These last few weeks have been interesting to say the least. To say that I’ve been having a difficult time would be an understatement, but in the same breath I also have to admit I’ve had some beautiful, blessed, undeserved days too. The journey Travis and I are on right now is not easy, and it sure feels long, arduous and never-ending: I feel like I say that a lot! He still is without a job after having sent in numerous applications in five states. I can’t tell you how hard it is to wait.
All Some of you already know the same frustration and fear from past experiences or maybe because of a situation you are facing right now. Everyone keeps saying “this is a tough economy to be finding a job”, and with his masters degree that means he’s not looking for an entry-level $12/hour job either. It’s tough, and there is a lot more that we simply don’t say. But that being said, it’s been a real battle of the mind, more so for me than for Travis for sure. I can’t put into words, nor do I really want to, how much of a battle it has been to keep my mind focused on the positive, to stay away from worry and put my energies and focus on all the things that are going well instead of all that is not. I’ve found myself pulling away from nearly everyone which isn’t always the best way to handle things either but sometimes (OK, usually) it’s easier to not have to answer yet another “how are you?” or for the hundredth time tell someone once again that no, Travis still has not found a job. So instead of facing things, I’ve just pulled away into my little cocoon where I can control the environment and who I let into my shell. Sometimes it’s simple self preservation and sometimes it’s very honestly a neglect of those I am close to.
The battle of my mind has honestly been the battle for my life lately. There are just so many things going on I can’t say out of respect for my marriage, for our dignity and simply because it’s no one’s business (and a lot because of pride even if I hate to admit it), but with my transparency I will say it’s been the most difficult battle I’ve ever faced. Worse than losing my mom eleven years ago, worse than all of Ryan’s diagnoses, worse than January 4, ’08, worse than the medical issues we face every single day. On some days it is a minute by minute struggle to stay focused on God’s promises ~
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
Hear me, LORD, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.
2 Guard my life, for I am faithful to you;
save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; 3 have mercy on me, Lord,
for I call to you all day long.
4 Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
for I put my trust in you.
5 You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
abounding in love to all who call to you.
6 Hear my prayer, LORD;
listen to my cry for mercy.
7 When I am in distress, I call to you,
because you answer me.
8 Among the gods there is none like you, Lord;
no deeds can compare with yours.
9 All the nations you have made
will come and worship before you, Lord;
they will bring glory to your name.
10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, LORD,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths,
from the realm of the dead.
14 Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God;
ruthless people are trying to kill me—
they have no regard for you.
15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and have mercy on me;
show your strength in behalf of your servant;
save me, because I serve you
just as my mother did.
17 Give me a sign of your goodness,
that my enemies may see it and be put to shame,
for you, LORD, have helped me and comforted me.
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt we are where God has called us to be for this moment. Am I enjoying it? Not so much. But I know the God who saved David from death numerous times, saved Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the fiery flames, saved Jonah from being eaten by the whale, saved Isaac by giving a ram for sacrifice in his place, saved the woman at the well, saved many from blindness and leprosy and drug addiction and selfishness and….. How could he not also save me? I believe in Christ’s death and resurrection so how can I doubt His presence in my life when things are not going well, or as I should really say, not going as well as I would like. I’ve been praying like crazy for God to give me an undived heart as David prayed in Psalm 86 so I can trust His provision instead of also trying to figure it out on my own which isn’t working so well.
And I know the same God who provided this beautiful sunrise every morning in Florida,
is the same God who can be trusted to provide an equally beautiful sunset to close out each day. Such beauty. Every single day his mercies are new just as he displays his beauty differently every day too.
Who am I to doubt the goodness of God or question his ways? Just because I’m not happy with his timing doesn’t mean he has forgotten about me or isn’t working in ways I simply can’t see or understand. Some days the sun is a beautiful, glorious sight to see, keeping us warm, while at other times it feels hot, bothersome and causes damage when we are in its presence too long. But always, it is fulfilling its purpose to bring light to our day. So I often feel about God’s plan for my life.
Time does march on, no matter what we are facing. And with time at our house lately that means crutches for Brad who hurt his right knee after being tackled in football last Sunday. He has been hobbling around ever since and is being fitted for a hinged knee brace today. We saw an ortho doctor, had an MRI and found out that, by the grace of God, he does not have any tears to the ligaments or cartilage so he doesn’t need surgery or therapy. But he sprained his MCL which, according to the doctor, is the worst ligament to sprain and is the slowest and most painful to heal, and it will take a good two months before he is back in the swing of things. He is doing well although he was devastated he can’t finish out the season with his team. He continues to go to every practice and can be found in his jersey, leaning on his crutches on the sidelines of the games, encouraging his teammates.
Sidney loves being back in volleyball season playing and watching her Huskers. She gets frustrated easily with her teammates because most of them are not as competitive as she is so she often tries to overcompensate and becomes a ball hog. We’ve spent some time explaining she has to let others be accountable for their own positions. She is going to need to move on to club volleyball this winter, and we are trying to figure out where to put her since this is a big commitment and the cost is high. But she needs more instruction and to be pushed; this is her passion so we want to do what we can to support that and provide her with opportunities to be the best she can be. She also is moving up to more dif classes at school this week which did a lot for her self-confidence. She started the year in dif math but is now adding dif language arts and reading to the mix.
Trevor is doing great in football and is enjoying an easy academic year in fifth grade although school has always come very easily for him. He really doesn’t have much new going on but has been a great help to Brad this past week. And of course he spends as much time with his friends as possible usually being found in front of the TV playing video games or outside throwing a football around.
And Ryan…he’s doing well in school but struggling with continued seizures. We see the neurologist again in two weeks and will have his stimulator turned up one more time but this is the last change we can do to the device. It’s scary to think that in two weeks time we will be to the end of what we can do to help Ryan. This is the last trick anyone has up their sleeve then we are out of options. I know Ryan is in God’s hands, perfectly designed and just as He intended him to be, but I have to say it’s all very scary. We have done everything we possibly can to give Ryan the best life possible, free from seizures and pain. And while we believe he is relatively pain-free, he is certainly not seizure free. What tomorrow brings is not up to me, but I will live every day loving him and knowing that no matter what happens with his seizures, we’ve done everything we can for him. He brings so much joy to our lives and is a blessing that can’t be described by words.
Much love to you all.