The title says it all……I am struggling. I am struggling to keep my sanity as my mother’s declines, I am struggling to keep my head in the game, I am struggling with the fiery darts that are coming our way since we sent in our applications to teach spoken English in China this summer, I am struggling not to be ugly to others because I am a swirling mess inside and I am struggling to not rail at a loving God for allowing all these things to go on.
I know that my mother’s situation is not going to change other than to get worse, but I know that I can respond differently. This morning I failed miserably with that task. My father is retiring at the end of this month. Something that I never thought would happen, but at almost 84 years old and having worked for 55 years he deserves to retire. I wish it was because he really wanted to and not because he has to. Anyway, he asked if my son would come over to help my mom for the day. I told my mom when I would be dropping him off three times in a phone call yesterday and I told me father again when he called last night. My mother called again this morning asking when I was bringing my son and I was not patient, nor was I particularly kind. I did not respond differently.
My husband and I put in our applications to teach spoken English in China this summer. I went last year and through the changes in my heart and my descriptions my husband worked really hard to be able to take the time off required. Last year fund raising went so well and this year it’s moving inordinately slow. Others who were with us last year will not be, one family has had a significant emergency which may prevent them from going and others from the outside have been questioning my decision.
I am admittedly not handling the swirling emotions that are vying for time in my head. I am so tempted to push Jesus off the throne of my heart and sit there myself because “I can do a much better job.” I am struggling to find my place and purpose in a time and space that feels so foreign and uncomfortable, and I so want to throw my hands up in the air and give up. Not so I can lay it down at the foot of the cross….just give up. I know I could easily sit in a corner and do nothing while the world passes me by; ok maybe not but it feels like it. <shoulder shrug> I am struggling.
Today is the day that my father has his procedure. Usually I am the one who is not worried, but I must admit I am concerned this time. I think I failed to realize that I have not truly embraced the idea of not IF, but WHEN. I know that the outcome is in God’s hands and His will be done, but what will I do if His will is to take my father home?
I am not a worrier, my mother has that particular skill covered and so does my one son. however, to admit that my flesh so wants to worry is shaking my foundation a little and making me feel vulnerable. Growing up it wasn’t a good thing to open yourself to be vulnerable because that was something that wasn’t forgotten and brought up as an arrow to the heart to make you feel guilty later on.
I know that I should count myself lucky that I don’t have other family to battle over my parents leaving this earth. There will be no epic battles no other opinions, no hurt feelings and no sibling shouldering most of the responsibility. But I have to be honest, right now I would welcome some of that. Maybe because I don’t really know what that is like, to have to argue over every little detail or wish that my brother or sister would help a little to ease the pain and lighten the load.
I guess my biggest struggle is accepting that I have to leave this in God’s capable hands and grasp that whatever happens is within His perfect will even if I don’t like it. It’s just HARD. It’s time like these that, I think, test my faith. I can be all about prayer and being in His will until a really challenging trial comes and that is when I feel like I crumble like a cookie dropped on the kitchen floor. It feels like I hear this in my head more often than not (Matthew 14:31) “Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” I wonder if I don’t inwardly become that little child throwing the tantrum and scream, “I WANT IT MY WAY! IF THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN I DON’T BELIEVE IN YOU!” I know that is the devil getting a hold of me and me not listening for the still small voice or waiting for the moment of peace to over come me. What I really need to rest in is 1 Corinthians 2:3-5, “I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, 4 and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.”
The power of God…..and a mighty power it is, rest in that.