I was thinking about the past few months and what a ride it has been for myself and my family. Here’s a quick re-cap…Nathan was born Feb.19th, end of March I got e Coli, a week later I found out my kidneys were functioning at 16% and that I already qualified for a transplant, in May Chris (we) got a new job, then May 17th my dad died unexpectedly, 5 days later our family was on a plane to China for a month long trip we had planned. So that’s the backdrop of this post.
I’m strong. I’ve always known that. There is a deep strength in me and while all of this has been going on I’ve felt that strength. But it’s not all from within. You see, this crazy storm wouldn’t even allow me to fully catch my breath before another wave was taking me out and tumbling my heart around. This storm had/has potential to push me to my breaking point. I want to share this because I think we can often see how strong people are but not know the battle that is going on within.
To get through this season I’ve had to pull into community and refuse to let myself become isolated. Part of that is unhealthy in that in keeping busy I don’t have to deal with the storm in my heart. But I also know that some storms can’t be calmed in a day and you need to find a way to weather it out. Being with others has helped me keep my head afloat despite the storm. This community has been our church praying for us. It’s been family just being with us. It’s been my husband spending extra time with the boys to give me mental and emotional space to process even when he’s tired. It’s been him just being present which keeps me feeling grounded even though the storm has not completely calmed. It’s been his arms around me when the pain of losing my dad feels like it’s knocked the life out of me. It’s been a new feeling for me to need him as much as I do right now. Remember, I’ve always been strong. But I am learning what strong can mean beyond just the strength from within.
Being strong is letting others help and care for you. Being strong is seeing a counselor, knowing that if you don’t work through some of these feelings you will not be able to move forward like you’d like to. Getting help from someone who is trained to walk you through these storms. Being strong is admitting you can’t do everything that you could do even just a few months ago (even if it hurts your pride/ego). Being strong is setting boundaries knowing that you only have so much you can give right now, and if just taking care of yourself and your family is what you can do it’s okay. Being strong is walking through the greatest grief I’ve ever known, rather than running from it.
Being strong is also knowing that those who wait and hope in the Lord will renew their strength. Being strong is seeing that even through all of this He is working. He is leading me and taking me to a new mountain that I’ve never been on before. He is taking me to a level of strength I’ve never known before. Freedom I’ve never known before. Healing I’ve never known before. While I don’t believe He caused the storm, I do believe He will use for good.
So though some days (most days now actually) the storm seems to be behind me, there are still moments when I get caught off guard by waves. Be it a thought of my dad, a kidney report that my function has gone down a little, fighting with the reality that my diet needs to drastically change to heal my kidneys, or just keeping up as a mom/wife with my energy (emotionally & physically) not being what I’m used to. I know the waves can not crush me. I will keep walking. I will let Them (Father, Spirit, Son) carry me and let my community walk beside me into my healing. Into my freedom. Into my wholeness. Into joy. And on the other side of this storm, I will walk in a new and deeper understanding of who He has made me to be.
So though it’s not always easy, we are never alone, and it will be worth it.