When you lose sight of the prize, you often lose the fight.
That would summarize my life for the past few weeks. And, often, when I get in a funk, I just stop writing for lack of inspiration. That's partially why this blog has been pretty silent for several days. Like a big, red, painful zit, everything just seemed to come to a head. But, that bad boy wasn't popping; it was simply festering.
I hit the year two slump many people go through when they've lost a close loved one. In many ways, getting further away from Mom being gone is more painful than when she first died. I tried to busy myself with details and happy thoughts but, like the tide under an otherwise still body of water, there was this underlying sense of discord. It permeated everything in life: my attitude, my eating habits, my sleeping habits. EVERYTHING.
I was hit by information from all sides about the kids. And, when my kids hurt, I hurt, no two ways about it. Even being proactive on the issues the boys were dealing with didn't seem to help. I felt like I was simultaneously stepping on the gas pedal while someone was mashing on the brakes. I was just burning rubber, making no forward progress.
But, the last issue seemed to be the hardest to deal with. Unlike so many American workers right now, Mike is busy with no end in sight. In fact, things just keep getting busier. That, of course, means more of me has to be available longer hours with a stressed, exhausted, short-fused husband on the side. And while I am immensely grateful for gainful employment, I am also being pulled time-wise, energy-wise and emotionally in ways that aren't healthy or sustainable.
This is a time-worn thing for us and I'm sure for so many: when work duties crank up for one person, family duties necessarily shift from one person to the other. Often, this happens so slowly it isn't immediately apparent. But, when I start shouldering much more work than usual and the burden gets too heavy, resentment begins to set in. And that creates more stress where the stress level is already high.
Sadly, because the process was so gradual, there wasn't conversation along the way about this being "temporary" or "ending on such-and-such a date". There was simply a change that felt permanent to me. And, in my crazy state of thinking, I could no sooner see an end to this or figure out how to juggle the changes than I could see that this would all work out better if I would just turn it over to God.
I realized all this over the weekend. I felt myself spiraling down. And, because I've hit the bottom of a long, ugly, painful spiral in the past, I decided to throw my legs and arms and back into it and try to stop the free-fall.
So today, I'm fessing all this up and asking you guys to pray for me and my family in earnest.
I'm getting back into a Bible study in just a few days and have started praying daily for everyone around me, especially my family and neighbors, who are affected by my funk, either directly or indirectly.
I'm using Lent as a way to treat my body as the temple God created it to be by changing the lousy eating habits I've been using to comfort myself. Oh the irony of using junk food to "feel" better....
I'm pressing forward regarding the kids, asking God to give me a clear picture of what needs to happen in all the circumstances I have concern. I can't do it all, but I can do some of it. And what I can do, I can do well because God didn't give me these boys by accident; He wants me to succeed in parenting them.
I'm praying that Mike and I can establish work boundaries that are healthy for both of us. Maybe that means some non-critical things will fall by the wayside for a short period of time. Some things I find important may have to take a back burner, too. It might mean that I have to learn to be a single-parent for a few weeks or months. I don't know exactly what it will look like, but I do know something has to give.
I share all this because I know I'm not the only one. Your issues may not be exactly the same, but I'm sure you have some.
I'm not looking for pity. I'm not wanting people to try to help by stepping in and taking over. I don't want anyone feeling sorry for me (save that for someone who is truly in need.)
I'm wanting my family to pull together and figure this one out, with the prayers of the faithful under girding us as we go through the process. I'm looking for signs of God along the way, answering prayers and directing and guiding us.
I'm wanting to find myself conquering this latest battle with minor depression. I'm expecting the blanket of "can't" that comes from the Devil finds itself thrown by the wayside, replaced with the light of God and the spirit of "can", as in "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength". I'm wanting to come out of the other side of this grateful for the journey.
Thank you for being a part of the process. Thank you, in advance, for your prayers. Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts, even when you disagree with them and they piss you off and make you wonder how in the hell we are friends/related/acquaintances.
Thank you for being your authentic you.
And, I promise, in the very near future, with your prayerful help, I'll be back to my happier, grateful, authentic me.
See you on the other side.