Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Disengaged

I married fairly young, but waited to have kids. I experienced life first. I finished college, traveled some, and had a decent career. All of those experiences paled in comparison to being a mom. Becoming a mom was the highlight of my life. I loved it. Even the sleepless nights and endless diaper changes.
My kids were young when I was diagnosed with cancer. My daughter was 5-months-old. My boys were three and four.
Those first few days, I could hardly look at them. It was too painful. With each glance, I thought about having to say goodbye.  I thought about their cries for "mommy" and no mommy to answer. I thought about them being too young to even remember me, to remember how very much I love them.
That was followed by months of being unable to take care of them, of letting others tend to their needs and respond to their cries for comfort.

It was painful.
I disengaged.
In a feeble attempt at emotional self-preservation, I detached myself.

But now there is hope. Hope that I won't have to say goodbye anytime soon. Hope that they won't grow up without a mom. Now I'm the one who takes care of them, who tends to their needs and responds to their cries for comfort.

Yet I find myself still disengaged, subconsciously looking for ways to avoid too much interaction, too much attachment. Like someone who has been betrayed and is afraid to trust again.

I'm still tired, and often very sick. The cumulative effects of the Herceptin are taking their toll. I don't have the physical strength to be the kind of mom I want to be. It's overwhelming physically. It's overwhelming emotionally.

The effects of cancer still linger. I knew there would be residual physical effects. Now I realize there are emotional ones too.

I have to walk now with the same faith that I did through cancer treatment. Part of me foolishly thought that after cancer, life would go back to the way it was before. But it won't. My life will never be the same. And that's good.
I need God just as much now as I did facing cancer. I'm just as desperate for Him. I still need His help, His grace, His mercy, His joy, His strength, every moment.
I trust that in time, God will heal my heart, and give me the courage to let go of the emotional pains, and to allow myself to become fully engaged.

As I walk by faith, in confident dependence on my God, I know that His grace is enough.

"And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." ~2 Corinthians 12:9

4 comments:

  1. Hey sweet friend. Thought of you so much last night. With "no Stephanie" comes a very empty spot. I missed you SO MUCH. And praying for a complete recovery....though I know what you mean about not wanting a complete recovery in the sense of being refined. It's a good pain. But a hard one. I know you aren't feeling good, still. I'm so sorry about that. Let me know what I can do. I was hoping to watch the kids during your next treatment, but the kids have swimming lessons during that time. Maybe the one after that? love you and Praise God for you!!!

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  2. oh Jen! I was sad to miss the annual party of all parties, with so many of my favorite people. I could have easily written about being disengaged from my friends too. :(
    It has been hard to not participate in all of the fun, social activities I did before. It is nice to know I was missed!! Thank you for your faithful friendship!! love you!

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  3. Stephanie, thank you so much for sharing. Your blog is such a blessing to me! We all missed you very much last night. I will continue to keep you and your family in my prayers. Love, Wendi

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  4. Let's get together soon! When can your fam come over? Or we can bring dinner there and enjoy it together! I was also thinking of braving the farmer's market this sat. (Brian's gone). Want to join me? I understand if it seems too hectic.

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