Called out of Death

I have spent the past several months waiting and wishing for change.  Hoping that my body would hold out, make it through today, and that tomorrow would pass and the next day and the next — before I realized they were gone.  So that I could make it.

I have cried at the end of long days, because tomorrow was going to hit me again.  I have escaped into movies and TV and tried to hang on while caring for the basic needs of my family at a deficit that seems inhuman.  The truth is, it wouldn’t matter if I slept or rested all day, I would still be tired.  So I do the things I must.  Or just the things I want, some days, and thank God for that.

Sometimes suddenly I’ll get slapped with a jerk of energy and can whip the house into better shape, take care of a project that it overdue for attention, give the kids a good bath….

My husband has been the best cheerleader.  My children so forgiving.  It is humbling.

One day I was at the 40-day countdown.  Maybe more or less….but either way, it felt like the end of a pregnancy.  I am overready but the circumstances are beyond my control.  40 Days seemed like a long time.

I just want to be finished.

Then the Lord started speaking…. I am calling you out of death, and calling you into life.  Each step, each day, a little more hope, a little more faith, a little more trust.

Each day a little more life.

Today I am at 19 days and counting.  (I feel like Mom Duggar… that sounds like a lot but to me it isn’t.  I would gladly have 19 children.  Can I be just as glad to do 19 more days of torture to my body and then gladly submit to the surgeon’s knife?)

I could beat myself up about this, because at least I am not battling actual death, but it’s like running a race on glass shards.  At moments I just want to scream or hit the wall or lock myself away or just leave and go to the beach forever.

It takes more than myself to calm down, look this Zombie in the eye and say, “You will not rule this day.”  Then deep breaths and trusting God about all of it.  Submitting to the long-term walk here.

Then reentering into my family life.

God, thank you for getting me this far.  Give me new hope for today.  Fresh life for today.  I cast out death for today.  Wanting to die… or just to be asleep all day… ignoring anything that doesn’t matter, including the dishes in the sink or the piled up laundry… ignoring my fatigue because it will be there whether I sleep or not.

Lord, thank you for delightful things to enjoy…. like helping my friend give birth this week.  Like taking my kids to fun things today and tomorrow and the next and the next, already planned, like a beautiful symphony, ready for me to enjoy each day… because you have filled my days with life.

When I was in college and I struggled with depression, I had no idea that those skills would come in handy and be built upon during this season.

And I have heard you say God, that I am in for some really great things… and now I am seeing how some beautiful things are on their way.  I trust you, God.  Thanks for helping me, again and again and again.

Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Thanks for Reading, Friends.

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My Monster Story

I am asleep when I see the monster the second time.

She remained placid as my family descended into a dusty basement with shabby stairs.  She had something to show them, she said.  Her salivating malevolence was held in check until she had them — Trapped.  Doomed.  Screaming.

Part of me, the real me, was an inactive partner hung on the wall.  I watched in confusion and horror as this ravenous zombie emerged and made a big mess of the people who I loved.

Momentarily, my dream fast-forwarded and I was myself again.  Days later; fuzziness gone… I was home from a hospital stay (with frightening memories of being in a straitjacket).   No one knew why I could not account for the monster or the massacre.

My mother, my brother, and a panicky, wild-eyed cat were all that remained, and they did not — could not — trust me.

Police lined the streets outside, ready to take me down if I tried anything again.

I wake up in a solid sweat; it is 6:15 in the morning.  Tears pound up from the depths of my gut and my wretched body lurches to the bathroom, only to sense that the evil monster is not only a dreamlike companion.

She is real, at least in the spiritual sense.  She wants to take me over, but she is not winning, and she hates me for it.  She stands heavily in the hallway as I pee forever into the commode…. horrid and uncomfortable side-effect of Spironolactone medicine… for Conn’s Syndrome.

Is that all I have?   Truly?  One disease, or one possible tumor…. or is it more than just that?  She makes it clear.

Don’t jump ahead of me.  I am not haunted.  I am not possessed.

No.

My family is under attack.  And I must take a step to fight this morning.  First, to rid myself and my home of this sickening horror that is suddenly hovering.

“Get out of here, In Jesus’ Name.”  I actually speak out loud.

She stares lustfully and violently at me for a moment, but then she turns…. and obeys under the Power that assists me… and she walks out of my home.  She is not to return if I have anything to say about it.

“Lord, fill this house with your love, your light, and your peace.  Cover me Lord.  Cover my family.  Protect us, God.”

I refuse to stop fighting… for my family, for my body, and for my peaceful home every day.

She does not define me.

I hate that damage is done.  I hurt that my life has become less structured, more organized by energy slots and holding hands with those who can understand and help a bit here or there.  Frustrated by a light “at the end of the tunnel,” not here yet.  I despise that my children and husband are exposed to this… a disease that makes me a tired mommy, an uninterested partner in life.  Disheartened at  losing my temper and seeing my child be mad at doctors for taking my blood so many times.  I dislike watching “Special Agent Oso” and not doing a fun activity.  I am heartbroken over our finances, which worsen along with one tiny little monstrous thing manifested in my center.  Devastated to realize just how long I have lived with the symptoms, as well as the guilt, fear, self-manipulation, and anger that it fostered into my daily life.

No.

I thank God for bringing this issue to light; for giving us good doctors, and for giving us the wisdom to fire the bad ones.  I am thankful that we had paid off so much debt already; this will not sink us.  Thank You, God, for providing help from friends new and old.  Thank You for a church that believes in prayer; for the comfort of a hand on my shoulder and the counsel of those who have walked similar roads.  Thank You God for a husband that has become so supportive; a distracting job on the side; the supernatural energy to help others.  I will celebrate every little thing I can.

Life was not originally designed to be so painful.  All of our lives, at this very moment, are truly about Someone far greater and the war being waged against Him daily… and against those who even think of following Him.

I do not desire to run away from the battle.

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“God!  Help me, help me, help me!  Thank you, thank you, thank you.” — Joyce Meyer

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Job 1:18-22

The Message (MSG)

While he was still talking, another messenger arrived and said, “Your children were having a party at the home of the oldest brother when a tornado swept in off the desert and struck the house. It collapsed on the young people and they died. I’m the only one to get out alive and tell you what happened.”  Job got to his feet, ripped his robe, shaved his head, then fell to the ground and worshiped: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, naked I’ll return to the womb of the earth. God gives, God takes.  God’s name be ever blessed.”  Not once through all this did Job sin; not once did he blame God.