Yesterday was a hard day. My eyes popped open at 5:00 am. There’s not much I love and enjoy more than sleep. I’ve learned, though, that during hard seasons this is what God does. He wakes me up before the sun, prompting me to lay my burdens down before His Son. I need time to assess, process, and release my emotions simply to be able to function.
It looks different from day to day. Sometimes I feel it all bubbling up and I know I have to get out of the house. I lace up my shoes and run it out. Sometimes it’s sitting soaking the quiet of the world in, steeping in scripture, and writing in my journal. Occasionally, it’s a blog post.
The fact is, it’s easier to function and be level with all that goes on in Garrett’s day when I do this. Even when I do these things there are days when I can feel it all ready to break over, but I try not to let him see the flood. That’s not to say he doesn’t see me get emotional, he does. But I know my boys, and experiencing mommy do the ugly cry, would only bring them worry.
Thankfully, I do have plenty of people who are a safe place for the ugly cry. Many who carry me with prayers.
The writing helps because I’m a verbal processor. If I’m thinking it or feeling it, I need to get it out, get it down. If I don’t it just rolls around in my mind becoming bigger and scarier than it really is. If I can hear myself say it or read it, it’s easier to combat it with Truth.
The running helps my body rid itself of the stress and energetic build up of emotions. It’s also cheap.
Garrett slept with us, his legs frequently spasming throughout the night. I hadn’t realized this had begun. Things are moving pretty fast. It seems as soon as I hit publish on the last post, we decided it was time to bring the wheelchair into the house. He’s barely able to stand with the walker.
Even though I was up early, it wasn’t a good day to go run. Bob had been out late at the neighbors watching and celebrating the Royals WIN!! I wasn’t confident he’d wake easily if Garrett needed something. But I could feel the threat of not just a flood, but a storm. I sent an SOS text to a dear friend. “I know this is a lot to ask, but G isn’t doing very well and I’m having a hard time holding it together. I really need to punch and kick some stuff in an empty gym.” The response was “What time?”
I punched and kicked and cried and yelled and listened to loud angry music for almost an hour.
Then I came home, showered and snuggled with the little guy on the couch.
I wasn’t really sure what had brought it all on, but when I was done I was grateful that the tears weren’t constantly threatening to spill over. Before I knew it, it was time to get him ready for bed. Often by this time of the day I’m done, wore out and worn down, and Daddy jumps in. For whatever reason, I wanted to do it. He soaked in the tub for a while with epsom salts and essential oils. He kept asking me to do stuff for him. Yes, he definitely tries to manipulate the situation when he can. There are lots of things he needs help with and the number is growing, but I’m pretty hard about making him do for himself as much as he can. When he was done washing, I instructed him from the other room to get out and dry off. I had everything set up the way he needed. I heard him try to get out, but he slipped. He tried again and couldn’t. He yelled for me to come help, his voice breaking.
When I enter he says, “I’m trying to get out, but I keep slipping. I even bonked my head on the faucet.” We try again, together, but he doesn’t have enough control or strength in his legs to get traction and I pretty much lift him out. I thank God I can because there was a time when I couldn’t. I set him on his stool and wrap him in his towel. I tell him to dry himself off. He asks me to, but I push back. HE HAS TO DO WHAT HE CAN FOR HIMSELF.
As he begins to dry off he says, “I don’t know why my legs are doing this.” I’m not sure I hear him correctly and squat down to his eye level, “what baby?” He repeats it and his face breaks. He buries his head in my neck.
This is why I felt the flood earlier, this is why I was prompted to go punch and kick some things. FOR THIS MOMENT.
Yes, tears spilled down both of our cheeks, but I was able to control myself and maintain composure. In that moment, I had the power to be what he needed me to be, strong, stable, and truthful.
There is a lot we won’t find answers to this side of heaven. But I’ve seen and felt enough to know that God is good. God created all of us uniquely and for a purpose. It’s ok to be angry or sad about our circumstances, but we have every reason to believe the plan is for good. When we find ourselves in the pit, repeating what we know is true gives us a firm place to stand.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:13-16
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13
The plan is working. We’re seeking Jesus with all our heart. Our every hope is in Him. We feel His love through the many who are praying and loving us through right now.