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13 April 2009

Down the hill, Easter, other thoughts

I had so much on my mind Saturday when i started that other post, but i didn't get them finished. Last night i realized i would not be able to complete it & so posted it as it was.

So, guess i'll try to work thru some of the things i was thinking. If i get thru them, this may end up a long post. (I always feel like i
need to apologize for being verbose. However, i usually enjoy other folks' longer posts of thoughts!)

Also, here are some pics of the mountains headed down the hill yesterday. Yes, the mountains still have snow. We had a skiff of snow Saturday AM, tho it soon melted off. There are places in Bear Valley that still have quite a bit of snow, mostly drifts in the shadow, but our yard is clear of it. It still gets cold at night! Sunday AM when we got up for the sunrise service it was 20 F outside.

There was a lot of family down the hill. Fun to visit, but the migraine made it a bit more difficult. I'm not a big crowd person at any time. I like people! But i prefer to be in small groups or one on one. So the noise & sunlight was hard & i didn't visit much. I also had some vegetarian issues. It can be hard when family don't understand.

I really want to talk about some other things that may sound self-pitying, but i don't pity myself. I get frustrated & discouraged.

Last week dear friend Dawn reminded me of some realities. I'm almost afraid to share them because so many people don't understand. I have moderate to severe chronic fatigue. I guess the actual term is Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS). I also have fairly severe Epstein-Barr virus, both chronic & acute. With the chronic fatigue goes adrenal fatigue & some heart issues as well. I began having arrythmias last summer. They come & go, & calcium-magnesium help, but the arrythmias make me very tired. I recently wrote about trying a "blitz" cleaning in my kitchen, & 1 hr & 40 minutes put me in bed for 3 days. I look normal. I feel that i am normal. It feels to me that if i just pushed harder i could get past this. But it doesn't work that way. Someone truly normal feels better after exercise. Me, i want to curl up & die.

But most people just don't understand this. And so i feel lazy. And i feel i haven't much value.

Dawn, with 20 years of experience with CFIDS, gave me some hard facts. I'd written about feeling discouraged about my first week of attempting to lose weight. She let me know that my goals, currently, are not realistic. Until i address certain physical problems & have them under control, trying to lose weight with calorie restriction & exercise could make me very ill. In my heart i know she's right & i need to listen to her wise counsel.

Part of me was thinking, "If i can't get pregnant & have a baby, at least i can try to be thin again." And part of me wonders, "What value am i? If i can't do anything, am i worth anything at all?" I mean, honestly i'm talking about doing dishes & laundry. That is a struggle.

I was reading a blog on managing money. He had a whole list of suggestions for different kinds of ways to make extra money in the current economy. Most of them are simple, but they are things i cannot physically do.

And so the question also comes, with my current physical health, how could i possibly carry a pregnancy & survive? How would i care for a little one, whether by birth or adoption? Now, i don't rule out a miracle. God could surprise us & bring a baby. Duane & my MIL would do much of the work. It might happen yet.

Still, i believe i'm being called to accept where i am. I need to come to terms (title of a blog of similar sentiment) with where i am. A childless life, not by choice.

Part of me still says, "Of what value am i? Worthless." But that is not what God says. He sent his son to die for me, that i might live. Ten years ago i would have been suicidal at these feelings of worthlessness (but then i was on psychotropic meds then, too, which i now believe to be poison). As i wrote in another post, God doesn't compare me to anyone else. Not someone with more wealth, not someone with more energy, not someone more successful, not someone prettier or cuter or with children. He takes me as i am.

For some reason, the verses from Philippians 2 come to mind:
Let this mind be in you that is also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal to God, but emptied himself taking the form of a bond servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.
I can't say i understand this, especially the robbery equal to God, some versions say ". . . did not regard equality with God a thing to be grapsed . . ." Can't say i understand that any better. But what i do understand is that Jesus humbled himself by being obedient. For him that led to the death, burial & resurrection we celebrated yesterday.

Just a few verses later it says:

. . . work out your salvation with fear & trembling for it is God who is at work in you, both to will & to work for his good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing . . .

I know there are debates about this verse over good works/grace. I'm not going there. I'm focusing on "God who is at work in you . . . for his good pleasure."

I don't know why, but it is God's good pleasure for me to be exactly where i am right now. I don't know why. God does a lot of things i don't understand. Maybe (& this is only my speculation/opinion) when things we find painful happen, it is God's good pleasure that we wait on him to work it out. I'm imagining it to be simlar to a child who is patient & obedient even when something unpleasant is happening. Say, a broken arm & the child is patient & waiting as the parent takes him to the ER for Xrays & to have it set (tho i know in general this is not how things go these days). The child doesn't like the pain of the broken arm & doesn't understand what is happening; the parent doesn't like the pain the child has to experience, but the parent is making decisions best for the child, & the child trusting the parent knows that the parent's choices will be for the best. (Not a real life scenario, i know, but i can IMAGINE!) It would be the parent's good pleasure for the child to be cooperative & patient.

For some reason, it is God's good pleasure for me to be exactly here. To wait on God. Both Duane & i are very aware that God promises that all things work together for his good for those who are called according to his purpose. There is no promise that the things we hope for will occur. But i do trust that what he is planning will be for good, tho maybe not good as i see it with my limited vision. God is calling me to be where i am now, & accept it.

I'm not a fundamentalist. I don't believe that God causes each & every thing that happens to us to occur. I know other Christians do. God stands outside of time - i don't think we can even comprehend that - & so he sees all things at once. He is the same yesterday, today & forever because he is not bound by time. He promises that it will work together for his glory. I don't know why it should be that our not being parents would glorify him. Duane would be such a wonderful daddy. He loves kids & they love him. I've always loved babies & wanted nothing more than to have them, to raise children, & to help them grow & learn. I also know many, many other couples in the same situation.

There is an old Depeche Mode song called "Blasphemous Rumours" that has as part of its lyrics:

I don't want to start any blasphemous rumours
but i think that God's got a sick sense of humour,
and when i die, i expect to find him laughing

And it wouldn't surprise me either. (LET ME FINISH HERE!)

Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
1 Corinthians 1:25

I think that when i die, then i will understand what i need to (i can't imagine me questioning God, "Why didn't you give us children"!) & that God will be laughing with the happiness that we are in his presence & finally understand.

It doesn't make sense to me that Duane & i should meet so late in life that a family is only wishfullness. It doesn't make sense that someone as wonderful as Duane should choose me at all. It doesn't make sense that i should desire so deeply to be a mama, & only meet him at the very end of the ablilty to have children. It doesn't make sense that the only confirmed pregnancy we've had would end so early when our baby's heart was still beating. So many things don't make sense & they look like a sick sense of humor to me, here & now, but they are God's good pleasure. They will work for his glory, tho i can't begin to see it. And when i die, i expect i'll find him laughing. Because then, then, then . . . all these things will make sense.

There is more to be said, but i think this is enough for now. I need to accept that for whatever reason, & despite my best efforts (you wouldn't believe all the things i've done to try to recover my health) it is God's good pleasure to be who i am now. And that means a person who is childless, & has no energy. And yet, and yet, for some reason i can be happy here. I can rejoice that God doesn't compare me, that he loves me (even as i feel worthless), that Jesus died for me, & that i wait on him to see the unfolding of glorious things.

Let me add one last thing. I believe this is where God calls me to stand. Maybe because i'm old to have a baby & not in good health. Maybe to learn to trust more. I don't know. But i'm not saying this is where all folks trying to have a family should be. This is the path i feel i'm called to walk, not a condemnation of the path of others.



Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Happy Easter...thank you for stopping by my blog. Come back soon and meet Baby Jack...our miracle boy.

Rosemary said...

Kathryn - I do understand a lot of this that you're feeling. Now no one can completely understand because they aren't you and haven't walked your path. I have a friend who always says about our mutual friend that many of her issues are because she "doesn't own her disease." That's true about her, but not about you. You are working through it. You aren't looking for easy answers and you are amazing courageous for what you confront that has happened or is happening to you in your life. That is very brave and I admire you for that.

Everyone is going to give you advice about children and the desire for them. I'm not, because you already know what you know and you probably don't need more things to consider. But, in the short time I've "known" you via what you write here, you have an amazing heart and a clear head and you will work this out. Whatever is the path you are meant to walk is the one you'll get through. I wish you much happiness and peace.

Just one thought - there are lots of people who get kids, have lots of energy, and do not appreciate or cherish the kids they get. Why it happens, I don't know - but having a chronic disease is no reason not to be able to be a parent. Okay, I'm going to step off my soapbox now. Big cyber hug to you!

byhisgracealone said...

I noticed that you were a follower of my blog...and I have been over a few times to visit and acquaint myself with you...

reading this post has left me quieted...silent in whatever small bits of wisdom I might have...but as I read I was reminded of C.S. Lewis' wise words... ..."relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done."

I shall be back....
blessings to you