I struggle with how to write about the stuff of life. Even in my own private journal, it’s hard to admit how I really feel because I know there are situations, circumstances, lives, so much WORSE. And while that is true, everyone’s reality is their own, complete with all it’s pain, joy, trials, and triumphs. I can accept that about everyone else’s lives, but I have a hard time accepting it about my own. Plus, as a Christian, I feel held to a certain standard that I’m not ‘allowed’ to talk negatively, that I’m supposed to only think, speak, or believe good things. And while there is some truth to that, the honest truth is that right now our reality is bleak.
I woke up to a flood of media updates of friends running in the various marathons in nearby cities this morning. It devastated me. Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t run to the mailbox and back without likely collapsing. I’ve been sick and housebound for a week, struggling with a respiratory and throat infection that should have been better in a few days, but evidently thanks to low iron and other deficiencies, I can’t recover as quickly as I should. At least that’s what I’m assuming to be the case, because there seems to be no other reason I have continually felt like dirt for 3 months now.
I’ve done everything I know how to improve – supplements, exercise, water, rest, more supplements, tests…nothing. And for someone who always needs and wants to know WHY, I’m not getting any answers there either. This anomaly has been blamed on childbirth – 8 months ago? That answer only spawns more questions, namely what do I need to do from here since I thought I was doing a good job ‘taking care’ of myself before? It’s so frustrating. And frustration with my health is the last thing I need.
We’re still waiting. Waiting for an answer to an almost 3-year problem. STILL waiting. I recently read that a Russian woman was imprisoned for 13 years (six of which was in solitary confinement) under Stalin’s reign, all for being a teacher. However, she makes the statement that the most difficult time in her life was NOT the horrendous suffering during years of imprisonment, but the three weeks of waiting prior to her arrest – that the uncertainty and anxiety such waiting poured over her heart while she waited for the “unknown” was pure torture. She said that “perhaps waiting for an inevitable disaster is worse than the disaster itself.”
I wholeheartedly agree. Torture.
Remember last March 2? We were expecting some pretty terrible storms – the weather genius Greg Forbes had issued an unprecedented Tor-Con index of a 10 for most of Kentucky and The Weather Channel was deploying their finest reporters to hotspots around the state. The anxiety of what was to come was stifling. Businesses were closing and shelters were being put in place. Preparation for the unknown was difficult, but the unpredictability of waiting for what Mother Nature was going to dole out was far worse. It was exhausting. Try as you will to trust God at all cost, but your human flesh won’t let you forget what could happen.
Now imagine that’s your reality every day, except instead of a devastating storm, it’s one small piece of mail that may or may not appear in your mailbox that day could spell either financial ruin or a chance to end what seems like a never-ending nightmare. That’s our reality. Every. Single. Day.
We don’t know what’s going to happen, what options we’re going to be given. We don’t know WHEN. And worst of all, we don’t know WHY – why we’re being put through another season of difficult waiting and what we’re supposed to learn from it. We cling to what happened the last time we waited: for four long years, we were led to begin thinking children were not part of God’s plan for us. Instead, we were eventually blessed with an unbelievable miracle in our baby girl. It’s all I can do to wrestle away the lies that threaten to take over my thoughts and cling to that sweet tangible promise I hold every day.
It doesn’t get any more literal than saying that psalms are only born out of the qualms of life, so that’s where we are. I’m praying for the day when I can write with abandon how we were delivered through this, whatever the outcome.
Until then, I’m likely to continue writing about TV shows and fantasies and other nonsense because I need some nonsense in all this reality to make me smile.