Monday, June 2, 2014

For When You Just Can't Breathe

Last week I emailed a couple friends and asked them to pray: “It feels like I am drowning and can’t catch my breath.”

It had been a hard night with little sleep and I felt the heaviest weight on my chest.

You see we’ve walked a lot of roads and journeyed through some foreign territory before, but never a chronic illness.

This is all new to me.

Not only are we dealing with MS, a major medical diagnosis in and of itself, but we're also facing other diagnoses as we’ve met with more specialists. Each additional diagnosis feels like another round of waves trying to sink me.

And each one leaves me struggling to breathe.

It happens most frequently at night. The day is done, and it’s in the calm and the quiet that I can begin processing the latest events.

Because here’s the thing: when you get tough news and you have small children in your care you don’t  just get to sit down and cry and grieve and mourn and be mad and ask questions and process.

We got the call from the doc that his initial observation of the MRI was MS. We talked for 10 minutes. We called Ryan’s parents. His mom and I cried.

Then someone needed a snack. And a diaper needed to be changed. And a book needed to be read.  And dinner needed to be made. And baths and bedtime and all that normal life stuff still had to happen.

Even though it feels like your world is stopping, it’s not. Work. Meals. Kids. House. Laundry. Errands.

How and where and when does one fit in the time to process a major medical diagnosis? A life-changing degenerative disease for which there is no cure?

At night. In the dark. My mind wanders and worries and thinks about the day and tomorrow and the future. I go over what appts we just went to, what appts are coming up and what will happen if? And sometimes that wandering and processing and thinking and grieving leads me to a place where I Just. Can’t. Breathe.

The waves are crashing in and the water feels too deep and the weight of the diagnosis feels so heavy.

I received a CD recently of Laura Story’s latest album: God of Every Story. The last song is titled "He Will Not Let Go."

And she sings: There may be days, when I cannot breathe

Laura knows. Early in her marriage her husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She knows firsthand what it’s like to not be able to breathe. She knows what it feels like when the weight of the diagnosis wears heavy. And she's certainly lain awake at night battling the midnight demons because she sings:

When grief has paralyzed my heart
His grip holds even tighter than the dark

That’s it. The grief, the pain, the worry…it paralyzes my heart and makes it hard to breathe.

But there is comfort and peace in the truth of the next line:

His grip holds even tighter than the dark

Even through the darkest night and the biggest waves and the deepest pain He holds me tight. He helps me breathe. And He does not ever let me go.

It may take time, on this journey slow
What lies ahead, I'm not sure I know
But the hand that holds this flailing soul
He will not let go

There may be days, when I cannot breathe
There may be scars, that will stay with me
But the deepest stains, they will be washed clean
And He will not let go

When all around my soul gives way
He then is all my hope and stay
When grief has paralyzed my heart
His grip holds even tighter than the dark

I've heard it soft, this too shall pass
The joy will come, that the hurt won't last
So I will trust that within His grasp
I am not alone
For He will not let go


Jess said...

Thinking and praying for you and your husband. ♡

cybil said...

Praying for you! May you experience God's presence and love very deeply and may Ryan be healed completely!
Blessings to the 5 of you from Germany, sibylle

cybil said...

How are you guys doing? Thinking of you and praying for you! Love from Germany, sibylle