Thursday, June 17, 2010

Where Can I Find The Faith I Need?


I need more faith...

Whenever I have a flair-up and find myself in pain and fatigue for several days, depression starts to set in and I start to feel like giving up. This is such a cycle, over and over, I want there to be an end to it all, and I cannot see it. I haven't been writing because I don't want to sound so down, be so down. I am trying to find some positive in my situation.

I received two blessings before I left Arizona. The first told me I can have the health I desire according to my faith. The second, weeks later, told me it was time to become healthy again. I believe in these blessings... I have seen evidence of them being fulfilled... I am being impatient... my impatience eats at my faith...

I really want to be healthy. I want to be able to play with my grand children without danger of hurting myself. I would like to be able to have a job, or a business, and support myself. I watch other people in their active, normal lives. I read the update posts on Facebook from my friends about their days. Put me in a few of those days strung together and I end up like I did at the beginning of this week.

Right now I can't even sit on the couch and watch a movie with my daughter, and the couch isn't an uncomfortable couch. But my back hurts after just a few minutes on it. Every week I go to my chiropractor to be told how badly out my spine is. Since I do my best to ignore the pain, I'm not that aware of how badly out it is anymore, unless I cannot walk. That's a dead give-away. The problem is, if I don't keep on top of it, I won't be able to walk again. And I am not fond of using my walker or cane.

I am better than I was a year ago. Last June I was still unable to sit at all, and I spent the majority of my day laying down... Pretty much all of it. That is why I have so many DVD's now, there wasn't much of anything else I could do. I felt worthless. I used my walker daily just to help me get out of bed or get to the bathroom.

When I finally went to church again I either laid down on one of the pews inside the chapel, or on the couch in the foyer. I didn't make it every Sunday. I could not sit down for even a few minutes. Once my bishop told me he was watching me on the pew, and told me I should be staying home. He said it with concern, not condemnation. He saw the pain on my face, as much as I tried to hide it. But I was so isolated, so lonely, I wanted to be with others, but he was right. I really wanted to be a part of the "ward family" but in the year I lived there, I was only able to go a few weeks before the injury. I had no social life at all.

I can sit now, on an exercise ball at my computer. That is my chair. Looks kinda weird, but it works for me. When we play a game I take my big ball to the table and sit on that so I can participate.

I still wake up sore. It takes a few hours to get the joints greased up again. This is why I walk. It helps.

These last several years have been really hard. The loneliness at times has been crushing... But I know I need to go on. I need to push past the depression and find some joy. Today is one of those days, in a string of days.

I read Bridgette's blog today. ( She is also having a hard time I think. She wrote about the experience of her last pregnancy. I could not imagine going through what she went through. To have to carry a dead baby, in order to preserve the life of the living one. Knowing, at the birth, there was also going to be a funeral...

I remember that time. I flew from Arizona to Oregon to help her. We knew it was going to be a cesarean section so I came the day before the scheduled surgery. On that day, instead of excitedly preparing for the birth of a new family member, Bridgette and I spent the day making burial clothes for Elliott. We went to the store and bought a pattern for a 10" doll. We also got white fabric and lace. That was hardest thing I have ever made. With all my heart I didn't want to do it... But I did, for Bridgette.

We knew it was likely he would not be able to be put in the clothes, but Bridgette wanted it anyway. I did my best to give Bridgette what she wanted. Then we made a burial wrap, with satin ribbon and lace. Bridgette felt it was necessary to alter the pattern for the wrap, so I followed her instructions. As it turned out, her inspiration was correct, had we not altered the pattern for the wrap, it would not have worked. I am grateful to Heavenly Father, in His compassion and love, that He saw fit to guide us as we worked on this small but heartfelt token of our love and grief. Elliott would not be placed in his tiny coffin with nothing. He would be clothed as best as we could provide.

I went to the hospital with Bridgette and Adam, expecting to be waiting for her in her room while she was in surgery. At the last minute, the doctors gave permission for me to enter the delivery room with them and witness the c-section and births. My heart was heavy, but hopeful all would go well with the living baby, a new grandson.

They delivered him first, and he appeared healthy and strong. They did the normal cleaning, weighing, measuring of him, while the doctors delivered the second baby. I did not know what to expect to see, and the doctors quickly set his tiny body aside as they worked to complete the surgery.

After the surgery was complete, the nurse brought her baby over to Bridgette to see and hold him for a moment before he was taken to the nursery. He looked so perfect and we rejoiced in this new life. Then the doctor asked Bridgette if she wanted to see the other baby. Yes, she most certainly wanted to see him.

I realized it was deep in my heart that maybe, somehow, if I was able to see him, I would be able to let go of the grief, get some closure to this experience that was tearing out my heart.

With care and tenderness, the doctor brought over the basin his tiny body was in. He gently lifted him out and explained what we were seeing. Because it was a twin pregnancy, the body of the living twin flattened the body of the dead one, so he was flat, not round. But we could make out features. He was so tiny. At that moment, when I expected my heart to fully break, a peace come over me, and I felt the words as if they were spoken to me audibly, "It is sufficient". Later I talked to Bridgette and she said she felt the exact same message. With that we knew that Elliott completed all he needed to, and that tiny, fragile body was enough for him to be able to rise in the resurrection. I cannot express the depth of comfort I have received with this.

Unfortunately, this was not the end of the trial. Soon it became apparent the living baby was not so healthy. He had meconium ileus, which meant the meconium was blocked in the intestines. This was an indicator of Cystic Fibrosis. It required surgery to save his life. He spent the first three months of his life in the NICU, having 4 surgeries and 3 blood transfusions.

He is today an active 2-1/2-year-old. We don't know how long we will be allowed to enjoy his presence with us, and treasure the days we have. It appears that the four areas of the body that can be affected by CF, are with him. His health care is routine now, routine that is for a CF child. And if ever a child were a mischievous two-year-old, he is.

This child, and my Bobby, were born into this world with imperfect, unhealthy bodies. Although Bobby's body works well, his mind does not. Yet, I look at him and see the perfection of our Heavenly Father. Bobby is protected from the evil of this world because of his lack of understanding of it. The adversary cannot have him. For that I am grateful.

I think I need to be patient with me. My struggle with my faith is linked with my impatience to be well. I keep questioning whether or not I am doing all I can. I struggle with thinking I am lazy, because I do not accomplish very much in a day. I look around me and I see the pain and heartache of others. I would do well to lend compassion and understanding to them, and not spend my energy feeling sorry for myself.

There are blessings in adversity...

I have had a wort on my left hand, middle finger. I spent a year using products to get rid of it, but nothing worked. Then the flesh started splitting. Very painful, and each time it healed, the wort was a little bigger. In my frustration, I actually went to an MD. I avoid MD's now, preferring natural methods as much as possible. The MD froze the wort. Four times I went in and he froze it. The finger continued to split, heal, split, heal. And the wort was now doubled in size. It was growing on the tip, partially under the nail. Uncomfortable and a nuisance.

Two weeks I was cooking in the kitchen. I was using a knife and cutting board to cut some meat and I sliced into the wort, deeply. For three days my finger throbbed. It woke me up at night. I applied antibiotic ointment and bandaids and really babied the finger. Today I look at the finger, and it appears the wort is gone. The trauma of the injury seems to have been enough to finally kill it. I hope so, I will know for sure in the next week or so.

Adversity can be like that. What appears to be a hard thing ends up providing a blessing for something else. My sciatic injury was like that too. My "wiring" was all messed up, my reflexes didn't work right, it was that way for over 20 years. But after the injury they are normal again. I need to be patient with me, and allow the healing to take place in God's time and not mine.

If we let Him, God will turn any adversity into a blessing. And because of the adversity, the blessing is more appreciated I think. I don't ever want Heavenly Father to think I do not appreciate His blessings.

I think I have found a little more of my faith. :-)

1 comment:

  1. I love you, Mom. I know it's hard to come out of feeling down. Maybe tomorrow will be better, for both of us.