Implode is defined as to burst inward; to collapse inward as if from external pressure and it looks like this;
Why am I starting out this post with a video of an imploding building? Because that is how I feel at this point in time. It seems like there is much around me that is not secure. When one looks at my life with only human eyes, it appears that my world is crumbling in around me – my dad is dying, my husband is unemployed, things not working right in the house, money is extremely tight, kids in college with bills to be paid.
So what keeps me from collapsing like the building in the video when inside I’m feel like this
It is because I am standing on a rock. The imagery of God as my Rock, my fortress and refuge has been so helpful these days. He was not caught off guard by any of the events in my life right now. He is the sure foundation keeps me going, but the emotions are still there. I can’t just check them at the front door when I leave in the morning and pick them up when I come home. So there are times when I have conversations like he following with friends;
“How are you?”
“You don’t look like you are doing OK.”
“Things are hard right now.”
“I understand.” – at least those who know me well and know that I will be facing the possibility of saying good-bye to my dad this week. It could be the last time I see him alive and then again, he could rally and hang in there for some time. My brain is full of thoughts – some of which I can actually put words to, some of which I am still trying to figure out.
So events like returning a book to a friend can be challenging. The book which was on Parkinson’s Disease and my dad has something related to Parkinson’s was helpful for as far as it could go. It helped me to understand what was going on within my dad’s body – from a medical standpoint and when he was moving from one stage to another. However it does not help one deal with the emotions that come when a loved one is coming to the end of his or her life. Those emotions ride right below the surface and one never really knows when they will erupt. I can be having a lovely conversation with someone and be in total control of them and one word releases them to the surface. So I try to avoid conversations that could bring up the topic – returning a book on Parkinson’s is one of those times when the topic of my dad could come up and I avoid it, even if it means appearing to be rude and not talking – it was just easier than dealing with the raw emotions.
This is a difficult season for me. My dad has always been a big part of my life. He has taught me much about unconditional love and forgiveness. He taught me to keep my word and to work hard. He taught me how to laugh and to cry. He has always been there for me – I learned much about my heavenly father through my earthly father. There will be a huge hole in my heart when he is gone.
While I knew that this time would come when we found out what he had, I was not prepared for the intensity of the emotions I would feel, nor the toll it would take on me, the ups and downs that come when the time is close at hand. While I do not know how much time is left, I do know that I want to make every moment with my dad count.
God has surrounded me and my family with a community of believers who have been loving us through this process. Just about any need that has come up has ben met by this community, our friends. I have received songs that have encouraged my heart and soul at critical moments in my life; words of encouragement that speak truth into my life and most of all hugs and understanding. There has been much grace given to me and my family during this time which allows for time to pull back, reflect and process all that is going on. However for my kids, they still expect good meals on the table, papers to be edited for school, etc. Sometimes this is good to be distracted from thinking too much. Other times it takes more energy than I have.
So as the Lord brings this family to mind, you have an idea of where I am at and I am learning to rejoice and praise God regardless of the circumstances in my life.
“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised” – 2 Samuel 22:2-4