Archive for February, 2012

Discarding the Dream

I’m not even sure where to begin. For one thing, Chris has been sick with what I call the real flu! It lasted almost exactly two weeks and it was tough getting him on through it. He still is not sleeping through the nights yet. I am hoping that this will change soon! Today he emerged wonderfully. There is always the concern when he is sick that it will be a major set back – especially for the TBI patient. But he seemed to pick right up where he left off.. which wasveryencouraging for me. I’m going to start pushing him a little tomorrow – changing up our schedule a little bit. So we’ll see how we both do with it! lol…

Many times I just can’t write. I don’t know how many readers I had to begin with – or how many – if any I have left. But it seems like I am also emerging. On one hand I am so very comfortable right here in my cave. I have learned how to do virtually everything on-line and so now I have to do very little actual shopping. I like this arrangement anyway as I never have been a big fan of shopping. Occasionally I like to head out just looking around. But as a general rule – I don’t get the point. Just go to the store, get what you need and go home! (now if I could figure out how that works online I could save myself some money!  Ha!)

I started asking family and friends to watch Chris so that I could get out a little more. There is so much that a caregiver has to deal with on any given day – but one thing we do not do well is take care of ourselves. Well after more than a year and a half of having Chris home I am finally figuring out that to take care of him properly means I must take care of my needs as well. But defining my own needs is very difficult. I think as a general rule I have never been a selfish person – always thinking about the other guy. Actually I do this to a fault but I won’t go into the deep caverns of all my erroneous ways! Suffice it to say that I am just not good at finding out my own needs. And then I am even worse at asking for help! Not a good situation – but I am in the process of changing it. And I think it is helping me in two ways. One I get out more and two my soul benefits from being taken care of – even when I have to initiate it and do it myself… still working on that one though.

So many things have happened just this month. I put together an actual book of the devotions I do for caregivers. It was really done only for a project. My friend’s ministry group in Indianapolis is putting baskets in a unit of the hospital there. The baskets are to be filled with goodies for families whose children have organ transplants. So I made the book for them to put in the baskets. I have been pretty surprised at the response I have been getting. I already need to order more books…I think that’s good…just sort of mind-boggling.

I think a lot about this journey we’ve been on now for over 3 years. I think about how God has provided each step of the way. I would prefer he just healed Chris – but since He hasn’t at least I can be so thankful for His constant provision. He has been faithful even though things do not look like I want them to yet. I am working on a leadership training course and this morning in preparation I was reading about Joseph. He is someone who had to question the dreams God gave him all those years before. As he sat in slavery and then in a prison – he had to think about how the picture wasn’t quite matching the dream. I have thought a lot about Joseph during this furnace we live in…but this morning – I thought about his dad.

Joseph had shared his dreams with his family – part of what got him in trouble with his brothers – and his dad had even interpreted it for him (through gritted teeth) — What is this dream that you have had? Shall I and your mother and your brothers actually come to bow ourselves down before you to the ground? (Genesis 37:10) Jakob had to think often about that dream after he thought Joseph was dead and gone forever…but he could never just throw it away. Perhaps we throw too many dreams away because the dream doesn’t match our circumstances. The dream didn’t even match what Jakob came to think as possible. He thought it was pretty impossible just that they would bow down before Joseph – but once he thought of him as dead – it was really impossible...but not really…only in his limited mind.

I did a paper on Dwight L Moody one time when I was at Southwestern. One of his famous statements was the world has yet to see what God can do with one man who will totally yield himself to HIm. I think that fits in here because as the situation becomes more possible in our own minds and more constricting and more limiting…we end up taking our hands off of it. We discard it – and then God can work!

So for now – I’m working on getting my hands off of what God has said…waiting on Him to do His work. I wait for Him to fulfil His promises in me, about me – in Chris, about Chris  – In Ronella, about Ronella…and so on. He is faithful no matter what I see. He is working no matter how angry I get at the situation or the picture life hands me. I really cannot do anything but trust Him; partly because none of it makes any sense any more! lol! I really have no clue – and you know I hate that. I like everything in order. I like to know where the next step is leading and how long I’ll be there. Now it may be old age – or faith – or neither…but I am just learning to wait. Period….just waiting on Him. It’s a little bit uncomfortable still — but I think it’s a good place to be.

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It’s Just the Way it Is…

I know I have not written in a while, but that’s just how I am built. When I go into overload mode I shut most things down. I am sure it could be explained as some sort of survival mechanism…if anyone cared to take the time to research it. Really, I’m not too worried about it…I just know that when I am on overload and there are lots of stress factors I tend to shut down. And quite honestly, I don’t care to explain it or define it or even change it right now… there’s not enough energy to worry about it.

Lots has happened since I poured my emotions out here. I really like having the blog as it helps me sort through so many things. I’m sure that’s just the writer coming out in me. But here on the computer screen I can express most of my deepest fears, doubts, concerns, goals, achievements and hopes…and leave them here while I walk away to deal with life as it is right now. Somehow (again unexplainable) that has helped me walk some of this journey.

For my readers (if I have any left!) thanks for “listening” to me whine, gripe, praise and rejoice as I sort through this mess from the furnace. Really, sometimes I just can’t sort through the emotions. There is so much in a day that my mind has to put on hold, or maybe “mute” is a better term for it. And that’s just to get through the day. I can be very happy and rejoicing one minute and thrilled at all Chris is doing (and he’s really starting to do a lot) but then see a picture of him playing the drums and I’m sucked right back into the emotional pit. I miss him so much…

It’s difficult but I am trying to live through whatever I have on my plate today. I’m not even sure if it’s the “right” way to deal with it; but I must only look at what is before me today and try to do something productive with it. Try to push Chris one more step, push myself to get some work done (very thankful for that!), try to keep my chin up in the midst of the fire…you get the idea.

I won’t go into the gruelling details of my day and the emotional roller coaster I ride most of the time. Because that really is just about every second of every day. But I do know that I have to deal with what I see and – do it in faith. In some ways, most ways, faith can seem very far away and unreachable. You see, even though I already live in the furnace –  that does not exempt me from other trials too. For instance, my aunt has just found out that she has cancer. After all these years of ministry – I can’t help but wonder why?  A friend has had a brain tumor removed and is struggling to get her life back on track too…I deal with the same sadness and heartache that you do every single day – from the furnace. Sometimes it seems that there is no hope…nothing gets better…until we are home. That’s what my head says. My heart won’t let me stay there too long though.

I really can’t explain what my emotions do when I think about giving up. Oh, you know I have had those moments of wanting to give up now…I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit to them. I still have moments full of despair…times I feel like I’m drowning in every sense of the word…

But I am in good company! Paul said in 2 Corinthians 1: 8 that they were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life…That was Paul? The great apostle whom God used to write 2/3 of the New Testament? And he had real life struggles? wow…And on top of that he admitted it!?! What was wrong with him?

Somehow we have attached weakness to those who admit that they struggle. We forget that to walk in faith can cause a fight! I think sometimes my biggest fight is with myself…struggling to figure out what is wrong with me…trying to figure out if I still believe.

But I always come back to a resounding Yes! There is no place to quit – not for me anyway. I don’t allow my students to say “I can’t” – but in this context I must say I just can’t…. I can’t quit, I can’t give up, I can’t stop fighting, I can’t stop believing, period. I just have to trust that God is a God of His word and He made some statements about Chris — so all I can do is wait. Well, I certainly can’t make God move any faster! lol!

I must deal with what I see today and keep pressing on toward a better day…just hoping, praying, believing…That even though for today – this is just the way it is.. and I have to deal with the today I have right now –  that there is a tomorrow out there somewhere. And it will be better…I refuse to believe anything else. Call me crazy – delusional – I don’t care….I will continue to stand in the gap for my son against all odds….it’s just the way it is…

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