Hail Mary?

December 17, 2008

So, to catch up or recap: My dad is home from the hospital, his heart finally being “cardioverted” into sinus rhythm on Monday by a shock the heart procedure (sort of sounds like shock the monkey, doesn’t it?). He is expecting to have double valve repair/replacement surgery in January. My mom and I got him sprung yesterday, and then I went to two pharmacies to obtain his various prescriptions, and then helped my mom sort out which drugs needed to be taken when and at what dosages. He is reacting to the Lovenox (basically heparin, a blood thinner) shots he must give himself for a bit, by bruising and swelling, so he is expected to consult his family doctor this morning to make sure that he can keep taking these injections. He needs the Lovenox until the coumadin (another blood thinning medication) level in his blood reaches a certain sweet spot…my parents are exhausted, emotionally and physically, and now must brace themselves for the holidays which will be followed by major surgery. I think that my mom is trying mightily and valiantly to stay well enough to handle all this — and if sheer force of will matters in one’s health (which clearly it does), hopefully she will be strong enough to get through my dad’s recovery. Chance is a good thing, at least.

Tim…well, he has had some interviews, good ones he believes, but so far, nothing has broken. We talked this morning (despite the fact that Abby had a two hour delay for what appeared to me to be nonexistent snow and ice). Painfully talked. With tears and all. And came to the inescapable conclusion that he will probably need to be willing to travel. By not putting his hat in the ring for jobs all over the country, he has severely limited his employment options. We had not wanted to get to the point where he would have to travel, because we did it for two years, and it’s no great way to run a marriage or family. But then, neither is being broke. So it appears — that unless something breaks in the immediate few days — Tim will be looking into travel, at least for a time. I mean, my daughter needs to go to the eye doctor, and my sons need to go to the dentist. And there’s that pesky feeding the family thing…sure, Tim traveling at the same time as my dad has surgery will suck. Big time.

It’s funny — my last post where I was trying to figure out God’s character seems like an eon ago. In the intervening few days I have been reading Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest, a sometimes impenetrable but often incredibly wise devotion. He writes, “My questions come whenever I cease to obey. When I have obeyed God, the problems never come between me and God, they come as probes to keep the mind going on with amazement at the revelation of God. Any problem that comes between God and myself springs out of disobedience; any problem, and there are many, that is alongside me while I obey God, increases my ecstatic delight, because I know that my Father knows, and I am going to watch and see how He unravels this thing.”

Well. There might be a reason that my own devotion book could be entitled, My Half-Assedness for His Mediocrity. ‘Cause, dudes? I am so not there right now. I’m trying, really really really trying to obey God. To believe in His goodness. His mercy and love. His complete understanding of circumstances about which I am stuck in my tiny postage stamp sized perspective. But here’s the thing: I feel like I’m dying inside right now. Like I can barely take a whole breath without collapsing in on myself. There’s so much hopelessness in me right now, not just about the job situation, but god, about so much else that has been so terribly painful of late. Still, I am seeking Him, and right now, it feels as though He won’t be found my me. I know that my feelings don’t represent truth, but right now, that doesn’t make my feelings any easier.

I so want to believe, I even choose to believe in the God who loves us and wants to bless us with good gifts. And I know that doesn’t mean that He erases all suffering or all difficult decisions. But frankly, I fail to see (again, think postage stamp perspective) how Tim’s traveling could be the best thing for our family. Oh, it may be the best we can do right now I guess, but the best best thing? Really?

So today, to reference the title of this post (which proves that Dan’s football mania has permeated every aspect of my being!), I feel like it’s the last few seconds of Some Big Game that can only be won by a successful touchdown pass. I’m the quarterback and quite possibly the wide receiver (control freak much, Beth?), and I am lofting the ball in the air while gigantic defensive players swarm me, having broken through my offensive line and trying to get the sack. So the ball is in the air and I’m about to be knocked down hard. But I will attempt to peer through the rubble of players atop me to see if maybe, just maybe, the ball is caught in the endzone. And then I’m there in the endzone with the ball coming toward me, too high and with a bit too much spin. But that won’t stop me from jumping for it, from trying to feel it reach my cold fingertips so that I can bring it close in to my chest. I still want to believe that the win I desperately desire is within reach somehow.

Oh, but I fear going in to the locker room, broken and bruised, having lost. The consolation of that loss would be that if in some way, some way that is stupid clear to me, I could find God in all this. Not just God who will help me survive, to put one foot in front of the other (though mind you, I really need that God), but God who will give me hope for the future, God who will comfort, God who knows and still has a plan for goodness here in my life. I need to see and feel that God right about now. I need a reminder (remember, stupid clear) that faith in Him is never in vain. Please, please, I need Him right now to penetrate my frustration and sadness, to show me Himself.

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3 Responses to “Hail Mary?”

  1. As our good friend Bilbo would say: “Suck.” I’m sorry to hear things are difficult for you connecting with God. I also know these situations are tough because, as we’ve discussed, it’s not easy to give advice to people who have been walking with the Lord for a while. All I can say is we love you guys and to hang in there! I realized last summer when I was laid off that crap is going to happen whether I follow Him or not, so I might as well stick close.

  2. Beth said

    Sean — we love you guys too and had so much fun hanging out with you. I’ve come to the same conclusion — either stick with Him or not. So I’m sticking with Him.

    And John — we miss you guys tons. Let’s change that.

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