Posts Tagged love

A Different View of Love

I won’t even try to update you on everything – just suffice it to say that I will be trying to keep up with this a little better. It’s sort of irrelevant if anyone reads or not; I need it too! Writing helps me sort out my thoughts and get them all in one place and hopefully on one page.

This has been an exceptionally trying week for me. It started with a horrible wreck. I take those a lot harder since Christopher’s wreck anyway. But this one involved an officer that the whole community has been following. He had been injured trying to break up a bar fight. His neck was broken and he was slowly beginning to regain his mobility. He had therapy at Jim Thorpe where Chris goes and I had spoken with him at a couple of races. He was a very kind man and the community was behind him as he stood and took his first steps recently.But his life ended in the wreck and it hit me very hard.

Then of course the Boston Marathon bombing really got to me too. Who would have ever thought? It certainly adds a new dynamic (and one more reason to run) to the OKC Memorial marathon coming up next week. Plus the huge explosion in Texas.. my emotions were all over the place this week and once again I bottomed out.

It’s really bad when I bottom out because I go into shut down mode and can’t get my work done. But I began to sort it out this week and realized I am really battling with depression. I think it is common with caregivers; but I still have had to figure out how to function. So I am working on all that….but in the process I really learned something in a totally different arena this week.

I have talked about how I understand the love that held Christ to the cross- it’s the love that keeps the caregiver sort of imprisoned and bound to their loved one. But this week while sorting through some things I learned something else. I was thinking about how relationships have changed since that tragic day in November 2008. I was thinking about how to overcome the loneliness (also common to caregivers); how to battle depression and how to win at this race called life. In the process I was also thinking about Chris and how he can do so very little for himself.

In my thinking I was also thinking about who he was before the accident. Then my mind started to think about how I love this Chris too. Of course he can’t actually do anything for me now – he can’t throw out all those philosophical questions that would keep us up all night drinking coffee and looking for answers! He can’t share his latest lyrics or song with me. He’s not the same Chris – but I still love him.

That’s when I got it. So many times in life we love someone for what they do – not who they are. I loved Chris’ music, his humor, his thinking, etc. But it’s the love for HIM that drives me to care for him day in and day out, through thick and thin. I also thought of all the people who loved him when he was in school at NSU. I know they genuinely “loved” him. But they do not know what to do with him if he can’t do the things he was doing before.

So this made me think about how God loves us – not what we do. Maybe we can write and play songs – perhaps that’s even a gift. No problem – but that’s not what God loves about us…He loves us. He loves past our doing…

Flip Side–do we love God for what He does? Or do we love Him just because we love Him? We can measure many things by what God does especially in our western culture. If we have money,houses and cars; He has blessed us. If we have a good time at church, He “showed up”. If we are spared an inconvenience, or had a close call, He was watching out for us. These are all great “experiences” but are we loving Him solely for what He does? What if He didn’t “do” anymore? If we didn’t feel His presence, had to drive an older car, friends walk away, or we have a wreck? Job faced these things – he lost everything – literally.But he clung to God even in his darkest night. He served God because He is God, not just for what He could do.

I’ve been thinking about this over the last couple of days. I’ve also shared of my trust issues with God because before I felt like that trust had been broken. I thought God was protecting my kids and He let me down. I’m learning that trust, faith and now love have nothing to do with circumstances. Unfortunately we are taught to measure spiritual success by circumstances. Too bad for Job, huh? I want to learn more – I want to love and trust God just because I believe He is there….He already “did” stuff for me He rescued my soul from the clutches of darkness. That’s wonderful – but I’m ready to know more about Him…I want to love Him for WHO He is – not just what He does.

This has been a very trying journey…and it’s not even close to over. I figure I’ll take care of Chris until I can’t anymore then we’ll go to the nursing home together! But I have learned so much during this trial. My faith has been rewritten, love is different and I view many things (like church and friendship) much differently than ever before. I am not thankful that this has happened to my son. But I am thankful that God has continued to reveal Himself to me even as I learn about life in Him from the furnace.

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Rethinking Faith and Grace

There has been a lot happening of late but I really do plan on continuing this blog. I think I need to do it more for me sometimes and if there are any readers you are welcome to read along. Chris’ 29th birthday is coming up this week, and it feels odd. I guess somehow 30 sounds so “old” and it feels like he’s missed so much “life.” I’m still sorting through those emotions.

This last week I came across his old video camera and watched all his videos. I really thought I would kind of fall apart and not be able to handle it. But it actually had the opposite effect. I did cry a little here and there but it was a positive experience that is best summed up by saying that I helped myself remember who he was….which did make me miss him more. But that is an everyday thing really. It’s called living grief and I have mentioned it here before. I lost my son November 8, 2008 but still have his body to care for. I cannot bury him and try to make something out of life. It’s sort of like being stuck in a prison cell with no future just a past to remember.

Overall though, things are going good. He is improving and it really helps a lot. I think he is actually starting to try which helps keep me keep pushing him every single day. He is definitely communicating in his own way and that really helps too. But I’m not going to lie – I’m tired. It’s been a very long journey with no end in sight. Honestly, I gave up on one of those instantaneous miracles long ago. Guess God ran out of them just before November 2008! lol

It does seem that I am finally kind of learning how to get it together though. I’m learning to live alone and function alone for the most part. I really don’t have a social life and quite honestly most of the time when I do get out now – I am on sensory overload and just want to come back to the safety of the cave. I’m very content with that. But I did have a great experience at the last race I ran. It was just fun. It was the first tiny piece of “social activity” that I’d had in a long time. I hung around for a few minutes with some other runners and we laughed and cut up…nearly refreshing! lol — Some of them will be at the half I’m doing this Sunday so that might actually be nice!

Over the last few years I think I have really changed in a lot of different ways. But recently I’ve realized how much my theology has undergone change. I think about faith and hope differently. I see God’s protection differently than most. There have been some times when I really wanted to shake my fist at God and “cash it all in.” (for what I don’t know *smile*) But I am beginning to realize that it really isn’t His fault that my religion was faulty! lol

I’ve gone back and read Job and meditated on it a lot. Religion told him that he must have sinned or God wouldn’t punish him with all that trouble. Of course he maintained his righteousness. I can’t say that I haven’t struggled with thoughts along those lines – if God was pleased with me…with Chris… why did all this happen? Don’t really have an answer…

I’m taking a real good look at faith and what I thought it meant. I think we may have seriously missed the mark with that one. We get really caught up on the materialistic side of things and try to measure our relationship with God through natural means. If we have things we are blessed and if we don’t we are not.

While on this note – I get really upset sometimes at facebook posts. I really do understand these kinds of posts – they say things like “we were in a bad wreck to day thank God he loves us because we could have been hurt bad.” Am I to interpret that into God doesn’t love Chris? Or they will say, “God’s grace was with us today in the wreck or we could have been seriously injured.” Was God’s grace NOT with Chris that day? I always give thanks with them and keep the questions to myself – but maybe we really need to rethink the ways we use to measure God’s grace and love in our lives. It goes way past eternity you guys.

His grace is what keeps us from spending eternity as well as the present separated from Him – His love is what compels us to come to Him – it’s what held Jesus to the cross. Just like I cannot leave my son – Jesus could not leave the cross to find a more comfortable way because love held Him in that moment. He chose to stay there and yet I am guilty of trying to squirm out of anything remotely uncomfortable…rethinking grace and mercy!

Overall, I really cannot complain. Sure I miss my son deeply everyday. But there are lots of pluses from the furnace too. My daughter has become a wonderful Christian lady and mother, I have two beautiful grandchildren (want to see pictures? lol), I’m watching her and her husband take pursuing God seriously. God has provided me so much work I can barely keep up, and I am learning to keep my eyes on Him more of the time – and staying focused…even in the furnace.

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So Many Changes…

It has been crazier than usual the last week or so…too many changes. I think I found out I really am pretty anal when my schedule gets interrupted. I think I just float around in this fog and stumble through the days until I can get back to some sort of order! Where do I begin?

Chris’ aid gave us a week’s notice that she would be quitting. I was getting set to not have an aid…after I sorted it all out and found some advantages I could major on I was fine with it..thought it might be┬ánice to have the change. And then they called and sent another one…that’s good…except that I had already set my mind on course to be without…she started yesterday – very nice lady and actually is a CNA with some caregiving experience. That helps…but it sent my emotions in a crazy way –

I had them all geared for what I thought was ahead and then Bam! it all changed and it is taking me some time to do more adjusting to more unknowns. Her hours are crazy so it jeopardizes my running career… got that worked out somewhat. I got a treadmill…I don’t have to miss a mile of my training – I just have to get used to the treadmill – very different running there…

I guess it was so frustrating because really running is the only thing I have that is uniquely mine. You know? It was my escape – I could get out – see fresh sites and get all my tension out while pounding the pavement. Now I run in the living room.. just not the same and I just can’t help but feel that I was stolen from once again…not sure what to do with that emotion…

On the other side of things – Chris is doing really well. Movement is returning and he’s initiating a lot more of them. He is doing so good! That’s encouraging…although I guard against getting too excited. Please forgive me, but it’s been a long journey and I don’t want to falsely anticipate an end any time soon…I can’t see that far…

I still hope – but wonder what Chris will be like when this is done. I can’t help but miss him.. a hurt that can’t be fixed. However, I try to concentrate on the good things that are happening around us and for us.

I won’t go into all our boring details, but things feel better overall….I have to think of the scripture that says these three remain: faith hope and love…I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. Faith to hope – faith makes love work…and love is an energy…the same entity that was a part of God – that is God – that caused Him to send His son so we could have a way back to Him…gotta hold on to that sometimes… does that seem shallow? Maybe to some – love is such a basic concept – but in our religious circles – we’ve exchanged it for law and need to learn His love once again….

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