Posts Tagged faith in the fire

5 Years Ago Today

Today is July 1st and it marks the anniversary of the day I brought Chris home from Valir Rehab. I have to say I was terrified but determined. Living in the furnace and keeping faith is the theme of this blog, and I must say that over the last 5 years I’ve experienced both. The furnace is still hot and there are challenges to be met everyday, as all caregivers know. But at this point I am happy to report that I have kept the faith and I’m still fighting the fight.

This half a decade has been full of good things, bad things and in between things. Even as I type this post about bringing Chris home I am just emerging from a season overwhelmed by the caregiver’s fog. Honestly, I must say the fight against depression is a daily one, but one I am presently winning. The biggest thing that stands out in my memories of bringing Chris home was how afraid I was. Transfers scared me to death! I would feel myself tense up when I knew it was time to get him up or put him to bed. I can actually chuckle at that now – because he’s come such a long ways. He had so much tone back then that he was stiff as a board. He would stand up easily enough because his body would go rigid. Sitting him down back then was another story because many times we would just be stuck standing there until he was able to loosen up just enough to give me a little bend to work with. Today- he stands up, he pivots and he sits.

March 2011

He’s trying to smile –

Here’s a picture I shared right after I brought him home. He didn’t do much of anything at all back then and he had that brain injury expressionless face. Back then he got up for an hour in the morning and then an hour in the afternoon and he slept most of the time. It’s been a gradual journey but now he gets up around 9 or 10 in the morning and retires between 9:30 and 10 at night. He still gets a short rest time in the afternoon.

Back then I was glad if he ate a tablespoon of food and presently he’s eating 3 small meals a day and I am having to rely on tube feedings less and less.
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Now he has so many expressions that range anywhere from beautiful smiles to looks of disgust or displeasure. I can pretty well guess what he thinks about things by his reactions. He also looks right at you and he can watch an entire TV show or movie if it catches his attention. All I can say is he has come a long way and I just want to share my thankfulness today that he is continuing to improve and I am still hanging in.

I have to say that other than dealing with the situation and the living grief on a daily basis one of the biggest things I had to get over was taking him out in public. I had to get used to the stares. In many ways I still feel like I am intruding into others lives and spaces by taking up so much room in the grocery aisle or booth at a restaurant. But I figure if it’s a problem, then someone else is the one who has to get over it at this point. We no longer live in a cave.

Many things have changed over the last 5 years (almost 7 since the accident) I cannot say I have handled them all well. I’ve fought, screamed, cried and cussed; but I have endured and come out ahead at this point in the game. Holding on to our faith sounds like a good thing to do until it is shaken. I admit mine has been shaken and at times I wanted to give up on it all. But I have always returned. The road has been rocky and I have not been a real good example many times, but today my faith is stronger than ever before. However, it is definitely worth mentioning that for me, faith, has been completely redefined.

In my world, God is not going to come riding in on a white horse to save us and make everything go our way. But He is going to walk it out with us and give us the room to throw a fit now and then. And as ugly as those fits can be – He always has welcoming arms waiting for us to settle down and snuggle up with Him again.

I guess the phrase I would chose to use is I’ve come to be at peace with my situation. Maybe I view it like the 3 Hebrew children viewed the fiery furnace in their day. I know God can deliver me at any point; there’s no doubt He is able. But like Hananiah, Mishael,and Azariah I have to say but if not…..I’m still going to serve Him. And like these three men of great and true faith – I’ve found He walks in the fire with me.

And today – 5 years later – I must say I’m okay with that.

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Faith during the Storm

I know I have not posted for a while, but I just needed a break I think. Sometimes I feel like sharing here is a negative and I in no way ever want to be pessimistic or have readers think that. But in reality finding faith in the midst of the furnace is not always an easy thing. And that was really why I started this blog to begin with – to share the journey of faith even from the fires of life. Honestly, there have been times when I started out writing an entry and I wasn’t too sure I would come to a point of faith by the end of it. But usually once I got started faith always seemed to appear. It’s not so easy in the day-to-day walking it out though. There are many struggles that I face mostly every day and for several reasons I decided not to share it with the world for a while.  But I figure I will pick it back up and realize that each computer is equipped with a “back” button so you do not have to read if you don’t want to. But for those who need help finding perspective and faith in the midst of the furnace – I will continue to write. Perhaps I can help myself sort through to faith as well! lol.

Each day I deal with a huge range of emotions…that never stops. I can be so excited at the small bit of progress I see in Chris each day and still grieve over the son I lost. That is an ongoing battle that never ceases for me. Sometimes it is worse than others and most days I can suck it up to get through the day. But it seems like most of the time the situation casts a shadow over all of life; even other joyous occasions. But that’s just the way it is. Of course I always have the prayer that it will be different some day – any day. But my mind nags at me and seeing him sit here in a chair inactive wears on my mind and tries to convince me that there will never be a different day. I get caught between the two – not willing to give up hope yet having to deal with the day-to-day realities.

Some days are indeed better than others and there are days where Chris shows lots of progress. Those are encouraging days for sure. But how do I prepare for the future when I do not know what it might look like? I started a Master’s program online and I argue with myself while completing every lesson. Why am I doing this? I do not know that there will ever be a day where I can rejoin the “real” workforce. I am going to owe Sallie-Mae for the rest of my life. lol. – no really! Because what I really want to do when I finish this Masters in Health Education is complete one in nutrition as well. But I have this nagging why that won’t go away. Technically I have one more week to decide but I am no quitter – plus I have an A in my first class so far…

Then there  is the freelance work. It’s been a blessing really to find a way to generate some income. But when my emotions get fried I just stare at the computer and can’t seem to find the energy to write on topics that mean nothing to me. But I am learning to suck it up once again and get the work done as I have this nasty habit to support – I like to eat!

Pretty much there is nothing easy in my life. This apartment sometimes feels like a prison from which there is no escape. Other times it feels more like a refuge from the rest of life. Most of the time these days I feel more like I am safe and away from having to deal with many parts of life. I want to withdraw and not worry about any type of socialization.(which doesn’t happen much anyway) I think I have finally lost the need to live a social life like “the rest of the world.” I am usually content to just sit here. But there are times when I get glimpses of life as it used to be and I miss it. Like when I hear others talking about going to a movie – or going out to eat with friends it makes this little twinge in my heart because I miss life. But since nothing can be done about it I must learn to be content where I am.

I have started paying an aid to sit with Chris a couple of times a month so I can run a race or two. But boy did that put a crunch on my budget! Now a race that is about 25 bucks costs me 75 or so when the sitter is added in. That’s put a hurt on my racing schedule let me tell you! And in those moments where I realize I am sort of trapped – it all crashes in on me again. I just want to sit and sip coffee and stare at the wall…for no reason.

Now that is all the tip of the surface of the types of emotions I have to work through every day. You see the fluctuations? That is pretty constant, only I simply gave my readers a brief overview. For real. How do I deal? I am learning once again that I must run to Him. I have to try to learn how to trust Him with my emotions. I wrote this morning in my devotion for caregivers from Matthew 11 – where Jesus bid his followers to come to Him and find rest for their souls. That’s what I am learning…that He can provide rest for my mind, will and emotions. No matter how rocky they are I can find peace in Him. Sometimes it is only for a few seconds but if I can grab that peace I can make it for a few more steps. It is certainly a journey like most that must be taken one step at a time. And for now – I will cling to Him and trust that He can help me quiet my soul so that I can rest in Him…and trust in Him one more time.

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