The hard fought health of a year and more comes crashing down in ruins. Without warning. The week starts out with signs of it but she tries to believe that it is just a bug. She can barely believe her body would have the nerve to fail her so perfectly, so speedily when she has put so much care into it these past months. When all had been tracking so well. But now a battle is being waged inside. Being cut to pieces from the inside. She prays it never reaches the outside. Her days resort to horizontal, turning electronic pages filled with angels and monsters and it feels so very real, like they could very well be warring inside of her.
Defeated. Laid low.
Easy to feel this way. For one who never sleeps in the day, sleep comes often and stealthily but her dreams are restless. With each new bout of stillness, it feels like more life has been stolen away. As if sleep is actually stealing her little by little.
The effort it takes to stand to walk and down the stairs to join in with her other real life is overwhelming. Plans have to cancelled one day and then the next, day after day, and the guilt at having to bow out on life eats away at her. Bribing her children with buttons for the treat jar if they can play for an hour without any intervention or fighting as the need to lie down simply overpowers her.
The pain of her insides is not unlike the first throes of labour but unlike that pain, this pain has no elation and happy ending in new life. It is merely pain for pains sake.
She feeds her body full to the brim of medication: pentasa, panadol, buscopan, probiotics - all the while willing them to work. To work NOW. To do something.
She hates the strain this has put on him. Having to be father AND mother these past few days. Doing everything he normally does (which is a lot already) and still more. Wondering how she will ever make it up to him and realising actually she can't.
All she can do is pray. Pray and wish. For life to flow back into this wracked body. For energy to return. For pain to cease.
This time a week ago they were sharing a wonderful family adventure together exploring an island in the harbour. Today is so different. She can see the harbour still but only from on high. As one imprisoned in a castle tower might look out on their freedom wistfully.
How loosely we hold it in our hands when we feel no risk to our safety. Never imagining a threat could be lurking around the corner just waiting to ensnare us. The thing is I know the scent of freedom. I have loved it, lived it, embraced it. So I will not give in to this captor. Not now, not ever.
It may have won a small victory. It may have brought me to my knees. But it will not win the war. I am stronger. He is my rock. I am fixable. He is my Healer. I am his delight. He is my Saviour.
I love these words I read today over at A Holy Experience:
The tough things in life teach us, train us and tenderize us. They make us wiser and more equipped to love others like they really need to be loved—with empathy and honesty.
When we’re most acquainted with our needs, we are most drawn to God’s provision. When we feel our tears, we can better feel the pain of others.
Every day in darkness there are a million reasons to get bitter and quit. But, there are also better reasons to persevere. The path, even in the dark, is purposeful. The trials God allows are not without meaning and reason. We all have days in the dark.
Beautiful, and just what I needed to hear.