He commented that even in the midst of the worries and decisions we were facing, he felt the last 10 years had been good ones.
I scoffed and said, “The last 10 years have been a disaster!”
- I had cancer,
- I was chronically ill, sick often and so badly that I couldn’t talk, walk, breathe!
- I lost the quality of my life, my work,
- I was so sick some days that I was unable to be active and involved with my kids..
John looked at me in surprise..
In that moment of stark honesty, I looked at my life in reality, rather than what I had hoped my life would look like – and my sadness and disappointment fueled the intensity of my statements.
When life throws you curve balls how do you respond? Do you fight back, give up or pretend everything is fine?
I realized that as great as it was to be physically well again, I hadn’t accepted or grieved the truth of the past 10 years of struggle… the highs, lows, the places I handled it well, the times that I blew it…
I was pretending that I had moved on, that in my gratitude for being well again and the miracle that God had works… I was not willing to be honest about the sorrow and anger I felt.
But it had been creeping out…feeling unmotivated, afraid to make plans, was resentful of the things I had missed out on… guilty over being sick:
While I was so sick, John made kids lunches and did the morning routine with tour kids. The steroids gave me insomnia, so sleeping was iffy, often coming between 5-9am. I was grateful for him doing this and how their relationships got stronger. And, I was angry and sad that this was reality for so many years.
For a long time, whenever the kids talked about this, I would get defensive or begin explaining, feeling diminished and like I had failed as a mom. Over time, I learned that they weren’t saying anything negative about me, but praising their dad… my story and my anger and sadness, got in the way.
As I begun to realize this, I have been able to stop myself when these topics come up and just let them be. It still makes me sad, and I still battle feeling like a lousy mom, because moms do the morning routine and make lunches- isn’t that a rule somewhere?
Being honest about this struggle and the uncomfortable places God has allowed me to wander into and stay has helped with healing, letting go and growing in my faith.
Through the process of owning my story, which includes dealing with a chronic and debilitating illness for 10 years, I am accepting the reality and slowly making peace with it and learning from it.
It is hard.
Painful and grueling and sometimes I would rather just pretend.
Recently I read Undone: Making Peace with an Unexpected Life by Michele Cushatt and it is one of the BEST books I have ever read to understand the reality of living through and in the midst of struggle or difficulties. Here is my review! If you preorder the book you get a free print of her cover – a great reminder that God with you is in the midst of the unexpecteds.
Can you relate? I would love to hear your stories and how you have handled struggles in your life… Please comment below.