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Skipping Stone

July 9, 2015

Brokenhearted. Frustrated, disappointed, and confused.

Overwhelmingly grateful. Relieved.

I wish I knew how to navigate this tangled web of contradictory emotions with grace and maturity.

On the surface, very little has changed in the last few days. My circumstances are mostly the same. We still don’t really know what’s wrong with me. A diagnosis will take time. My health and symptoms are more-or-less the same.

Nonetheless, the changes of this last week have dramatically altered my daily battles.

More than anything, abnormal spots revealed by my recent MRI give me something to stand on in the moments when I start to think I’m crazy or making a big deal out of nothing. In fact, the very question, “What if this is all in my head?” now reminds me that something is wrongin my head. And, in that reminder, the crushing accusations that usually follow that question are instantly cut off.

I can breathe.

At the same time, evidence makes this more real than it was a week ago. My significant limitations are more than a weird mental block I need to overcome. The neurological symptoms I’ve had for years but have only acknowedleged for months are… harder to dismiss.

I don’t know how to describe most of the changes or emotions. I just know that things are different and more extreme.

Right now, my emotional state is dominated by gratitude and relief. I have moments where the negative emotions touch me. Moments. I know that I am scared, but I’ve barely touched that fear. I know my heart is broken, but I’ve only given it the slightest acknowledgment.

I’m like a skipping stone. I am predominantly soaring through the air–my gratitude and relief. I barely touch the surface of the water–those heavier, darker emotions–before I am thrust back into the air above me. But every stone, regardless of how skillfully it is thrown, eventually plunges beneath the surface. It sinks deeper and deeper until it finds the bottom… the weight of the water pressing down upon it.

How long will I dance across the surface of this water before I begin to drown?

I don’t want to run from the negative emotions. I know I need to let the Lord meet me in the frustration and heartbreak. But I don’t know if I have the strength maintain a thankful heart posture when those emotions begin to overtake me.

And I have so much to be thankful for…

– I have an amazing doctor. I am confident in his knowledge and ability. He is thorough and patient. He has a gentle demeanor. His kindness and compassion are… tangible.

– We’re making progress. Abnormal test results mean we are looking at the right things. Now that we are on the right path, every step we take should get us closer to real answers.

– Ben’s employer has provided us with insurance and a health savings account that should cover most of our expenses until we reach the deductible. (This is huge.)

– My husband is incredible. Ben’s life has also been altered by my illness. He has suffered loss and then chosen, for my sake, to make sacrifices on top of that. Despite the fact that he could not fully understand or even fully see my suffering, he has served me and taken care of me. He has committed and recommitted to stand by me, no matter what may come. He has encouraged me. He has put up with me. He has done everything he can think of to make my life better and easier to face.

– We live in Colorado Springs. I love this place. The climate. The mountains. The Colorado-Springs-y-ness.

– My cat is also pretty remarkable. Her adorable face and affection have chased away some of the boredom and loneliness. She has given me an escape from my self-absorption and provided a life to nurture and invest in… without exceeding my capacity (honestly, Ben does most of the work to take care of her, and cats are relatively low-maintenance). I am grateful to have her. We wouldn’t if our former landlords hadn’t made an exception to let us adopt her four years ago.

And there’s a lot more than all of that.

Maybe I can hold on. Maybe I can feel the pain, the fear, and the disappointment without relinquishing my gratitude. Even if I lose perspective, He will surely bring me back around again. I only struggle to trust my own strength (and ability to make wise choices) through the uncertainty of the future. Is my trust in Him enough to overcome those doubts? Do I trust Him as much as I need to trust Him?

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