Rich, warm colors, smells of bonfires, cozy blankets, hot chai tea, snuggles...all reasons why this is my favorite time of year! Huge pressure changes, unpredictable weather, fluctuating humidity...all reasons this is not my favorite time of year. For the past week I have been trying to find a new balance for our lives all over again. Sometimes I get into a nice groove, feeling good, combing my hair, cleaning my house, then WHAM! It all changes in a quick blink, I am down like I was hit in the head with a giant wrecking ball. It normally takes me a day or two to find the scattered pieces of me, pick them up, and reassemble. When I am lying crumbled, broken on the floor, I sometimes think, "This is it. This time I just can't pick myself up. I am finished. Leave me in peace so I can wallow in my own self pity and doubt." Then my maniac "Oh no you didn't!" self comes barreling out of the shadows, grabs my lazy pain ridden bottom out of bed and sets me on the right path again. Who is this crazy person who waits in the shadows you ask? It is my better part, my joy, my hope, my faith. It is the part of me that God holds closely and says, "get up." ever so softly. And because I am still I hear His whisper.
Through this journey I have learned many things about many people. I have learned most people are stronger than we think. Most people carry a burden every day of their lives. Most people are lonely sometimes. Most people yearn for peace in their lives. Most people want to be "the good". Before I was really sick, I used to not see this. I was so caught up in being "the best" mom, wife, daughter, friend that I could be. I ached to be "the best" Melinda out there. When my name came up in casual conversation, I wanted someone to say, "Oh my what a lovely lady she is!" Silly? I know! But when you stare pain in the face everyday, your priorities change. You no longer desire the same things. Instead you pray for strength to get a shower and put clothes on. You pray dinner will not be out of a box again. You pray for a glimpse of a pain free existence.
Do not get me wrong, I still want to be a good person! I want to teach my kiddos to have giving hearts. I want to set the example to pray fervently, even if the response we get is not what we want. And then to turn around and Praise beautifully for the answer you are given. To accept this walk with a smile, and know your journey is worthwhile. Cling to the memory of a day when your pain was only a 6 or 7, when you lay crying from a 10 day. Push aside those thoughts of sadness, doubt, feelings of betrayal, anger at my body,and frustration. Grab onto to the goodness around me- beautiful family, loving friends, supportive community, blessings of strangers.
I can't tell you enough how thankful I am for prayer!! Prayers from all of you lead me through many stormy days and nights. It really is like all the good things of fall. It is warm and comforting. It is vibrant and changing. It is long talks with old friends, and life changing talks with new friends. It really is a little sunshine on a cloudy day!