Thursday, June 10, 2010

Strength & Weakness

The past few days I've been filled with a kind of anxiety that I can't really explain to anyone, but it's waking me up in the middle of the night with a jolt.

It's not about the job thing - rather the lack of a job thing - for better or worse, I feel really peaceful about that actually. I think I know this source. You see roughly 1,500 miles from me, my grandmother is having some pretty serious health stuff going on, scary stuff. And we are not sure what's going to happen.

My grandmother and I are very close. Growing up it was just her, me, & my Mom She taught me to ride a bike and later how to drive a car - her car, which to be fair was really more like a small boat than an actual car. She taught me the song "I love you, a bushell and a peck, a bushell and a peck and a hug around the neck..." Sometimes we'd butt heads, but I knew she'd always be there for me when I needed her - even if I just needed a hug.

So, being this far away & knowing how much she's hurting I've been facing a lot of feelings over the past few days that I would rather leaved shoved in the back of a dark corner somewhere. Anxiety. Or so I thought until this morning.

This morning as I was getting my first cup of coffee and checking messages / Facebook / Twitter on my BlackBerry, I saw a tweet one of my friends posted (@azureantoinette - follow her, she's great) she tweeted a Bible verse this morning. 2nd Corithians 12:9 "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (according to the NIV translation I have). The rest of the passage goes on to say "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why for Christ's sake I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

I really needed to read that this morning. And I had no idea. I think it is weakness and not anxiety that I've been feeling after all. Being in LA with my mom and grandmother in Texas, while she is so sick and being told not to fly home, it's okay; wait to see what the doctor says; wait to see if they admit her to the hospital; wait; wait; wait - I found myself literally walking the floor of my apartment last night waiting for an update, a phone call, a text message - something.

I don't do well with waiting. I'm a planner and something of a fixer - if there's an issue I (generally) believe in analyzing it and taking some course of action. But that isn't always possible. And that can leave a person feeling helpless.

A friend and I went to the movies today; and I ran a couple of errands after that - errands relating to the possibility of flying home at a moments notice. And I realized, as I told my friend, on some "Murphy's Law" level I was doing all of this - all my planning because if I'm prepared, then nothing will happen.

And nothing can happen yet because ... I don't know how to make her banana pudding or chicken and dumplings the way she makes them, which is the only way I like them. And I don't remember all of the stuff she's told me my whole life that I have to remember if anything happens to her. And I know there is at least one story left that I don't know - that only she can tell me. So you see, she just has to be okay.

So at this moment, I am weak. And that I need strength that could only come from God. Because I know I can't fix it. I can't make everything all better. I can't make whatever time I am blessed to have with her last a lifetime. And I know a lifetime would not be long enough.

Have you ever read the poem "Footprints?" It may be "Footprints in the Sand", I'm not sure to tell you the truth. The gist of the story is that a man looked back on his life and saw 2 sets of footprints throughout it - one belonged to him and on to God. And yet several times - time he identified as being of great hardship in his life - there was only one set. He got very upset with God and asked why God would leave him in those moments. God explains, of course, that He did not leave, but was simply carrying the man.

As a child I always wondered what those times were. I imagined them to be of great disaster. But, at the moment I wonder if they weren't times that were like what I'm feeling now. Because I assure you I am having more moments per day where I feel less of the 29 year old that I am and more like the 5 year old little girl that I was the first time I remember my grandmother being sick and us having to take her to the hospital. I remember setting in the hallway outside her room with my cousin who's older than me while our moms were inside the room with her. And being aware enough to know my mom and my aunt were scared. And feeling something then in that moment I didn't know how to identify. Maybe it was weak.