Today, upon rising, I found myself…not rising. I woke up and sunk low.
I was wading in the mire of self-pity as soon as my feet hit the floor. It quickly turned to grief.
It wasn’t grief over those who are far less fortunate than I am. It wasn’t a grief over things that should seem to really matter to me. It was just plain selfish grief.
Yes, it was a ME kind of grief. (Don’t you just hate that?)
The day before (and the day before that, the day before that, and so on) I had been reminded of the brain fog of this “condition” that I have and the damage that it has done. I was starkly reminded in many unrelenting ways that hurt my heart deeply. Ways that caused me grief….ways that reminded me that the way my life will evolve and finish is most likely not going to be the way I was conditioned to think it would be.
Ugly and tormenting ways.
It’s not going to be what I had hoped for ~ my mind remaining in tact till the end ~ and part of me thinks I need to embrace that stark fact now. That causes grief. That causes heartache. But it also causes some very good, good things too.
But is the tale of our lives ever really going to unfold the way that we hoped for ~ every good story has an unexpected plot twist, after all, right? Can’t every single one of our lives just change on a dime? What makes us think it’s us who is going to get to choose how things play out?
Arrogance and self are the culprits, if you ask me.
So the hoped-for narrative has changed, and yes ~ it kinda stinks like a trash bin full of gross and disgusting, smelly junk. The plot has thickened, and in some ways, it has thinned out as well. I’m okay with that. I’m just finding that I’m not really doing so well with the fact that I may not be able to be mentally present or “all there” till the end. I may miss out on some of my own story.
My memory banks are cloudy at best. I find myself asking my children to tell me about things that apparently, we’ve already had conversations about ~ recently, even. I grasp for words sometimes, and that never used to happen. Not ever! I find myself checking out, so to speak ~ mid-conversation. Zoning out and going far, far away while someone is sharing an important part of their lives with me. This hurts my heart, friends.
I am also starting to find myself getting scared at times ~ afraid of what may come next. But most of all, when I’m not careful to come to the feet of Jesus quickly, I enter into worry ~ worry for the hearts and feelings of my children and how this must make them feel. I worry, worry, worry. Maybe someday, I will forget to worry at all (that will be a plus!)
And sadly, I find myself not remembering much of the first decade or two of our marriage. I have holes in my memories. But the bulk of where we walked, what we did, it’s just….gone. I don’t even remember some of the places we have gone and things we have seen together, while at the same time, I have detailed memories of others. I have talked about this with my husband. He seems to understand. But it has to be disturbing. It must be really disheartening for him too.
Surrender. The constant need for surrender.
I look at photos and thankfully, with a grateful heart, I remember some of what is going on there. But not always the details. Not the circumstances surrounding life at that time. And that’s fairly new for me, friends.That’s certainly not part of how I thought it was going to be now. I wonder ~ will I remember much of anything five, or ten years from now?
It’s not how I want for it to be.
I thought I would be that exuberant grandma some day ~ the one who would play with their grand kids and tell them wonderful stories about the places I’ve lived, the things I’ve seen, the family stories that help them to know from where they came and what had a little something to do with how they arrived to be here.
I thought I might be able to be that old lady who is sweet and kind ~ the one that you want to come to visit, because although she may be frail, her brain is sharp, and she can sit with you and help you see how great that you are right where you are at. She can tell you why you are so blessed and wonderful, and just how much good you add to the world around you just by being YOU.
It may still be that way. Only God knows. The tale is not finished yet. The tale has yet to be fully told. It might be something even better than what I imagined.
But today, I grieve the loss of confidence in the knowing. The illusion was always there ~ it has just moved a step or two closer to being shattered, and that’s never pleasant.
Truth is more important.
There’s a lot that I thought would wind its way through my life and remain an overall constant ~ a common thread that would be seen from end to end and create a beautiful and intricate, changing, yet grounded story.
A perfect little tale with all the bows and ribbons.
Sure, I thought there’d be some ragged spaces in there ~ but those would be a part of the tale of beauty I’d get to tell that was created out of those ugly and tattered spots. Those most certainly are there, and I am thankful for them. But today I’m just wrapping my mind around the fact that I thought the “end” would be nice and tidy, and it might just not be.
I only thought the middle would be a bit tattered.
So the threads are broken in some places now, friends ~ places that don’t seem to be mending very well. I find myself wondering ~ is the whole thing going to unravel? What will be left to hold it together at the end of the day?
Yes, I keep picking them back up again and trying to melt them back together.
Newsflash to Annie: It’s not working.
And I know why ~ maybe the why is that it’s not supposed to. Maybe that’s the best part of this story.
So, as sad as that part of the grief process is ~ the kind of sad that I felt upon waking up this morning ~ Jesus has, once again, comforted me.
Jesus has, once again, reminded me that He is the author, not me.
Jesus has, once again, brought peace to me through the grief.
Jesus, again and again and again, helped me to feel whole and complete in the midst of seeing full-blown, right in my FACE, the broken threads in my hoped for and meager little narrative.
I have the greatest gift of all, dear friends. I have the greatest gift in my salvation and hope in Jesus Christ.
Not only that, but I DO have a thread that is not broken ~ one that speaks to the redeeming blood and salvation and light of Jesus Christ ~ one that will be there to the end.
One that will be there for an eternity.
And it’s the ONE thing that I will take with me out of this world when I leave it. The one and only thing.
And so today, I shall embrace the grief of the part of my life that’s not going quite as planned~ I won’t run away from it. I will focus upon the many parts of my tale that are beautiful and blessed, but also upon the blessing that comes out of the unexpected and the seemingly taunting and ugly part.
And in that, I will rejoice ~ in that, I will cling to the peace and the joy and the comfort of my One and Only Jesus.
I will still hope that I will be healed and be able to be that older lady (if we aren’t raptured out of here soon) who remembers special things and whose brain, that she thought was left for dead at one point in her middle age years, has become sharp again.
But if it doesn’t happen, and if the tales never get to be told, the story of Jesus in my life is still more than alive and oh-so well with my soul!
The story of Jesus ~ The telling of it with bows and hearts and flowers is neither contingent upon how great we can re-tell it nor the absence of the unexpected we encounter as we move through it. It is not limited by human expectations or abilities. It is not about us, but about Him and what He does for us ~ what He does within us.
He will shine through.
His word is never to return void. God is eternal and his power and ability to change lives is not dependent upon me in any way, shape or form.
And even if I reach a place where I can’t speak with my lips or think straight enough to share Jesus in the telling ~ the way with words I’ve always been able to use to do it failing me ~ He will be there.
- He will be there writing and telling HIS story underneath all that I cannot express.
- He will still be the beginning, middle, and the end.
- He will be the eternal story, the never-ending thread.
- He is the One who never ever changes.
And because He lives in me, my story isn’t really important. Salvation and Jesus Christ is all that matters today, tomorrow, and at the end of our days here on earth.
His story will always be told. And it’s utterly beautiful to behold.
Yes…I think I shall.
I shall look up.
“Lift up your eyes to the sky, Then look to the earth beneath; For the sky will vanish like smoke, And the earth will wear out like a garment And its inhabitants will die in like manner; But My salvation will be forever, And My righteousness will not wane.” Isaiah 51:6
The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” Isaiah 40:8