It took me by surprise when I went to my therapy session and could not stop crying. I was thinking about the blubbering mess I turned into and I had a realization. The things that have been weighing so heavily on my heart are the things that I am powerless to change. They are the things that you cannot fix with money or medicine. I never considered myself a person who needed control until I had so little of it. I know this is a very normal thing and that most people do not enjoy the feeling of being incapable of “fixing” themselves. Every one has their own way of coping with this but it seems that I have lost my way.
Then I started to think about those early days out of the hospital. Those days were marked with antibiotics, pain, weakness, and a lot of confusion. And yet, dare I say it? I was pretty happy. Despite everything I was in a pretty decent place mentally. My therapist tells me that was my brain protecting me so that I could literally focus on putting one foot in front of the other. While that is probably true, I know there is another truth as well. I was praying all day, everyday. Many were prayers of gratitude. I had to give Him praise and thanks for saving me, for blessing the doctors with their brilliance and then for blessing me with them. Some were pleas to help me regain my health and find peace. Some were requests for forgiveness for asking for any more when I had already been given life. But no matter the content I was praying constantly. I was giving Him my big troubles and it allowed me to handle my daily ones.
Then as days turned to weeks and they turned to months I realized this recovery was not going to be as quick or as easy as I had originally hoped. I began to take on the responsibility for all of it. If I was not getting better than I must be doing too much or not enough. I must be failing at the biggest test life has given me. I still prayed but my prayers changed. I still gave thanks for the good things. I still prayed over my family, friends. Over our society that really needs some huge doses of love, over the refugees who are desperate and broken. I did pray. But I lost faith. I was no longer giving God my troubles because I know there are bigger and more urgent ones. I stopped believing my prayers were important enough to be answered. And life has felt so heavy lately. I have felt like I am carrying more than I am able and on Tuesday of this week my knees finally buckled under the pressure of it all. I would like to say that I prayed right then but I did not. I went to Target and bought my boys some new Paw Patrol shirts because my heart needed their smiles more than anything else in that moment. It wasn’t until today that I realized I have been pouring my heart out to the Internet but I have not shared it to the One that can actually heal me.
I have started praying again. The things that made my heart so heavy are still there. They are truly things that I cannot change but one big thing has shifted. I am remembering that I can have faith. Even if those things never change and never improve; I can continue to pray for peace and the ability to live my life fully despite of them. I can say the serenity prayer not as a rote memorization but rather as a sincere request.
God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can,
and the Wisdom to know the difference.
In an interesting twist in God’s plan for me, he has sent me a new nanny. Her name is Faith. He has sent me Faith, literally.