I want my posts to inspire, to be a bright light in a world where we give up on hope when the lights go out in our lives, a world where we count our own wrongs rather than rejoicing in our good moments, out of our own fears and haunts of the past. Therefore, to be a hopeful Blog, to have this blog mean anything at all, to be credible, my blog must be honest, an authentic description of the guts of suffering, and of what has kept me from losing my own faith. In short, I must take some risks.
With honesty being my guide, I would like to state that sometimes it’s hard to look on the bright side. In fact, holding our frustrations inside can be bad for us, even a nice form of denial. As I am thankful for the many gifts in my life, and I know we can always think of someone who has worse struggles, today’s struggles are enough for today. In fact, they can sometimes push the most positive people to say a few words they wish they had not, yes words a good Christian would not utter have crossed my lips from time to time. Am I a good Christian? I don’t know. I am a Christian. Even so, I walk forward in God’s forgiveness and love. My faults are plenty.
Okay, I’m getting real here, as I have mentioned in previous blog posts, I was widowed at the age of 32, with a beautiful six month old baby. I may never be able to use the cliche easily, “everything happens for a reason”. It’s not that I don’t believe God uses everything that happens toward good, I do. It’s the wording that my mind can not wrap itself around. I do, however, believe that as a result of sins presence in our world, there is a whole lot that can and will go wrong which is not God’s will. Call me crazy, but there seems to be much in the Bible about God being saddened or disappointed. I’m thinking that there are times he weeps with us, and that every moment is not meant to be just as it is. I don’t pick and choose as some have suggested what is “good” or “bad” according to God. I don’t have that power. Even so, I can not say that every time a child is raped, or goes hungry, or a person loses their sanity in the face of hard times who did lean on God, that they did not have more than they could handle. I just can not say those things, and I am a Christian. Only by God’s grace, but I am. I stand by the scripture which states all things work toward God’s purposes. Meaning to me, that all things including bad and good stuff, God constantly works to sew into the tapestry of our lives, eventually weaving out his original plan ultimately with all the crap we throw in there, God can still make that yarn weave his dream for us all. Even the baby who never sees the light of day, dying in childbirth, is welcomed into his kingdom, because that is his plan for us all. After all, he did give us the garden of Eden. We broke the rules when tempted, and chaos began its ugly web of deceit. We fall for it time and time again, but he keeps weaving us back into his fold. I pray we all allow him to call us home, because so many seem lost in the frays of thread. I do hope for us all to be there. But even on earth we can at times experience that peace, that knowledge that comes from a small glimpse of the kingdom. Sometimes for me it’s that moment at twilight on the water as a dolphin fishes in shallow waters, and a complete stranger looks to me eyes filled with joy, saying can you believe that? I am so glad I stopped by the bay on the way home. Or that moment when you see something or someone do something and it works out against all odds. Finding a good friend in hard times, thinking about someone and finding out why mysteriously they were on your mind, simple glimpses. How does he weave us back in to the fold? He has been doing it for centuries. The most incredible weaving God has ever used, God’s greatest act of love was allowing himself to walk and live with us on this earth, through his son Jesus Christ. With that great act of love, we can feel most secure, that even in our failings and when we are on the frays, he will never ever forget us, he has sewn us into his heart, if you will, and marked us as his own. In that providence we can stand without fear in the face of life’s challenges.
So, yes, I believe in hope. But, if I am not real about how much life can hurt, then I am lying. I can not imagine life on earth without that hope, without knowing it all works toward good.
I am sick today, and I am truly frustrated. I am not fighting a life threatening disease. Even so, I have congestion and of course as with a Vestibular Disorder, the congestion has increased my symptoms, right while I had just begun Vestibular Rehabilitation. I know these exercises work. I know I will get to where I can manage again, in my mind, but I confess I am afraid this will never end.
It does not help when I think about what I believe triggered the onset of this disorder, some say it’s stress related. I suspect the trauma of losing a spouse in the way that I did had a biological impact. I, with God’s help, have completely rebuilt my life. But, I believe that I learned a stress response at that time in my life that I can not seem to unlearn. I get dizzy, lightheaded, and disoriented over crowds, excitement, cleaning house, and is it my inner ear? Yes, but I think it’s more. I think it’s fear. I want to let go of that fear.
A week later…
I just had the worst vertigo in my life. I may have had it for over ten years, but I have never had it that bad. I couldn’t move for hours. Every time I turned the room spun. I felt helpless and so grateful that my husband was with me. I vomited and had what many describe as a hangover, but I rarely drink and had not had one drink.
A week after…
I broke the damn kitchen sink. I was trying to focus on doing the dishes. I got mad about how hard it was to concentrate, but I was determined. In frustration I slapped the sink nozzle, which snapped. Water sprayed all over the kitchen. Turning off the sink, I cried. I could not focus at all. The room tipped side to side at every turn of my head. What the heck is next?
A week later…
Time to prepare for a cruise with my family. I am scared I will get dizzy. But, I will not have to do any dishes. I will not have to clean anything. What if I get too sick to move and I’m stuck on a ship? I put myself on the church prayer list. I have not been that low since grieving for my first husband, that down and miserably frustrated.
I went on a cruise with my family. I was afraid to go for good reason. But, I went. I got dizzy. I also got to listen to bands, see shows, and I danced all over that ship. I did not have to drive anywhere, and yes dizziness is hard. But I learned something amazing. I still know how to have fun. I did take lots of anti-nausea medicines and slept a whole lot. Hours of vertigo is exhausting. But, I still can have fun. It was a very freeing experience to realize that vertigo was not going to keep me from having fun. I let go of the fears and that was when I found myself walking without fear up and down the almost transparent four floor spiral staircases. I walked over the sea walk I think it’s called where one looks down at least eleven floors through the floor they walk on extending over the side of the ship. Wind whipping through my hair, I walked. It felt victorious. It’s not like I was driving. I could so give up my car, I hate driving, but I digress.
I tend to believe that root of all evil, in my eyes, is fear. Fear as opposed to trust and faith. Allowing myself to believe is such a leap, and yet so important. All my failings, washed away in Christ, and all my fears in God’s hands, who knows what he has planned for me and my family. Trying to see or understand is pointless. Goals and dreams are good, but God’s grace is greater than them all. That is what keeps me alive.
So, tonight, as I go to sleep, here is my plan. I am going to get honest with my doctor about what is going on with me, and I am going to be as honest as I have been in this blog post. I am going to share my dreams and hopes for my life. I have signed up for this private healthcare plan where one receives more attention from their doctor, and actually develops a relationship like in older times. For once I will not be taking a notebook in and trying to share all of this issue in ten minutes and being given an antibiotic or sent to a therapist. I am tired of re-explaining. Something different will happen. That’s my hope. I sincerely hope I can get past this, because I am young. I still have so much living to do. I am tired of this illness getting in the way. With that being said from my heart, I must place my hope in someone higher as I take these steps. Because I believe his ultimate plan for me is not to experience this agony this many years, that God can and will heal me. If it’s long term, then I can accept that, because I know his ultimate plan is to be home with him. Even so, I pray that if it’s God’s will, I can live without fear of falling at my age, be able to hold a conversation without feeling thrown to the side by movements around me, I will be able to keep my balance, and I can leave my cane at home for at least another thirty years, as I am not even fifty for a few more years. That’s my prayer.