MY Yoke is Heavy!

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Weight!  So much gravity to responsibility. My teens and their life, literally, and future, their character and growth. My husband’s relief and support and this thing called marriage. The women and young ladies I serve who ache, are lost, hopeless or even simply eager to learn. The angst of my friends who battle giants. My own character development and faith walk. The hands on the street stretched out while the other holds a cardboard sign. Money, possibly, the heftiest of all burdens for many. I work, more hours than I rest, put have no income. Short list not all inclusive.

A lightened load I seek. God says, “then lay down what I never asked you to carry. I ask that you become like Me, not that you are Me.

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The Gift of Pain!

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The aftertaste of sorrow lingers. Still existent but no longer all consumed by its grip I manage to gasp for breath. Moments at a time, life begins its return. Coffee with a friend, here. Date with my husband, there. An unforced smile manages to break through on occasion. The thickness of grief prevented it before. But Light has broken and darkness is not so black as it was. Deep gashes and slashes in the soul begin to merge together again. Because this place is not foreign to me, I have confidence that time will heal. First one step, then another, each stronger than the one before. Though a sense of “why” may never be made, purpose will be found.  He promises it. I trust. It’s faint, but there. This pain will be a gift.

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Subtle Lies that Haunt Us!

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The tone of the tall grass merges with the dirty yellow of his mane. No movement, no sound. None are aware of his presence. He observes.  A moment of weakness rises as one prey lets his guard down. Predator edges closer. No cracking of dry grass beneath his feet warns imminent danger lurks. The prey, oblivious to his surroundings, is hit as predator leaps to attack.  He never saw it coming.

I relate to the prey, often unaware that a beast hides in the shadows. He detects, more than I, my vulnerability and my doubt. He waits for it, then feeds on it.

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When they can’t Love you Back!

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“What do you think my love language is, Mom?” he asked.

“Well, there is a test you can take on line,” I said.

“Yeah, David was telling me I should take it. Will you help, in case I don’t understand the questions?”

“Of course!”

We were late for church but when my son asks for emotional help or growth, I refuse to brush aside the rare occurrence.

A quick search and the window popped up. We read…
“For each set of statements, select the one you prefer the most,”

No awareness on his part but I was all but ignorant of the sadness each question built on, not his, but my own.
An ache clinched my heart as truth was revealed; love is a foreign concept for him.

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Blessed! “I do not think it means what you think it means!”

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Sitting among a group of peers, in true “round-table” fashion, each had a story of hollow wombs and vacant arms coupled with the slightly unconventional way of filling the desire, deep-seated need, for children.  Some early in their journey, others veterans of the system, we each divulged details of the miraculous way God had built our families.  Conversation was deep, enjoyable and even beneficial until one comment stopped my heart, to which I mentally had to force myself to breathe.  Three words were uttered that crushed my spirit, heart and soul and provoked me to evaluate my faith.
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Laughter Through Tears is my Favorite Emotion!

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Secret struggles plant hidden seeds of anguish and distress that, when never faced with the light, remain grounded in a darkness and spread and infect the rest of our soul.  Laughter is to this bruising, as light is to dark; the latter always succumbs to the presence of the former.

Lights flash, people stare, their imagination fills in the story from their 10 second exposure as they drive by the 911 scene.  Being in the middle of this reoccurring scenario has made me numb to the onlookers.

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Battling Alone is Never His Plan

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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.

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Perfect Timing!

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Left leg crossed over right knee, I bounced it out of boredom, partly, and partly out of irritation.  The clock behind the receptionist counter revealed the Pediatric Ophthalmologist to be 30 minutes behind schedule and nothing in the pages of the Health magazine between my fingers was to hold my attention or the attention of my 3 young children in tow.

Grace, Teresa, have some grace. (Sigh)

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Sometimes the Lines Fade!

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Death wasn’t the goal, escaping pain was. Sometimes the line between fades.

Alone, she sits on the wall mounted desk that lines the concrete wall of the cramped dorm room. Harrowing memories have seized control of her mind. Replaying like a horror film are past abuse, pain, accusations and haunting whispers of peers. Attempting to break free, vigorously, she shakes her head to erase the graphic visuals, but unlike an etch a sketch, nothing dissolves.

Her feet carry her to the vanity where a reflection of undue shame grips her. Empty, prolonged stare. “You fail, you quit, you strive with no victory,” whispers the image. No need to shout since she already believes them true.

“Now, you only burden others.” She winces at the new weight placed on her. A brutal reality of darkness circles more than her eyes. It hovers. Consumes her soul.

She dissolves the trance, and drifts around the room, only to return to the twin bed, knees caressed tightly to her chest, imagining God, anyone, cradling her. Sleep, her escape, peace; that is the hope as she rocks to and fro.

Hope descends as voices of ridicule and condemnation heighten and multiply. Deep echoes of disdain cause her awakened state to remain. Both ears now hidden under polyester fiber, she presses the pillow tightly. Her attempt to hush the tongue lashing against her spirit fails.

Upright she returns, panning the room.

The tinted, transparent bottle that sits by the bed appears to animate. It says, “take two more, then you can rest.”

A twist of the cap, a slight pause, then she complies. Before the lid can be replaced, it alleges more relief is to be had. “Two more will ensure deep sleep, enough to silence the anguish. After all, they are ‘pain’ killers.” She repeats, again and again, two by two, until the bottle that, moments ago held a month supply, mirrors the depleted existence of her being.

She lies back. “Finally, I can rest,” she says. (I said.)

A miraculous turn of events that follow enable me to pen this story some 25 years later, yet recent events in celebrity news have once again revived the emotional tightrope someone “like me” frequently can find them self teetering on.

A choice, an illness, selfish at best, damning at worst, a monster, an attention tactic, a demon, a spiritual issue, a physical infirmity, an emotional disease? So many recent blogs, accusations and defenses, about suicide and all it’s ramifications. Advice and opinions, some soothing, but some dreadfully offensive.

I’ve been the one to believe my life to be more of a burden than a gift AND I have crossed the river to the other side where I’ve devoted years battling for another’s life whose perception is tainted with deception and disease.  At some moments, I fight for both life and death simultaneously, but I will save that story for my book.

All lead me to one truth…

God alone can judge the tormented heart of one who struggles with despair and whose lines between truth and fragments of have faded.

Dare I say we show ignorance if we attempt omnipotent understanding through our regret or anger?

Insensitive are our words when we confine the act of suicide into a contrived formula of right or wrong or try to extend assumptions that will define once and for all, the intricacy of the human mind entangled by an emotional disease and a depleted soul.

Absurdity is amplified when one broken human being dares to call another selfish. (Tea kettle…black?)  Fighting to stay in it is a choice some will have to make every day for their remaining existence on earth…who is willing to forfeit the rest of their life, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to support a depleted spirit or hear the anguished cry for the thousandth time and be able to bite their tongue instead of expressing their own weariness of another’s inability to “suck it up”?

I neither condone, nor condemn, that which I empathetically can relate to so deeply from each side. To say that a successful suicide is either selfish or damning or that it was more a choice than the result of a monster illness is not ours to judge.

It’s only our call to love and forgive. 

I whole heartedly believe in the hope found in Jesus Christ.  I am working on a book that chronicles just that.  Intentions of this writing is only to free some of the need to know why so that love, forgiveness and healing can begin.  Maybe Robin Williams’ lines faded in ways we can not possibly know. It’s not ours to say.