Monday, August 9, 2010

Remember

I'm discouraged. I can't seem to shake it. My view of the finish line has grown faint. I look around and see that I have lost my way.
I've lost my kids. I take care of them, but I no longer parent them. Their little hearts are slipping away. I called for my oldest today. He said, "Mom, are you gonna yell at us?"
Have I been yelling? I lack the strength.
But I have been harsh. And as I put myself in their shoes, it becomes clear that most of what they hear from me is correction. I don't play with them anymore. I only occasionally read to them. I'm not consistent. I've lost control.
As a wife, I'm no better. There is no order in my home. My champion husband comes home each night, after a long day at work, to even more work. He has to discipline the kids, help get dinner ready, play with the kids, bathe the kids, put them to bed, clean the house, put away laundry, and take care of his sick, tired wife. He lovingly expects nothing in return.
I'm overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy and failure. And I am helpless to change.
These feelings are familiar to me. I had them not too long ago. The feelings are the same, the circumstances are different. And it is good to remember, because that situation seemed hopeless too.
It was my marriage. Twelve years of bad habits. Twelve years of damage. Twelve years of injuring one another. It seemed irreparable. We tried everything. Every book. Every marriage conference. Each attempt increasing hopelessness. I cried out to God, repeatedly, for years, "Help me! I can't do this!"
And in God's perfect timing, it all changed. In just one moment. God changed our hearts. God repaired years of damage. God healed and restored. Miraculously. In a moment.
That was five months ago. Before cancer.
Have I already forgotten?
Am I like the Israelites of the Old Testament who continually forgot the miraculous deliverance of their God and turned away to idols?
The trial of a difficult marriage didn't teach me how to be the perfect wife. I'm still far from that. What I learned is that my God is faithful. I can trust Him, even when I can't see the finish line. He can deliver me. He can work out all the details of my life, despite my weaknesses and failures.
I'm reminded of my own lack of faith during that trial and I refuse to go back there. Nothing is Impossible with God!

6 comments:

  1. I love you Steph. I'm so sorry your discouraged. I will be praying that the Lord would lift your spirit and comfort your heartache.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, friend...be gentle with yourself. Extend a little grace your way. As evidenced by the boys prayers the other night, they know you love them. And there are times in marriage when one partner gives a little more. Doesn't last forever. I can't imagine how frustrating this is, but don't add to the load with guilt. I will be praying you have more moments of strength so can just "be" with your kids and Damie.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dear Stephanie --
    In the midst of the fog there is a truth that doesn't change, although sometimes it seems quite dim because the fog dulls the senses. The truth is that your life and your times are in God's hands. That truth hasn't changed with this disease. In fact, that truth is more real now than ever before.

    The journey is long and hard and there are bound to be times of being extremely overwhelmed by the many implications of the situation. The weariness and the loneliness of the battle you are fighting can only be shared so much, because nobody but know how it feels to be in the vortex of this whirlwind that seems to have stolen life as you used to know it.

    BUT, God is STILL in control. Of the big things and the little things. Of the good things and the not-so-good things. In the fog of uncertainty and fear and weariness, the VOICE of God is still ringing out in the Universe that He created. All creation hears and so does your hear.

    When the present is too painful to consider and the future too far-reaching to contemplate, look back instead of all that you've come through -- all the ups and downs of life that have thrown you for a loop, stolen your dreams, upset your balance. Truth for today is none of those things won, because you didn't give up. Instead you pressed on and "became" like the Velveteen Rabbit .... more loved than you could ever have known possible. And, remembering that you survived, you overcame, you grew, became wiser and stronger and more dependent upon the Lord and Savior of your life through it all.

    It is time now to look at those standing stones of the past and let them give you hope for th future. Just like Joshua told the people when they crossed the Jordan River to erect standing stones along the way of their journey so that they could look back and tell the story of how God brought them into the Promised Land. That is what you can do now for your children, your friends, your family, and all those doctors and nurses and other patients you have encountered.

    Jesus and His love for you is what makes it possible for you to walk through (or be carried along) each step of the way of this present journey ... Those standing stones and your testimony are eternal. THey are your victory! THey are the gift of love and help that make it possible for you to be what you are able to be right now -- all the time resting in the safe haven of your home and your family's love for you.

    There is an old song written by Rogers and Hammerstein that says: "When you walk through the storm hold your head up high, and don't be afraid of the the dark. At the end of the storm is a golden sky and the sweet silver song of the lark. Walk on through the wind, walk on through the rain, though your dreams be tossed and torn. Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart. And you'll never walk alone.You'll NEVER walk alone."

    Stephanie -- You will NEVER walk alone ...I promise.

    Sara Jones

    ReplyDelete
  4. Stephanie, please remember that this is a tough but temporary trial. You will once again have the strength to parent your children and eventually memories of this time will grow faint.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love you Stephanie! This post encouraged my heart. God IS faithful and powerful and I CAN trust Him. He ALWAYS moves...at just the right moment. :) Thank you for sharing your journey so transparently. You are building faith and courage in the people who read it. Even when yours might feel small - God is doing something amazing. Praying for you. -Shannon Beck

    ReplyDelete
  6. You are an amazing woman who is so loved! May God touch your heart and strengthen your mind. His love will abound. May his arms encircle you and hold you close.

    Thinking about you and praying for you

    Jenny Lawrence

    ReplyDelete