When it’s Hard to Get Back Up

downI was surprised when tears began to flow down my cheeks as I expressed my discontent with myself to my husband. I knew I was sad, lethargic, lacking discipline and motivation, and all-around discouraged about where I was at personally… but I hadn’t realized there was so much there that it could launch tears through the floodgates
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For several months I lingered in a state of pensive, self-evaluation as I looked deep into a sense of loss I felt. Precarious health, a swift transition into the new identity of “Mama”, a good dose of nasty postpartum depression, and a sudden cross-country move all piled into a cataclysmic event that left me slightly dazed and confused. I had been analyzing the disappearance of direction and searching high and low for a “newfound purpose.”

I grappled with the cosmic-sized question…

“What is my purpose in life?”  …Only to slam the door shut when the enormity of it overwhelmed me.

What a gargantuan word that truly is.

Purpose…at this point it was synonymous with terrifying.

Especially when I couldn’t answer the questions that should naturally lead you to the conclusion.

“What are you passionate about?”

Not much of anything anymore….

“If you had one year to live, what would you be doing?”

There were several months where death truly lurked around the corner for me and I still couldn’t answer that…

“If you could do anything in the world? What would you do?”

Well… hiding in my house is not really an option so… I guess I’d…

Maybe I’d like to…

My shoulders would slump, I’d let out a sigh, and resign…

I just don’t know.

Life has brought about so many changes for me in the last several years. All that was comfortable and secure has been shaken up, shattered, rearranged, and put back together in the most bizarre and abstract ways. Sometimes I feel like I’m standing in an art gallery, trying to make sense of the “big picture masterpiece” God is creating of my life, and feel like I’m looking at of mixture of Picaso’s art and Freud’s inkblots.

masterpiece-looks-like-fingerpaint

Whatever happened to a good ol’ Norman Rockwell?

Over and over and over I tried to stand up…

And I fell back down…struggling against an invisible weight holding me down.

Impossible to get myself up….

And yet… that seemed to be exactly what God wanted.

A friend shared a verse with me recently, and I’m sure she had no idea she was ministering to me when she did it, but look what it says:

isaiah 52 2

Isaiah 52:2

For some reason, in this particular situation, the way back up was not an outstretched hand… it was her own hands. Hands to brush off the dust, to place firmly on the ground and hoist herself to her knees… hands to grab a hold of the bands and break them off her own neck… hands to grab something and pull herself back to her feet.

Productive hands.

Even though it seemed impossible at the time, I took the scripture to heart.

Most people don’t know that I have struggled since my CVST. Things don’t come as easy as they once did. My brain was injured and my eyes don’t work like normal anymore. The area of my brain that interprets what I see was damaged and everything I see is warped. My brain gets tired a lot faster. My thoughts aren’t as quick as they used to be. Even though by all accounts I appear “recovered” the residual aftermath is something I battle silently every day. But I quit looking at the chains. I quit sighing about the dust.

I thought about the things I knew I needed to do and the things I dreamed of doing. They were daunting.

To lose 80lbs. To write a children’s book series. To earn my own income. To start a hospital and nursing home visitation ministry. To record a kids radio drama series. To have a thriving prayer life. To read God’s Word until I feel full every morning. To be a better wife. To learn fluent Spanish. To learn how to play the piano well.

The mountains seemed tall and the chains were heavy to lift…

But it had to be my hands. I wiped off the dust. I pushed my aching, stiff soul off the ground. I got to my feet and I started trying again.

I haven’t come close to achieving everything. I’m not running marathons or anything…

But in the last month I have lost 16 pounds. I wrote and published the first book in my children’s series. I started a work-from-home job. I’ve been mulling over and brainstorming the visitation ministry idea. I ordered a couple devotionals to ramp up my devotional life…

I’m back on my feet now.

I’m climbing again…

A helicopter didn’t swoop in with a rope to pull me to my feet.

A gigantic bodybuilder didn’t come and break the chains…

I had to shake the dust off…

I had to pick myself up off the ground.

I had to take a look at the mountain and make a decision…

Am I gonna climb again?

I had to use my own hands.

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