My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Monday, March 5, 2012

Wisdom thru pain

Ah... Monday... we meet again. You, with your heavy yoke for me to bear... me, with my anxiety about whether my body can handle the load. I will come against you with my hair dryer and straightening iron... my "work appropriate" clothes and my determination. I will know that whatever lies ahead, God will guide me and support me and sustain me. You, Monday, will disappear by midnight... and I will receive the reward of Tuesday while I rest and restore my soul. 

I started out this morning still meditating on yesterday's entry. I've been hit with a lot over the last 14 months since the back pain started. It's been a heavy burden and at times quite overwhelming... but, can I tell you a secret? It's been a great blessing. I have seen God's hand *ALL OVER THIS* situation. I have learned so much about my own character during this process and I have been ashamed to realize how little compassion I have shown to others in my life who have dealt with chronic medical issues. 

I am so, so, very sorry that I didn't show more compassion to my mom over the past few years as she has struggled. I have taken the position - with her and with others who are similarly situated - that if you don't ask about it, it doesn't exist. I haven't validated her pain. I haven't shown concern for her emotional well-being during the process and I know now, based on my own trials and tribulations, how alone chronic illness makes you feel. Especially when (like in my life, lately) it's ALWAYS something. 

I have learned that sometimes... when people make excuses for not being where you want them to be... and you don't like/accept their reasoning... it's because they don't want to tell you the truth because they are embarrassed about their truth - their reality. When people ask me how I'm doing, I always answer, "fine"... but the truth is that I haven't been fine in a long time and I don't believe I'll ever be "fine" again but I don't want to add to your burden by being honest about MY burdens because if people knew how hard it really is to live in this physical body every day... they would pity me... and I don't want pity. I just want to be understood. You know that people roll their eyes when you walk away... or form opinions about you... and it hurts... so it's easier to not be vulnerable to them.

I have learned - and wished - that I would have done a better job of being an example to my kids about honoring their parents by doing a better job of honoring their grandparents. We saw my parents often but they were incidental appearances.... picking kids up, dropping kids off... in that "takes a village to raise a child" perspective but we didn't DO for their grandparents in a way that I feel like we should have. We weren't *intentional* in the time we spent with them. And subsequently, sadly, I don't find my boys being *intentional* about spending time with me. I don't want them to ever go out of their way and spend time with me out of obligation. I want them to WANT to spend time with me. 

My kids have a grandmother that they probably wouldn't recognize if they saw her on the street. She was married to a meth dealer for awhile, I honestly believe she was involved, to some degree in what he was doing because she had that downward physical decline that seems similar to a meth user. Ryan was caught in a very traumatic experience during a drug raid at her house and from that point on, I never encouraged the kids to spend time with her. Yet. She is alone. Her husband is in jail. Her son (my kids father) her only child, has written her off. My kids haven't seen her in years and ... I now realize that if we had been more compassionate and concerned about her BEFORE she got involved with this guy that she... maybe wouldn't have started on that downward spiral.

I haven't just learned compassion for people who are dealing with medical issues... I've learned to be compassionate for people who are alone... or feel alone... because I am, to a large degree. People don't come to you (except Gina, God bless her for being so intentional in our friendship and setting aside time to come and see me!) (and Stasha... who usually catches me when I'm post ambien and loopy but will still come and perch on my bed and chat with me). I realize that there are a lot of people who don't have the energy to reach out, go out, be in crowds... I realize there are a lot of people who can only do what they HAVE to do (like me) and beyond that... there's not much left. 

I've also learned that in those moments where I physically have nothing left, that I spiritually and emotionally have the capacity to encourage ...on facebook, through emails and sometimes, thru "knee-mail", lifting them up in prayer. The spirit intercedes... 

I used to say that I never have regrets because having regrets means not trusting who I was at that time. I'm amending that. I do have regrets. Throughout my life I have focused so strongly on the heavy burden that I was carrying that I haven't done a good job of sharing the load with others. Everyone has something weighing them down. I'm learning to respect others' "worst thing" even if, in my opinion, on the scale of suffering, their worst thing in NO WAY compares to MY worst thing. It's not a contest. The human spirit can only take so much before it needs restoration. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Sometimes we need to look around at those who are having a time staying on the course and give them a word of encouragement...a cup of cold water... to refresh them and help them continue on their journey. 

Time is getting away from me today. My Reasons to Love Monday this week:

God has given me an ability to truly care about the struggles people face in this life - whether physical, financial, emotional 

God has uniquely situated me to be in a place where I encounter, on a daily basis, people who are struggling. 

God has continued to use my pain for my gain and His glory. It is not by accident. It is not to punish me. It is fertilizer to grow me into the person He designed me to be.

I need Him more and more every day and that draws me closer to Him. I hunger and thirst for righteousness. I love Monday because it's the day I need  Him the most. I will visit with God more today than most people visit with Him on Sunday. 

My reason to love Monday? This is the day that the Lord has made! It is full of purpose and promise and possibilities!

Happy Monday, y'all!

Job 32:6-8

New International Version (NIV)
 6 So Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite said:
   “I am young in years,
   and you are old;
that is why I was fearful,
   not daring to tell you what I know.
7 I thought, ‘Age should speak;
   advanced years should teach wisdom.’
8 But it is the spirit[a] in a person,
   the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.