Just a quick note before I share my little breakthrough this morning.
When I decided to write a blog about my recovery, I never intended it to be real-time. I thought it would be a reflective memoir of sorts, a past chronology of God’s faithfulness in the biggest storm of my life. I didn’t see this current trial of my mom’s brain cancer coming, and it’s challenged me in more ways than I can wrap my brain around at the moment. But it’s hitting on a serious nerve of mine, and I thought it would be good to take a risk with you and just get it out in the open.
One of the biggest challenges I’ve had in my life is openly sharing my struggles with people. Yes, it’s hard to share the nitty-gritty of my past addiction. And it’s kind of embarrassing to tell all my past failures. But it’s nothing like sharing current battles. Being vulnerable is not natural and is very hard for me. (Just ask my dear friends who patiently humor me in this area). Since God saw me through all my past stuff, I’m a bit less vulnerable sharing them with you. I already know what happened in my story. I know who won the battle against addiction. I know how the severe PTSD was healed, and I know the girl in the story broke out of depression and the miracle of how God is healing her childhood trauma. I’m excited to share that story with you. I want to scream it from the rooftop, really. My heart is to share the truth and awesomeness of recovery, to give away the blessings I’ve been given in hopes that something I’ll say will click with someone and will spare them some of the pain I endured. Yeah, I like sharing that story. It’s the greatest gift I’ve ever been given and I love to encourage others through it. I like being a giver. And I don’t like to take. But God’s teaching me that receiving is different from taking. And just as I like to give encouragement to others, so they like to do with me.
So, thank you for your tenderness with me while I make my way through this challenge and heart break with my mom. It’s messy and I have no control over where it’s going. But I sure appreciate the company along the way, and I’m committed to keeping it real no matter what. I will not candy-coat my process and lie about how I’m doing. That would just keep everyone, including myself, from the power of God’s healing touch. I think it’s going to be a bumpy ride. But one thing is for sure: we’ll both see in real time how God walks my family and me through this fiery trial and trauma called brain cancer. I think this is my biggest step in vulnerability to date. In fact, it feels a little bit like emotional streaking. Thank you for being such loving witnesses to my process. Your comments, emails, phone calls, and texts have meant so much to me. Ok, enough said about that…
After last night’s avalanche of fear and weariness I finally fell asleep crying. It was a cold, restless night and I woke up several times wondering why my dad hadn’t called to give me an update about my mom. I had to remind myself of God’s goodness over and over again even though I could only feel the dread of the situation. I didn’t feel His presence, and there was no comfort to be had with my husband despite his loving attempts to encourage me. But God is so good to answer my cries. He always does. Sometimes I have to wait longer than I feel I can (or should), but His answer always comes. And so while I still waited to hear from my dad about the MRI results this morning, I started to feel my faith being strengthened. I can’t explain the shift except to say that I felt that life was going to move beyond this trial. It’s like I caught a brief glimpse the bigger picture in my life, and I could see that right now is a moment. Yes, this time with my mom is happening and it is awful. But it’s now. And soon it will be over, and this will all be history. The aha! was a small, internal shift from despair into a hope about my future. Instead of looming over not knowing what’s going to happen right now, it was like God gave me a squeeze on my shoulder and gave me a little nudge to pick up my head and peer ahead a little. Look over here. Keep walking. This isn’t the end of your story. I have so much more planned for you.
I know firsthand how trauma can set our gaze too tightly on the here and now, and we can easily lose sight of the big picture. I also know those brief moments of inspiration can oftentimes bring about the biggest changes in our experience. And so I’m thankful for that important reminder I needed this morning…life keeps moving.
I suppose whatever happens in any of our trials, we always have the choice to look up.
I always welcome your thoughts and insight. Many, many blessings to you.
“ For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. Jeremiah 29:11
Trusting Him when dark doubts assail us
Trusting Him when our strength is small
Trusting Him when to simply trust Him
is the hardest thing of all.
Trust Him then through tears or sunshine
All our cares upon Him cast.
Till the storms of life are over
And the trusting days are past.
– Ruth Bell-Graham