life, My Faith

Be held

I took a little step away, which I do when life gets busy, but this time it was simply because I was, and continue to be, overwhelmed. I often use this blog to process the things and yet this time I have been processing them to myself and with the actual people in my life (probably to the point where they are about ready for me to come back and process here and give them a break.)

In the aftermath of the heart malfunction of last week, I’ve been trying to convince others that it’s all normal, somewhat to try to convince myself. But at some point in the last few days I admitted that there’s nothing normal about what’s going on, and quite frankly the whole thing scares and overwhelms me. I mean if my knee goes down, I learn an alternate means of life. If my heart goes down, I’m toast.

And I’m frustrated. And I don’t understand why we’re walking this road. And even though it’s a road that people are walking with me, it’s also a road that feels very lonely.

Let me tell you the truth about me in case you’re one of the people that doesn’t know me in real life. I am not a hugger. In fact I’m uncomfortable with actually a lot of physical touch. I don’t know why. Nothing weird ever happened to me but I don’t particularly enjoy hugging. Maybe part of it is letting people in close enough to be comfortable with the vulnerability of hugging. I have gotten to the point where it’s less weird when my people hug me, so there’s been some improvement.

I say all that preface to say a few days ago I was sitting alone, in the dark, very overwhelmed and uncertain of the outcome, and I found myself thinking it would be nice to be a hugger. To just have someone hold you, let you cry and tell you everything is going to be ok. Because it doesn’t feel ok.

Everything feels out of control. Right when everything was looking up, I felt the season had changed and I was ready to take the lessons from the last season and use them for this season of only blessings. But I guess there’s not really too many people who have seasons of only blessings.

I like control. I’ve said that before. And every other time I’ve been able to get my heart back into control when it acted up. But this time was different. No matter what I did, it did whatever it wanted to do. It feels so out of control and vulnerable. A little bit broken in all the ways.

And yet I see God’s provision in some of the things. He gave me people who still, despite the fact that I don’t understand it, love me broken. Tuesday night was rough and I was just wishing for someone to talk to, when texts started coming and one of my people said, “what are you doing? I’m calling you.” I wanted to say no because the tears don’t cover well over the phone, but my people don’t take no for an answer anyway (in a good way). She’ll never know what that call actually meant as she spoke the words I needed to hear, listened to me cry too much and prayed over me. And for the first night since the ER, I actually got at least half a decent night sleep, as I let go of the fear that if I slept I might not wake up, as if staying awake keeps anyone alive. (I’m a nurse. I realize that’s stupid.)

I still fight the demons, the ones that try to remind me that I need to pretend to be “fine”. They still tell me if I don’t get it together my people won’t love me. Yet this time even if I want to, I’m having trouble processing this latest challenge. I don’t know what to do when life is so out of control, except keep grasping for what it means and keep trying to manipulate the outcome, even though I know it’s not really a thing capable of being manipulated.

I read the endings of books first a lot of times. I don’t like surprises. Only I don’t know how this one is going to end up. I don’t even know with certainty how long the book is. Life is scary and messy and uncomfortable. And so here I sit, uncomfortable for many reasons (not the least of which is I can’t take a shower while I’m wearing this 48 hour heart monitor…how vain is that?)

I want so desperately to go back to being inspirational and fun and enjoying the blessings, to give you meaning that I found in my walk, but here we are. Back in the mire, uncertain of where we’re heading or what the outcome will be, facing too many unknowns and scary possibilities. And feeling very alone, even when surrounded by people.

And I don’t know how to process it, so I just keep trying. If you live in my every day, I’ll just apologize in advance for the fact that you’re probably sick of hearing about it. If it makes you feel any better, I’m sick of it too. But I don’t know how else to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Tomorrow I get to peel 10 pounds of tape off my adhesive-allergic body (and hope to keep a little hide in the process) and turn in this heart monitor. I hope it tells us something of the devil we are facing or helps decide that it’s probably fine (unlikely as that may be). The little hope I do have is anchored in the hope that whatever it is is not life changing or earth shattering.

Regardless, this season may very well prove to be as challenging as the last, and at this point, I’m not ready for it. But in the messy, ugly, crazy of the last, there were some big blessings (my people for one) and some big growth. I hope that I can be strong enough to find my way in this season as well, to find blessings in the challenges and to make it through, not unscathed but with beauty in the broken. To find that ever-elusive trust that I want to have and the faith that it’s all part of the plan. I pray for these things: faith, hope, trust, and to find love and joy in the journey, no matter how hard or easy it may prove to be.

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