A Mother’s Undying Wish

I was awakened from a sound sleep by the sound of my cell phone.

In between awake and asleep, I answered the call with a muffled, “Hello.”  Little did I know, a nightmare would ensue which I could not escape.

On the other end I hear fear, which quickly propels my feet to exit the bed.

Her whereabouts are unknown.

She says she is at a certain place, but I do not know the place to which she refers.

Panic sets in.

I simultaneously tell my husband her condition, while asking random questions to discover her whereabouts–

“What do you see around you?”

“Do you know what parking lot you are in?”

We get in the car and keep the conversation going as we drive off in a vague direction.

I tell her to unlock her door, and roll down her window and breath in some fresh air.

“You need to stay awake,” I demand.

I continue with the cell-phone interrogation–

I ask her what she took.

How many.

I want to ask why, but now is not the time.

Instead, I instruct her to keep talking.

Finally, we figure out her location.

As we approach, I see her frame in the driver’s seat–so small in the backdrop of the vast, desolate, dimly-lit parking lot.

I felt such a deep despair overwhelm me at that sight, I still cannot fully articulate with words.

We frantically drive to the hospital and release her into their care.

II

This attempt to end her life was exactly one year ago today.

I have not allowed myself to feel the enormity of this moment.

Oh, I think of it often.  Usually late at night.  I sneak upstairs to make sure her heart still beats.

In relief, I make my way back to my bed.

I guess I am afraid to allow my heart to embrace the idea of her desiring to end her life before its time.

Maybe this is protection on my part.

Maybe because I know this was not her first attempt.

Maybe because I fear it will not be her last.

If there was something I could do, I would do it.

So, I pray.

My wish for her (and her sisters) is simple–that she would love Jesus more than I do.

I say this without a hint of arrogance. Everyone who knows me would attest to the fact that I am head over heals in love with Jesus.

My hope is this great love HE has for her will be reciprocated as a result.

And that this great love will fill the void within.

It is my undying plea I pray on an ongoing basis.

It is not a pollyanna prayer, because I have stood in the depth of depression, and have felt the desperate desire toward death.

But, still.  I know HE is the HOPE that overcomes my momentary ill will.

II

Words exit her mouth the other day, which surprise me and make my heart nearly skip a beat–

She wonders if she can attend a conference called, ‘Passion’, in Houston, which begins on the 30th.

Well, H@#$ yes!

I know every one of the speakers.  I might even admit that they may love Jesus as much as me 🙂

So, my prayer for this weekend is a simple one–

I pray a passion for Jesus will ignite and create a fire for her life she has never known before.

I’ll Be Back

Right about the time Arnold Schwarzenegger was about to lose the battle in one of his blockbuster pictures, these words would fall from his accented lips–

I’ll be back.

Meaning, watch out–he was not finished yet.

I wonder sometimes, will I get back to the person I was before depression sucker-punched me in the gut?

I used to be this bubbly girl, known for her excitement, passion and over-the-top God moments.  Always telling a story–always excited about what God was up to–always encouraging–always smiling.

But, a part of the movie of my life has me looking back to lost scenes.  Ones deleted from my memory.  I am not certain if this was a deliberate decision on my part, or more of a subconscious derailing me from the oncoming collision I was not prepared to encounter.

These short clips have made their way to the surface of my awareness this last year or so.

They are not the kind of scenes I wish to recall.

I would rather they stay gone for good.

But, there comes a time when awareness makes way to acknowledgement.

And acknowledgement slowly gives way to acceptance.

Not acceptance that says this was okay.  But, more of accepting the fact that there was some significant trauma I’ve encountered in my early years that continues to hold me down to this day.

I have never correlated the fact that my depression may be in part tied to my past.  Most often, I attribute it to just something that is part of me that rises its ugly dark head on occasion and attempts to suck the breath from my joy.

But, I wonder if it is more complex a creature.

A licensed counselor commented during a recent sermon that a majority of cases she counseled for depression were because of swallowed anger.

Often times, the person had no idea that anger was even an issue, let alone the cause.

Until recently, I had no idea I held onto anger.  Yet, very slowly I began to seethe at the thought of some specific individuals.  Not liking this feeling in the least, I would diffuse this emotion very quickly by replacing it with a smile.

Here I am today with a smile that has faded.  

But, no more.  I need to deal with this my past.  I need to feel the hurt and pain.  So, I can get through it.

My hope is this heavy hand on my heart will be kicked to the curb in doing so.

And, like Arnold–

I will be back.  

Maybe not exactly the same bubbly girl without a care in the world.  Because, really, she had a whole lot of concerns she concealed that occasionally bubbled up and over, and brought her down.

But, be back, stronger than ever–ready to flex my jaw muscles again.

My hope is for you out there who also struggle to suffocate your hurts–

Allow them to rise to the surface–so they can be released once and for good.

This is Depression

Stagnant.  

This word unceasingly ruminates in my mind since yesterday.

Am I becoming stagnant? 

Sadness permeates into unchartered waters and dissipates my passion.  Will passion make her presence in me again?

The crest of excitement’s waves have slowly stilled.

I feel as one who sits in a lukewarm bath entirely too long.

Damp.

I struggle to remedy this stagnancy I feel I’ve created myself.

Just do something already.

Nothing tastes good to the palette of my ambition.

Is it the stagnancy causing my sadness, or is it the other way around?

 

The bathroom sink was conveniently clogged last night, causing me to focus my attention on her instead of attending Bible study.

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I am not a plumber, but the liquid, who calls herself Liquid Plumber, came to the rescue.

I pour the green concoction into the stagnant water with hopes it will unclog whatever ills block its plumbing.

Nothing happens.

Instead, the still water continues to slowly rise–dangerously close to overflow.

I empty it by the cup load to the perfectly-fine sink sitting beside her.

When the miraculous happens.  I leave the bathroom for just a minute and return to a completely drained sink.

Apparently, whatever sludge blocked its access moved on, and water was now able to freely flow yet again.

Oh, how I long to become unclogged from this stagnancy.

It is not tragedy which causes this dip in emotional stability.  It is the unceasingly slow drip of sadness that causes me to become still, and inevitably stagnant, from the unending disturbance that sits disturbed just underneath the surface.

I cry out from the depths, “Help me–I’m sinking.”

I feel the One, who holds me close in my dark state, whisper to my heart, “Hold on.”  So, I hold tight to Him as I struggle to keep my head above the stagnancy.


How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.

For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.  Psalm 36:7-9 NIV

 

Feeder Fish Mentality

He didn’t see a five-cent fish in the bowl, no, he saw gold. A good thing really for his underwater friend, because had he not, this small goldfish would have been another piece of meat for another variety of finned creature.

Instead, the owner of this small goldfish paid a whopping $200.00 to the veterinarian to remove a tumor in his abdomen.

Now, that is love displayed.

Or, stupidity.  You decide.

If you are familiar with goldfish, you know that they can be purchased for pennies.  He could have easily replaced his finned friend for a small monetary dent in his pocket book.  And, with less effort too.  Just a drive to the local pet store.

A dime a dozen for the feeder-fish variety.

Yet, this man, who had his moment of fame on the news as a result, chose to bypass the quick flush of the toilet for his treasured friend.

Why?  He saw value in this insignificant creature.

I know–for a fish.

But, sometimes I wonder if my worth is of any contribution to society.

And, at the end of the day, would someone want to spend time and effort on me–

There are, after all, other fish in the sea.

Others who do not have tumors that have grown from years of neglect, or, who were not scraped up in situations leaving them scarred for life.

Yet, this school of thought has me thinking this is not necessarily true. If God spent the time to delicately fine-tune the fingerprint on each and every individual on the face of the earth, I would venture to guess He did this as a trademark of His quality work.

So, if you, like me, question your value–know this:

You are of infinite value.  

If you wonder if you are worth it:

You are more precious than gold. 

The One who came into this world to rescue the lost pond-scums of society spent Himself to pay for you–

Because, you, my friend, are more than a mere goldfish in His eye, you are the apple of His eye.

What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.  (Matthew 10:29-31 NLT)

The Hidden Danger of Keeping a Clean House

One day my daughter had a dream about me.  Or, maybe a nightmare would be a better description.

Apparently, I attempted to kill her.  Why?  Well, she says that she came too close to the refrigerator and nearly touched the sparkly clean stainless steel–when I slammed her like a linebacker into the wall.

What in the world?  

She knows not to get her grimy paw prints on my polished appliances!

Okay, I admit there may be a slight obsession over cleanliness.  For instance, why in the world do they feel the need to place a sweaty glass on my granite?

Drives me nuts!!!

Fingerprints, food debris, wet rings, or even worse, when Hubby places raw meat on the counter to contaminate everything in sight with salmonella.

As you can accurately assess, I am a bit obsessive.

I think this is why I enjoy watching shows like, ‘Hoarders’–so I can feel better about my own issues.

Because, really, how in the world do people live in such a mess?

Clutter, clothing, garbage–junk taking up space until there is no viable space left.

If that’s not bad enough, the worst of the worst have not only piles of unusable items, but there are some who can’t even manage to throw the plate of last night’s takeout into the trash, and instead place it on the ground for food for flies, roaches and such.

Crazy. Is it that difficult to just throw it away?

What is apparent is this:

There are deep-seated issues underneath the superficial mess.  

Usually through the tedious process of going through their piles gives way to these underlying issues by breaking down the hoarder’s defenses.

And, by episode’s end, it is apparent this is only an external reaction to a deeper issue inside.

Maybe being a hoarder has its advantages.

People can see how messed up you are.  

It is we minimalists who sometimes have the deepest issues, while our surfaces stay sparkly clean, and without clutter.

Yet, underneath it all, there are small compartments of junk neatly stuffed away, out of visual sight.

Actually, I would rather keep it this way.  Just work on my surface, as so not to deal with my deeper issues.

I don’t like messes.  

I don’t like being a mess.  

But, in order to be the healthy individual I know is in there, somewhere, deep down underneath the messiness caused by life’s turmoils, the internal mess within needs to come out of hiding.

Looked at.

Cried over.

Dealt with.

Cleaning the surface only masks the mess within. 

What about you?  Are you a hoarder–you are a mess and everyone knows it, or, are you a minimalist–clean on the outside, cluttered on the inside?

Good thing about messes, is we are all a mess to one degree or another, now aren’t we?

I am grateful Jesus cleans up our messiness when we allow Him access to our mess.

Sadness Slipped Beside Me

Sadness slipped beside me today.

Unannounced.

Uninvited.

I willed her away, but she stayed.

Disturbing me with her dark thoughts.

Her agenda is always to bring me to despair.

At times, I allow her to remain.  But, not today.

I will fight back.  I am tired of you.  Leave already.

Life is so brief.  

The Bible says it is fleeting.

Like a vapor.  A breath.  A withering leaf.  Reminding me of the brevity of life.

I will not sit idly by and willingly allow her to steal my time.  

Life sometimes only gives us fleeting glimpses of glory–but when we look, really look, what we see is amazing:

The sun peeking out from the clouds.

The wilting flower bursting to life when it receives a drink.  

A friend encouraging me with words of hope.

Gentle reminders of the beauty found in today.

When I look up and gaze around–instead of only feeling down.

Roll With It

Okay, I’m entirely too sore today from the multiple air squats performed two days ago.  Yet, I want to run in the most desperate way, so I pull out my makeshift muscle roller, which is actually a rolling pin, (no worries I don’t bake all that often) and place it directly on the tight muscle–and begin to roll it out.

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This is supposed to help sore muscles mend quicker. I won’t waste your time getting all techie on this–just trust me, it works.

So, when I move it, besides the obvious, “OUCH,” my panicking mind wonders whether I am doing this right, because if I do it wrong, I could cause like heart failure or something.  Yes, a bit extreme, but one can never be too careful.

Since I have not a clue, but someone once told me there is a proper way to do this, I go to my handy dandy Google and ask her.

“Do I roll toward, or away from the heart?”

She immediately informs me that I am to roll toward the heart.  

Okay.  Got it.

Lately, I’ve noticed I would rather not roll toward the heart.  My heart muscle has worked hard lately on issues outside of exercise.

She is worn out.  

Weary.

She needs rest.  

I attempt to comfort her by avoiding anything that might cause her unnecessary pain.

The interesting thing is though, when I don’t work her out, and instead deflect the pain elsewhere, I only risk damaging other parts of me.

This muscle is stronger than I give her credit.  She can roll with the punches of life’s problems.  She can handle the pain.

Has your heart lost the ability to roll with life’s punches?

Trust me, she is stronger than she feels.