The house was quiet and Dave and I drifted off to sleep with a plan to take the next morning slow and easy. A rare treat as our middle child had been on suicide watch for some time, causing shifts in our sleep habits. All three kids were at a church camp retreat. REM sleep had settled in when a sudden surge penetrated my body and shot me to a straight up position in bed while the words “in Jesus name” left my mouth loud enough to wake Dave.
As I sat, my eyes directed to said sons room catching an eerie glimpse of a dark shadow passing through his door frame. (If you saw the movie “Signs”, it was much like the scene of the alien as he passed by the screen door). No hesitation, I began battling the “roaring lion” that was on the prowl.
Fast forward several years. I grow weary of the battle that still rages in our life. I’m human, after all. I know God is with me. He sustains me and so I press this weakened faith into forward motion to honor Him.
I have come to welcome the mundane, monotonous difficulties of life. Not to minimize the pain that is cancer, but even recent, undesirable findings did not shake me as much as waking each day to continue the 6 yr long dogfight I’ve been in for the life of my 2nd child, both spiritual and physical.
Its a blind battle, that doesn’t pause, but still rages with every breath. Even in sleep which is difficult for fear if I close my eyes, the enemy will gain ground, because every breath is a reminder to him that he hasn’t won. So he attacks, constant, with low blows.
Recently, a stranger challenged me. “What are you doing to take care of yourself.” I searched deep, not for an answer but for a justification as to why I don’t try. My excuse, “taking focus off what my son needs is like asking someone who sits by the bedside of a loved one, teetering between life and death, to go enjoy dinner and movie.”
The challenge of asking for help? It takes more energy and time to explain the situation than it does to just do it myself. I fear undue judgement on my son because of all that he has been diagnosed with. So for years I have chosen to protect him, keep people at a distance, which, in return has built a den of loneliness in which I find no rest.
A prod, a nudge…no a 2×4, hit me upside the head exposing an urgency to reach out.
One reply caused tears of relief, a welcome change as I know tears of pain taste way different than those of joy. An amazing man of God wrote these words, well he wrote many encouraging words but these are what freed me, “You are allowed to rest while we take up the charge.“
This reminded me of a story…
Exodus 17: 10-12
10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.
God never intended us to battle alone.
When we do, even if the effort is to protect those we love from humiliation or more pain, we risk interfering and interrupting God’s message of love and hope that can be given through so many other than myself. We risk failing because I will never be enough for my son and that is ok. If more privacy is needed, then privately ask for help!
One, who is helping keep your arms raised over your battle?
Two, who needs you to be support in their weariness?