into counseling in January. I knew that I needed help in dealing with my mother and her illness.
It is so hard not to respond and react without processing first and praying. When you have so many emergency moments, it is almost impossible not to go into hyper-drive! In the middle of a crisis, it is hard to remember what is true. What is going to get me through—God and His word are my rock. That is why I so desperately needed to process, pray and spend time with Him. You know how football players take a knee on the field? That is what I needed to do. “Take a knee and pray.”
And speaking of prayer, I need to reach out and ask for people to pray for me and help me. I have never been good at that. It is my stupid pride and also my lack of thinking that someone would want to help me. I mean, who wouldn’t want to help me? Well, maybe there are some, but I would like to think my friends are pretty awesome and would want to help if I would just ask. Two little words that are so hard for me. “Just ask.” Seems so simple doesn’t it? Or if you are like me, not so simple because that would lead me to a possible let down. What if someone says no or blows me off? Why then put myself through that? I am better to do it on my own. It is much safer that way. (Oh brother!) But, sadly that is how I feel most of the time.
Ann Voskamp states my feelings so well.”You can love your life and your people and feel the strange, lingering ache of loneliness in your bones. And if you were crumbling a little bit every-day—who would take the time to come find you and remind you? Who would stop what they’re doing to come see how your heart was beating, how you were being brave to keep being? So many people just trying to get somewhere, to get something done, they don’t really have time for anyone.”
I keep trying and trying to do things in my own power. To fix things for myself and others. And what do I have to show for it? Complete exhaustion. Tears flowing down my face because I can’t keep up. I can’t fix everyone’s problems. I can’t keep my Mom from getting old. I can’t control what happens to her. I have to take a minute— sit back and realize—that I am not supposed to. It isn’t my job. It is God’s.
Maybe I am like I am because I haven’t felt safe very much in my life. I have major trust issues. Maybe that is why I have a hard time reaching out. In my sub-conscious I think, “Can I really tell you how I feel or do I have to pretend that things are okay?” Voskamp expresses, “Maybe these days we’re all just looking for safe places more than ever. Maybe right now, we’re all parched for safe people.” I know I feel that way. How about you?
“Maybe the only way to begin breaking free is to lay open your willing hands and bear witness to the ugly mess of your scars. To trace them slowly and re-member what He says about you, even if you forget. This is about bravely letting our darkness be a canvas for God’s light. This happened so that the glory of God might be shown through even you.” Voskamp
And in all my insecurities, I need to realize that all the trying I have done these past few months, isn’t what matters the most. Because when you try, sometimes you are going to fail. But, that doesn’t matter either. What matters most is that I am loved by the God of the Universe. My insecurities and trying are based out of me not realizing that’s what I am. I am enough for Jesus. I don’t have to try. I am His beloved. I can’t break into abundant living until I realize that fact. Until I believe that I am worthy of that love.
Here is the honest truth. I am afraid of being broken. I am afraid of not being able to fix. I am afraid of my feelings and emotions, Why? Because then I am out of control of my life. And being out of control is scary for me.
But while reaching for God, I am encouraged by Him to fully feel. Voskamp’s words encourage me. “Feelings are meant to be fully felt and then fully surrendered to God. The word emotion comes from the Latin for “movement”—and all feelings are meant to move you toward God.”
Now, as I experience so many thoughts and emotions, I am going to allow them to move me towards God. I don’t want to hide from them any more. I need to explore them and ask God to help me with them. I am going to be honest and allow myself to feel.
Thank you for reading this post. This was a lengthy one! I hope my words are encouraging to you. Until next time……