Do you ever just feel like crying?
I recall the toddler years, both boys recently diagnosed with autism. Profoundly affected. I didn’t live “one day at a time.” I lived one hour at a time, sometimes breaking it down into fifteen minute increments. What set one boy off, calmed the other, and vice-versa. But when one son lost it, usually, the other followed suit. Dagger-to-the-eardrum piercing screams from one child trailed closely with a panicked mom desperate to calm as quickly as possible so the other child might stay calm. Often resulting in utter failure.
Screaming remained an everyday occurrence for years. I think back to days when I, at a complete loss, ensured the safety of both boys before heading for the office to collapse in a corner, bury my head between my knees, and sob. I didn’t know who to call in those moments. I couldn’t call Neil at work. That was a stressful situation in and of itself. I felt thoroughly alone. God, what do You want me to do?! I love these boys, but I how do I care for them? All my emotional and mental strength is gone. Are You even here?
And I cried.
Another year comes to mind when Judah started having seizures. We never actually witnessed a seizure, but the postictal period was evident. Similar to and absence seizure, he seems to just hang out in space for a few seconds, but more than an absence seizure when the brain “reboots,” as it were, for about an hour afterwards, Judah just freaked out. He became terrified of everything, unsure of everyone (including his parents) and his whereabouts. His fear caused him to be aggressively protective of his personal space. The first time this happened, he was two. He looked at me and couldn’t come to me for comfort because he was so afraid. He wouldn’t let me touch him, let alone hold him. I had to watch him go through it until it was over. After an hour, a switch flips in his brain, and it’s as though nothing ever took place. I was able to keep my cool until a few years later when he was hooked up to an EEG.
And I cried.
Tears streaked and stained my cheeks many times over the years. This week is no different, but the tears came for a very different reason. Psalm 27:1, 4-5 says this:
“The LORD is my light and my salvation — whom should I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life — of whom should I be afraid? I have asked one thing from the LORD; it is what I desire; to dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, gazing on the beauty of the LORD and seeking Him in His temple. For He will conceal me in His shelter in the day of adversity; He will hide me under the cover of His tent; He will set me high on a rock.” (HCSB)
He is my light; He lights my way and helps me see more clearly. He’s my salvation; He is my “rescue.” He rescues me from depression and from being consumed with my struggles; He’s my source of comfort in the midst of hardship. I know there are much more difficult things to face in life than what my life embodies, but I can only share my experiences. In all my life experiences, no matter how difficult, I’ve had hope. Someday, I hope to share my whole story with you. Today, it’s just bits and pieces.
Today I cried.
Tears of gratitude. I’m grateful for hope. I can live today knowing that the sun will set, and peace will fill our home, no matter what the day brings my way. And I can face tomorrow when it finally arrives, knowing that no matter what happens, I’ll not be consumed by what it holds.
Do you have hope?