Saturday, August 02, 2008

If you can believe

Well, here I am. After being up all night from sleeplessness. It's 6:15 our time and I got up to write. Why did I get up to write? you may ask. Because younger son came and pushed me off my bed. For 18 years it's been like that. No sleep or 2 hours sleep, and then when morning comes I get pushed off my bed.

We've tried to teach him not to come to our bed but ... to no avail. And on those mornings when I spent the entire night looking up at the ceiling I get really annoyed when he comes to my bed to sleep.

The question is: with all this faith talk...after living a life like this for 20 years and after having a son who cannot talk for 18 years...can I actually believe in something better and more normal? Can my mind even imagine what a good life could possibly be? For me the idea of sleeping normally every night and not being in pain is so exotic and unusual an idea I can't get my mind around it. The idea of not wasting money on doctors and the idea of younger son behaving normally and going to movies and having friends and talking and not being in pain....well, my imagination just can't get up to it.

Before Jesus healed the boy who had been sick, the father of the boy said to Jesus, "If you can do anything to help us."

Jesus said to the boy's father, "Why do you say, 'If you can?' All things are possible to him that believes."
(Most of the translations translate it this way.)

I think that being healed after being sick for a long time requires a belief that there is another kind of possible life for one's self. And that's a hard thing to be able to imagine. Think of the man who had been by the pool of Bethesda for so many years. Jesus "knew that he had been a long time in that case." Think of the woman with the issue of blood. Almost thirteen years.

I'm glad we have those stories in the Bible. The miracle i's not only about degree of difficulty...but about seeing one's life in a whole new way after one has had to live it in a bad way for so long. I so hope I can believe. From age 27 I've been sleepless and in pain. From a year after his birth Gabe has been sick and in pain. I'm 48 now. I feel so very very old and so very very sick and so very very weepy because I am almost 50. What if my healing doesn't manifest? The first 20 years of this illness came and went so quickly. One slips into the sad bad wrong kind of life without actually being aware that one's life is simply disappearing into a whole. And if those past 20 years went so quickly, won't the next 20 come and go as quickly? I will have lived to 70 in a great deal of pain with a weird kind of painful weepy normalcy. And my son will have lived his life in pain and solitariness.

It just makes me cry and cry and cry. But maybe I'm crying cause it's morning and I'm at my computer. Usually by 8:00 am or so I'm a whole lot better and less weepy. Or actually, my weepiness turns into a kind of impatient anger. (Yep, it's true...chronically sick people are grouchy. And sleepless sick people are even more grouchy.) Sometimes I just sit on the ground and cry and cry and say, "So this is my life?" I amazes me that this is indeed my life. Sick me. Sick child.

Ephesians 3:20 (The Amplified Bible)
20Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]--

I just have to hope and train my imagination to believe that life will be well. I have to Expect Great Things. I look at Wind Follower and I tell myself, "Carole, you wrote that book while you were sleepless and in a great deal of pain! You will finish Constant Tower and Inheritance also. Hope in God." So I will. In the meantime, gotta deal with practicalities. I suspect I was entirely sleepless last night because I didn't drink enough water yesterday and I accidentally ate something I was allergic to. I've been thinking that rice is safe but maybe I really should avoid all grains. Gabe and I must be very careful what we eat. It's not funny all this pain and sleeplessness. My Father in heaven, I hope in you. -C


Anonymous said...

I haven't met you in person Carole, yet I hope and pray that you continue to trust in God that you aren't wasting your life in pain...and I have not been in your shoes so I won't fluff this up. I will continue to send up prayers. You are truly an awesome woman of God and a gifted writer. Your book encourages me as well as your posts. You are on earth for a reason, that despite your pain and the suffering of you, your son, you find the courage to still write and purge it all into story and then people like me read it and wonder: "Who is this amazing woman who wrote this?"

Its true! I thought this after reading Wind Follower. There has to be some message in your pain and your tears---The Lord is a Prince of Peace(I must believe this for myself too)


Carole McDonnell said...

Ah, Erica. You're so sweet. We're in sync. You mentioned the Prince of Peace and I was talking about that this morning. The chastisement for our peace. Wow!!! God is soo good. -C

Carole McDonnell said...

PS I used to wonder why Jesus told us that when we give a feast we should invite the poor and those who can't repay us. Aside from the usual reasons... there is the idea that the poor might see the good things they lack...and suddenly will start learning to dream again. Just a thought. -C

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