For a supremely focused on details have to know what is happening at all times person…walking by faith is not my default condition. As a matter of fact at 42 years young I am learning that when taken out of the control all things – predict all outcomes – prepare for anything bubble I’ve lived in all my adult life I become agitated, aggressively protective of all things I deem to be mine, and my mind skitters out of control. It triggers deep anxiety, panic attacks, and depression. It also triggers a no filter ready fire aim reflex that has consequences I can’t even begin to see in my agitated state. It’s confusing to those who know me to be kind, loving beyond measure, and deeply compassionate. Who is this monster saying these things? For me it’s frightening in it’s intensity and after shocks. It’s like waking up after a car accident where you didn’t even realize you were driving and being surrounded by bodies…
I’ve always attributed smaller episodes like these to be my “Mama Bear” syndrome. Do not – under any circumstances – mess with one of my children. The consequences have always been swift and razor sharp. There are more than a few teachers or parents who made the mistake of singling out one of my children as an example that can attest to this. Or a school district who failed to recognize the patriotic importance of Memorial Day as the case was. Or a coach that didn’t recognize family time on an every other weekend schedule as more important than a Sunday practice. It has always been an involuntary launch at whomever made one of my children cry, made them sad, or threatened their welfare. No thought process just “go”. And if you draw tears from one of my children – for any reason – I see red. Just…RED.
As I am learning daily grief when Fred died literally stopped time for me. The kids stopped growing in my mind. I stopped my life. Sure, I did things. Traveled, worked, had friendships. But I made no significant progress at healing or recognizing that life should continue on. I started counseling and stopped when it became uncomfortable or hinted at those things needing to happen. I avoided people who needled me about the kids needing to have outside interests. I mean we were having fun and seeing the world – what IS your problem?
I DEFINITELY resisted the call of God in my heart to lean on Him. He took my husband away. Just three short years after taking my grandfather, the only father I had really had, away. Why on earth would I trust GOD? My life had been a series of heartache, pain, and bad events. Birth defect, abusive mother and a series of step fathers, now the loss of my beloved spouse. Didn’t He just put me on this earth to suffer? No way He wanted me – I was just His punching bag.
With all three children out of the house now I have no distraction from the call of God. And with the pain I’ve been in for the last almost year and a half – I’ve got no other option but to feel His pull. As I’ve learned to lean into Him the gentle nudge I’ve been given is to walk with Him without knowing what is next. Walk by faith not by sight. Without knowing if my children will be ok. Without knowing if I will be alone forever. Without knowing if my health will stabilize. The repeated message – in so many different ways I’ve lost count – is “Trust me child”.
My brain wars with itself every single day. The old demons are still there. The gentle peace I’ve felt small tastes of are there too. Some days I get a headache from telling myself to let go and just trust. Some days He sends so many signs I’m surprised He hasn’t taken out a billboard (He did three times on the way back from Lubbock a couple months ago). He’s provided me with a church that lights up my curiosity about Him. He’s provided the NEED for the peace of prayer. I know He can but He hasn’t gotten me completely past the anger, anxiety, and depression. I assume He’s still teaching me something with that. Some days I wake up so tormented it’s a wonder I can function. USUALLY those are the days I wind up praying so hard it’s amazing I do anything else and by the end of the day I’m peaceful.
The message in all this rambling? If God can take me…someone who literally has felt most of her life that she was being punished…and make me understand I am His child? Walk by faith. It’s HARD. I struggle with it and probably always will. But I’m learning He has a plan for all of this crazy life. And I’ll be ok if I trust Him.