Throughout Mark’s diagnosis, treatment, and living life with Lyme disease God has placed amazing people in our life. Friends and family have encouraged us, loved our kids, brought us meals, snow blowed our driveway, mowed our lawn, trimmed our trees, and helped us with big stuff and day-to-day stuff. People have been amazing until they weren’t.
And to be honest. It’s not that people don’t want to be there for us. It’s that oftentimes when it rains, it pours. Then doesn’t stop until we are six feet under snow, and mud, and have to figure out how to walk through it.
When I am digging out of the snow after I have worked ten hours, and come home to a house full of sick kids. Usually, I can be superwoman and do it all. Until I hit a wall and somehow all of the strength and hope I can usually muster up evaporates and I have no energy and it feels like I am useless to myself and those around me.
I get mad. At myself, at Mark, the kids, at God, at anyone and everyone who should be helping me but isn’t. It makes the bible verse, “hope deferred makes the heart sick come to life.” I still look like a sobbing, blubbering hot mess, but I am getting better at letting myself off the hook.
Here are some things I have begun to do to take the false expectations off of myself and those around me.
Believe the best about people.
Everyone is fighting a stupid, hard battle and they need kindness as much as I do. God brings the exact people I need at the right time. It’s not always who I wish or thinks it should be. I have begun to have an open mind to who God brings and let people off the hook.
Ask for help
For the most part, my life is a well-oiled machine. My kids know their chores and jobs. We work together as a family. The last-minute things are the hardest to pivot. When my work schedule interferes with getting my kids to where they need to be, I forget to organize supper and there isn’t money for take-out, the times I need time to myself or when the kid sass is strong. And there are just things I have to face and do on my own. No one can take my road from me, I have to walk it. I am getting better at asking for help and continuing to ask until I can find someone to help me.
Sticking closely to the Lord
I am relearning this one. My relationship with him looks different than I ever thought it would. I get mad at God and start to think he’s not listening to me anymore. Thankfully he hangs on to me even when I let go of him. Like a toddler thinking, they know better than a parent. I am continually amazed at how I can cry out to the Lord to rework my life schedule and all of a sudden he does it in a way I could never have imagined.
Let me and others off the hook
As much as I don’t want to be I’m human and require food, water, time to myself, rest, and peace. What I have needed for myself has changed throughout the process of walking the Lyme road with Mark. And sometimes I didn’t even know it. So, I have learned to sit down with myself and evaluate my life and the key pieces in it. Sometimes the peaceful moment is sitting at the state park by myself eating Taco John’s. Sometimes it’s going to bed at 8:30. Sometimes it’s an extra cup of coffee with bible study. And sometimes it’s asking my kids to coordinate the rides they need and keep me in the loop.
And for letting others off the hook. I have looked for a savior and the only savior is Jesus. Everyone else is failable. Everyone is carrying such a heavy load. We must let people off the hook and trust the Lord to bring who and what we need and grace to let go of what doesn’t get done. It doesn’t mean we aren’t loved, wanted, or not seen. It means, at a certain moment when I need a rescue, I need to take a deep breath, cry if I need to, dry my face, ask for help and accept the answer, however it comes.
It is what it is
Life is what it is. I’m still not an expert at walking the road before me. I do know that through the journey God has and continues to bring people into my life. It’s ok if those we thought should be there aren’t. It’s ok if those we didn’t think would, are. It’s ok. I know it doesn’t always feel ok and it adds hurt to how you are already hurting. But I know with time you’ll be able to see it as well.
My prayer for you is that the Lord would bring you encouragement. That you would see his working hand. That you would be able to do the hard steps your life requires of you, however, it looks. I pray God uses your life and your hurt and inspires others around you. I pray you allow your situation and circumstance to build up and help make the world a better place.
Thank you for not giving up. Thank you for walking the road you weren’t asked if you wanted to. You didn’t get a choice, but here you are. Well done! Keep taking baby steps, those go forward, too.