Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Can I Be All Right When Things Are All Wrong?

Did you ever have one of those days? Or several days?

As summer break goes along, Jaycee has become a real home body. She likes the routine of home life. When we leave to go anywhere out of our daily norm, she is reluctant to get in or out of the vehicle. Fun stuff- let me tell you! Grocery shopping, haircuts, a cousin's baseball game, Bible school, etc. are all things recently that Jaycee has protested. She repeatedly signs "home" while driving to or from these tasks. I'm not sure what it going on with her, but it's been stressful for both of us. It's been building over the past few weeks for whatever the reason.

Last week, this became a major issue for us. Almost every outing, I had to plead my daughter to get in the vehicle to leave home. By Friday when she had routine appointments at the hospital and refused to go inside the building, I was ready to have a meltdown of my own. We made it through thankfully with the help from grandma's bribery. After seeing two specialists, our weekend was just beginning.

The next day, my husband was leaving his job site in another state pulling our camper home. I followed behind him in my van. We had a 6 hour drive ahead of us plus a few stops here and there. A couple of hours into the trip, a radiator hose blew on his truck. That ensued a call-a-thon to different parts stores desperately looking for a part that we later found out was only available through a dealership. I frantically drove to one store under the belief they had the right part. They didn't. But, they located it for us at a dealership 1.5 hours away (the direction we had just traveled from). The part was eventually in our possession and in no time was on the truck. But, hours were wasted, and we needed to find a hotel for the night to get Jaycee's medications done in time. Jaycee reminded me periodically that she wanted to go home. We all did! During the chaos of the breakdown, Jaycee was very confused and cried a few times, which made me feel helpless and more stressed.

By the time we settled in to the hotel in the pouring rain, I wanted to throw the blankets over my head and cry. That's what I did. The truck's breakdown, the disruption of my plans (I don't do well with spontaneous events), the rain, the little girl asking to go home every 30 minutes, the little girl refusing to get in and out of vehicles all week...I was tired. That's all I can say.

In retrospect, I am glad I was traveling behind my husband so that I could retrieve parts for him. Otherwise, he would have been in a gas station parking lot alone with no way to fix his truck. For that, we can be thankful. At the time, I was frustrated, upset, and stressed.

On the way home (we eventually got home with no problems the next day), I was pondering my reactions to the events from the weekend. I handled things really poorly. Well, I could have handled them worse. I didn't get angry. I just got very stressed. And that's when I had the thought:
Call I be all right if things go all wrong? 

Sometimes, I am awesome in adversity. I can remain calm and make decisions. I have displayed this during several of Jaycee's health emergencies as I pack for the hospital, put her oxygen on, and call a relative to watch my son. Other times, my mind gets wishy-washy, fearful, and busy. My mind gives me a million thoughts at once and most of them aren't helpful. I worry and stress about things I can't control. I have had this reaction in health emergencies too as I have paced around the house forgetting what I'm doing and taking twice as long to make decisions.

The crazy weekend was an example of me not being all right when things are going wrong. I had trouble sleeping. I worried. I talked negatively. I didn't have patience for Jaycee's refusals to get in the vehicle. I didn't have peace.

Hasn't God called me to something bigger? Can't I pull myself together?

I remember how I was 10 or 12 years ago. I would have never responded with crying and immense stress to a situation like this back then. After all, my faith helps me keep an eternal perspective on situations and reminds me that panic and worry will add nothing to my life. I'm still praying, reading my Bible, attending church, and listening to worship music like I was back then, but something's clearly off.

I think I have discovered the problem though. I haven't given myself what I need to make it through the days. The amount of time I spent with God was fine 10 years ago. But things are different now. I am a person who has seen their child go through multiple health emergencies, surgeries, and respiratory distress. I have adapted to our life with machines and medicines and behavioral issues related to my daughter's limited understanding and verbal skills. But, I start out each day with more issues than the average mother. It's a fact-not a plea for sympathy.

My life is more stressful than most. I can't pray, attend church, or read my Bible an average amount. I need more. I need more time with God filling me up, especially when I feel stress start. Instead, I want to believe that I am fine. I tell myself I'm handling things well enough. I try to manage, and sometimes I can messily make it through a spike of stress in our lives. Other times, I want to give up, which is certainly a sign I'm not fine at all.

This week, I'm reviewing my faith status, looking at ways I can live more peacefully, and striving to get to a place where I can be all right when things are all wrong. My husband is busy too looking for spare radiator hoses for future long drives. What about you? What's helping or hurting you?

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