Just Turn The Page

Just Turn The Page: September 2014

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

LEAN HARD

The past two weeks have been very difficult. Last summer, my mother was diagnosed with a life threatening illness. A rare disease, Scleroderma is a hardening of the connective tissue. In some cases, only the skin is involved, in other cases, like my mother the disease spreads to the vital organs. I call it Pinocchio’s disease, because the only way to describe is to imagine Pinocchio—the wooden puppet. Her limbs and joints have lost all elasticity, all muscle definition, and looks and feels like wood. Her kidneys have shut down—hardened by the disease, she has been on dialysis for about a year now. Her heart too, is not working properly and she is need of heart surgery; however, the risks of heart surgery seem to outweigh the need—a double edge sword. The first week of September, she had a stroke.

We have been estranged my whole life, and reunited through Christ Jesus in 2008. However, the distance and the demands of life have kept us from really connecting and healing our relationship. Yet, I have had a few treasured moments with her this past year—Divine Interruptions—if you will. Moments, I plan to share in due time. Nonetheless, her illness and suffering has had a profound effect on me. Sometimes the grief in my heart threatens to choke the very life out of me.
The family dynamics makes dealing with her illness particular hard for me. Unfortunately, I am still the outsider. Nothing I say or do—changes that; however, I do have an Aunt, and an amazing husband beside me. I do not just grieve for my mother, but for the family I have been estranged from my entire life. I know my siblings are close to my mother, and this is unbearable to them. Even as a Christian, knowing my mother is suffering has been very hard for me to reconcile with God— I cannot lean on my own understanding. I cannot imagine how they are dealing with their grief. So, I pray. I pray for them. I pray for me. I pray for my mother.
STILL my heart is grieving deeply.
My mother is three thousand miles away. She can hardly talk, because of the stroke, so chatting on the phone is a challenge. Really its me trying to decipher her words, and stifling my tears. The world is not stopping and allowing me time to process my grief. Some days the tears will not stop. Try studying the Grapes of Wrath through tear-stained glasses. Her days are numbered. My heart knows. What we could not have this side of heaven—I know we WILL HAVE one day in eternity.   
Too be honest, and at the risk of sounding severely selfish. I do not have time to grieve. I am finishing my last year of studies for a BA in English, I am homeschooling my firstborn son—a freshmen in high school. My second daughter is finishing her senior year of high school, and I still have one in elementary school. My husband and I have been in a financial wilderness; literally, living on daily manna, for two years now. Life changed. Friends disappeared. The list of demands increases. I’ve dropped the ball—a few times. Not to mention, other concerns and cares...and the list goes on. I am being stretcheddddddd! I know—I am not the only one.
STILL my heart is grieving deeply.
Lean Hard those words glared at me, as I read my morning devotion. I am grieving. I am being stretched. Many things do not make sense to me, at least not right now. The only thing I can do is Lean Hard.
Child of My love, lean hard,
And let Me feel the pressure of your care:
I know your burden, child. I shaped it;
Balanced it in Mine Own hand; made no proportion
In its weight to your unaided strength,
For even as I laid it on, I said,
“I will be near, and while she leans on Me,
This burden will be Mine, not hers;
So will I keep My child within the circling arms
Of My Own love.” Here lay it down, nor fear
To impose it on a shoulder that upholds
The government of worlds. Yet, closer come:
You are not near enough. I would embrace your care;
So I might feel My child reclining on my breast. You love Me, I know. So then do not doubt;
But loving Me, Lean hard. (Cowman, L.B. Streams in the Wilderness emphasis mine) 

I didn’t write those words, but those words are powerful reminders to us all to Lean Hard and Just Turn the Page!

 

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