It was hard for me to tell how much was simply because of the oppressive heat.
Was it the heat that caused such heaviness that felt like a slab of concrete lying on my chest?
Was it solely the heat that was clouding my mind?
Can I blame the heat for the deep feeling of being overwhelmed?
How about the impatience and frustration? Can it be laid at the feet of the heat that has plagued the area this week?
Most days I am eager to find time to write and am usually gathering thoughts to share here, but not this past week.
I didn't care.
Well, I didn't want to care.
It was the fact that I did and do care about many things, especially people, that added to the weight.
In truth it was the weight.
So much was thrown into the mix.
I would have been so glad to just write it off to the weather, but the burden that burned within my heart and mind, which was bearing down on me, was only amplified by the physical discomfort of high humidity and temperatures.
Unfortunately, it took a good part of the week to admit it.
Yesterday I dragged myself into the rehab for my weekly visit. Everyone was physically dragging, but I had the added burden that was both emotional and spiritual.
Some of my friends there were a bit shaken that Debbie was not her usual bubbly self.
I am always honest with them. It would do them no favor to think that I just floated through life, carried by God and untouchable. It would present an impossible hope for them.
I am carried by my God, but through, not above the troubles of life. They (we) all need to understand this truth. This gives hope. It is my desire to give them hope, so I shared this with them.
By the time our time together was ending I realized that my heart was much lighter.
What did it?
In reflection I concluded that Papa used both my visit with them and a brief visit with a beloved friend just a short time before.
Every week I am welcomed by the residents of the program. There are hugs and good conversation, honest conversation. It always does my heart good. Sometimes I wonder who gains the most from my visits!
The earlier visit with my friend, Joan was brief, as I said, but it was long enough for her to encourage my heart. I had shared with her an encounter I had had earlier that morning. I had needed to reinforce a boundary with my youngest. He did not take kindly to my firm words. It grieved my heart. He wasn't listening to Papa.
Joan's response to what I shared was to tell me that I had done well and good for me for I had done the right, though difficult thing.
I had to rush off from her home to be on time for my rehab friends. Thus no time to digest her words. They worked their way into my heart during the next little while.
Thank you Papa for good friends!
Was that incident what was responsible for all the heaviness I was struggling under?
It took a couple of friends to identify what I couldn't or wouldn't. You see, we are His body and He uses use to minister to one another.
I love having family close.
There is only one hitch to living together; conflict is inevitable.
That is to be expected.
However, somehow everyone has come to look to me to fix all of it!
My friend, Dina, said it sounds like back in the days of a house of teens. UGH!!
I have and will continue to remove myself from the position of middle-momma.
Okay that is one, which by itself is not overwhelming.
There is more.
There are a few family members, both near and far making some poor choices that weigh heavily on my heart. I wish I could make them see their foolishness, but Papa is reminding me that is not my job.
Still not the crux of my burden.
Another good friend, Laura, who also does counseling, made an observation that struck a cord.
It is not unusual for someone to crash after a major traumatic incident in their lives; once the dust settles and reality sets in.
During the crisis one stands strong and carries on.
In my case, by the grace of God I could do much of it joyfully.
Unfortunately, a crisis often carries a number of long term consequences. That certainly is the case for the Reynolds clan.
The reality of my new reality has been wearing thin.
Ray and I had become a really good team. Between us we kept our home and lives running smoothly, at least, on the physical level.
Now it is all on me.
Ray's job had him on the road and he was free to handle many errands.
Banking? I can count on one hand how many times I had to make the trip across the city of Waterbury to our credit union.
Now? Why count?
To be honest, I can handle all of those things. That is part of life and many do it.
The added burden of keeping track of all that goes with Ray's disability; doctor appointments, prescriptions, therapy, disability payments and so on, all need a bit of attention.
Over the past fifteen months there have been numerous errors by doctors' offices, whether sending in updated information to the insurance company, which resulted in denial of benefits, or submitting a prescription; they have all needed to be kept up on. By me.
This week Ray's prescription for his pain patch was not submitted properly, according to our mail order company, so I had to pick it up from the doctor, who is half an hour away and bring it to our local pharmacy. They need to special order it and I am not sure that the insurance will cover it since we are not using the mail order this time.
So many details.
The reality that my life is different and may just be staying this way has been weighing heavily upon me.
My honey looks to me for everything. I have to remind him, very often, that there are a number of things that he is capable of doing!
He thanks the LORD for me each day, which is nice, but I think I was letting that make me feel guilty that I do not want my husband to be so dependent upon me.
One final thing. At some time in the late night or early morning I am awoken by severe foot cramps. Nothing helps but walking around and should I try to climb back into bed, they start up again. This leaves my feet sore for most of the day.
I have shared this for two reasons.
First, because I do not want anyone to ever think that this lady is invincible!
Secondly, because many of you are praying people, so pray for me, for us.
This morning I clicked on my iTunes and chose the play list of my top twenty-five songs.
The first song that played was entitled "New Warriors."
Why Warriors? you might ask.
It is a spiritual battle and we must fight, not give in to the forces that would drag us down and keep us down. These forces are the ones that drag down and keep down our loved ones.
All who are in Christ are on the winning side, but there are battles to be won until that final day. Battles fought and won with the banner of the LORD unfurled before and over us. And His banner is love!
One phrase from the song says,
"He will lead the way."I think, no I know, that I have been trying to take the lead.
Futile and frustrating. For there is no victory without Jesus.
Another song came on and its chorus resounded in my heart,
"Here I am to worship, here I am to bow down, here I am to say that You're my God. You're all together lovely, all together worthy, all together wonderful to me."Time with Him and His lovely body, has lifted the heaviness. Now if He would tend to this oppressive weather!