[headline_arial_small_centered color=”#000000″]There Is No Bad Day[/headline_arial_small_centered]
[headline_tahoma_small_left color=”#000000″]Emotional Trauma[/headline_tahoma_small_left]
Things improved it seemed, though slowly. But there were setbacks. Each day was different, and our son’s mental well-being brought constant anxiety.
The trauma of my illness, and the emotional distress my words had caused that day in the hospital, created severe repercussions with my son. He was not his normal, happy, bright, and loving self, and I still felt weight from some of the responsibility for that. Nan and I cried together every night with broken hearts over our son’s mental state. Somewhere deep inside there was hope he would recover, but when? He had totally changed. He was suffering so badly that he was barely recognizable to us.
He was at home all day since Nan had pulled him out of school, and we lived on pins and needles. Nan became too scared to leave him in his room alone after finding him lying face down in a pool of his own blood apathetic to the fact that his nose was bleeding all over the place after hitting his head against the carpet.
He told us many times that he wanted to be dead. It seemed he couldn’t see anything good about being alive. His face and body were nearly always lifeless, the brightness gone from his eyes. His entire countenance carried darkness and despair. Occasionally he could be distracted from his despair, but as soon as the external stimulus was gone, he would sink back into sadness. We were in turmoil with no idea how to help him.
My continued pain and bloating on top of all this threatened to sever the remaining strands of emotional stability for both Nan and me. We were both in and out of emotional break downs and depression ourselves. Generally I felt OK, because just being out of my prison cell of a hospital room was enough to bring me some happiness whenever I thought about it. The contrast and beauty of just being in the presence of my family, despite the emotional issues, compared to the solitary confinement of the hospital brightened my spirit daily. But the magnitude of the bleakness of our situation still blocked most of the light. We could not see an end to the tunnel of suffering we were groping our way through.
Some part of me knew we would see light at some point, even though there was no visible evidence to suggest it. I still believed this was happening for our good. But how could this be good? I’m alive, but doomed to constant and ever changing pain? And what has happened to my innocent son?
I’ve found that a key to faith is forgetting the ‘how’. The how doesn’t matter. It is irrelevant in fact. And becoming good at forgetting the ‘how’, is precisely ‘how’ to make it through tough times. Worrying about things that are impossible to see in the moment is useless and detrimental. I knew without any shred of doubt that all these things were somehow for my good. I had come to believe that there can be no other way than that, because God would not exist, and therefore I would not exist if it were any different. So I didn’t have to question that premise. And if that premise is true, that every single thing that happens to us is for our ultimate good, then it doesn’t really matter ‘how’ it’s going to work out. I can rest my mind knowing that somehow it will. Trusting that even though I don’t see the way, and even though it may look impossible from my perspective, that God sees it all, and knows exactly what I need to have joy and ultimate happiness. I can’t see everything that is coming around the next bend, nor would it be good if I could.
[headline_tahoma_small_left color=”#000000″]The Radar Screen[/headline_tahoma_small_left]
The amount of possibilities in life we can see or even imagine is like a radar screen on a ship. There are countless things happening across the ocean, but in our ship all we see beyond our immediate proximity is what shows up on our tiny little radar screen. We can’t see much, a fraction of one percent of everything going on in the vast ocean. But that doesn’t mean things aren’t on their way into our view soon. It’s the same in life, as we move forward, new things, people, and circumstances will show up that we could have never even imagined, because they were off our radar screen. But they will be the very things we need to solve many of our challenges.
We don’t know how it’s all going to work out. But it always will. We don’t have to worry about how things are going to happen. The ‘how’ is almost always off our radar screen. We just have to trust our feelings, given to us by our creator. He knows exactly what we need and when we need it. Everything that has shown up is for our good. We can learn from it and benefit from it all in some way. And we can feel the things off our radar screen, even when we can’t see them. Certainly God sees everything coming our way, and we can learn to be guided by Him through our feelings, rather than only trusting what we see. “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)
So how was Abe being intensely depressed and sad beneficial for him or us?
I don’t know. I don’t claim to know how it all works. But I still believe that good will come from it and that even though it was the last thing on earth we could have wanted, there is some benefit to be gained from having experienced it…for him and for us.
But thank you to my wonderful sisters for saving us Thanksgiving week! Three of my sisters and their entire family’s came to be with us, literally giving us the strength to carry on. The distraction of having cousins in town to play with was heaven to both Abe and to us. He got lost in play and became mostly content. Whew!!! How desperately we needed that reprieve. And the emotional support from loving siblings recharged our souls.