Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Through Fire, Water....and Fog.

I am writing today because the fog seems to have lifted. And it's a good feeling being on the other side.

Over the past few weeks, maybe even months, I have been stumbling. I've been faltering. I have taken my eyes from victory and set them on the depths of the dust of this frail earth.

Depression is not a stranger to me. It's in my genes, it's a weakness in my nature, and it is most certainly bottled up in the unnatural hormonal birth control that I am so hopelessly afraid to stop taking.

And it's not something that happens suddenly. For me, its entrance is insidious. I barely notice it. It's a pattern of thoughts and feelings that I push down and try to replace with good ones, only to find myself daily weakening. Until I suddenly look around and realize, in my own distorted perceptions (Jeremiah 17:9, "the heart is deceitful and beyond cure...") that I feel completely trapped by my circumstances.

And yet, looking back over these weeks of tears, I can honestly say I wouldn't trade the opportunity of these dark times.

The hardest thing for me during these times has been feeling that I am failing as a child of God. That, sealed by the Holy Spirit, cleansed by the blood of Christ, I should never feel anything but the fullest of joy, and peace and patience in the waiting. That I should be able to rise up on those eagle's wings and soar above the whole mess of things and feel rest in my soul even when everything feels like it's falling apart.

As parents of young children, we get so slogged down and exhausted by this world and it's necessary procedures. Now matter how much time I spend seeking the Lord, the refrigerator still has to be cleaned. And sometimes, I'll be honest, that has felt like an insurmountable task.

That feeds the hopelessness.

And no amount of: "it will get better" helps some days. Because some days my sight is failing me, and the days blur together until they're the same and my purpose feels dulled by activity. Running in 20 different directions, and never getting anywhere.
I hit the the end of myself. I always do, and after the initial terror of it all, I am always grateful.

If I never felt so weak that I could barely stand, I would never know the sensation of being Lifted up and Hidden away.

I never would have seen the heroic side of my husband that I have seen these past few weeks.

I am endlessly thankful for the man God gave to me, who has shown me forgiveness, compassion, and courage when I have lost sight of them myself.

I'm starting to come back to life.

Had to claim a weekly morning to go running on the beach and watch the sun rise and embrace the silence.

Miraculously, and through the grace of God, The Dude is now sleeping through the night more often than not...with a record 11 hours in a row a few nights ago. But he has partially outgrown his nap, which makes for some long days, and long evenings on work days.

His tantrums and energy and profound cuteness make my life a series of highs and lows.

Aquaman will be 5 in September. He is a treasure. A juicing, swimming, monster jam playing machine.

I am up to my neck in 2 little boys. I long for even more of them.

Our floors are wrestling mats.

With the boys becoming more independent, my body becoming a little less weary, and my list of more urgent responsibilities shortened, I finally have a few minutes to make our little townhouse prettier, cleaner more organized, and more like home. It's crazy how much that helps.

We threw away the crib, and it felt good. Our next baby will probably never sleep in one anyway.

I guess for me 32 years has been a new form of adolescence, with re-exploration and self-discovery. Only this time it's been an "us" discovery. It's been frought with doubt and insecurities that I thought were long past. But I'm emerging with new God-confidence, and a new appreciation for the unique contribution we can make as a family here on earth.

My husband and I will probably never be who everyone else wants us to be. But we're probably not supposed to be that anyway.

"God has made each couple with the freedom to create their own family culture. The sooner you decide to embrace your own values, preferences, strengths, and weaknesses, the more you will become who God made you and your husband to be."
-Sally Clarkson

6 years into our marriage, but a new family culture is emerging. I'm going to embrace it.

I'm going to spend this summer making a lot of cookies and wheatgrass juice, catching a lot of waves, and reading a million books- kid ones and big people ones. Going to dig deep and remember where I came from, and look bravely and boldly up into where we're going- together.

Going to cheer until I'm hoarse for every single little victory that no one else may ever see.

Going to remember that winning looks different for everybody.

Going to dream about the future, but leave it wide open for God to move.

I'm not going to take for granted the joy that's in my heart today, as He leads me beside the still waters: because the darkness will return again someday. And though I walk through that shadow of the valley of death again, and though I will be sorely and unabashadly tempted, I will not fear the evil of it.

"We went through fire, and through water; but You brought us out to rich fulfillment."
Psalm 66:12

Rich fulfillment. Isn't this what we're all looking for?
As expected, 6 months into 2013, and it has been a year of testing for our family. We have almost drowned. We have definitely been burned. And most recently we've been stumbling through quite a bit of fog.

Rich fulfillment is coming.

"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers." M. SCOTT PECK

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