Sunday, August 21, 2016

The far better thing...

It's been a while since I last blogged. Ironically, that last post was about dealing with my emotions - the very struggle that's kept me from writing since then.  I've mastered avoiding my feelings, hiding in my work, and pushing it all deep, deep down inside.  What I haven't begun to do is allow myself to experience my feelings and truly delve into why I feel them.  Instead I've allowed them to run amuck, bubbling up at the most inopportune times.  I boo-hooed my way through a day and a half of being a helper at a weeklong Conscious Discipline conference without telling anyone what was going on (I finally told the rest of the helpers Friday night).  I had a complete meltdown while driving my husband from an appointment with his oncologist to drop him off at work one day, not because of anything we'd learned from the doctor, but because I was just that tired of spending my summer driving him around (and because Triangle traffic puts me in my survival state).  I get angry at friends and family for not helping.  I get angry at them when they do help.  I still, whenever John is sleeping, check to make sure he's breathing.  EVERY.  DAY.  

But my biggest emotional moments have to do with guilt.  I'm struggling, daily struggling, to accept that John and I won't have children.  I've been thinking it since he was diagnosed, I feared it even before then, but now I've started occasionally saying it out loud in an attempt to accept it.  When I think about it I cry, and if John's around I feel guilty for crying.  I feel guilty for not being content.  I feel guilty for wanting more.  I'm afraid that he feels guilty for us not having children and for my state of mourning (for there's no other way to describe it), so I feel guilty for making him feel guilty.  Then there's the fact that I also feel guilty for worrying about whether we'll ever have children when I should be worrying about my husband's health.  Throw in guilt for not being in contact with or fully present for various friends and family members for the past 9 months and I'm just one walking ball of guilt.  

Growing up in the church I was raised to believe that we put our faith in God who always has our best interests at heart.  Somehow through all of my childhood drama (house fire, mother's liver transplant, grandfather's suicide, etc) I had this warped sense that I couldn't feel or express extreme emotions other than joy because to do so showed a lack of faith in God.  I've always felt like I've had to be strong, to stand tall in the face of adversity.  Yet somehow I seem to have missed until recently that God wants us to turn to Him in our sorrow, in our anger, in our guilt.  He is our strength.  

And so I see two of my worlds collide:  my work in trying to identify, experience, and tame my emotions as well as my understanding of God's love for us and my place as His child.  I'm starting to realize that maybe they're not really two separate things.  Maybe God gave us deep emotions to further turn us toward Him.  Why do I think I can't experience emotions that God himself clearly experiences, too?  Any why do I think I can possibly earn his love on my own?  

And so I end on this note:  Yes, I'm sad.  Yes, I'm angry.  Yes, I'm scared.  Yes, I feel guilty.  And for all of these reasons I feel unworthy.  AND YET.  To God I'm worthy, not because of anything I did or didn't do, but because Christ is worthy.  Because Christ's death is our death, and when Christ was raised we were raised, too.  And because if anything good is not given to us now, it is because God has something far better.  Right now I need to trust in that far better thing.    

1 comment:

  1. Right now, you need to know that God is working in you to make that far better thing even as you write--even as you grieve and feel anger and name your emotions and truly feel them as you teach and drive John around and sit with them and grieve with him. God is working that something far better every day. I believe in you. And love you. And give you permission for cuss-praying to be your spiritual discipline for awhile if that is all you can do. God is big enough to handle it. God did with me...until I could find real words to pray again.

    "I just want to cry,
    I want to sit in your presence and cry,
    So hold me now and let me rest safely in the palm of your hand
    As I cry..."