Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Fog bank

Today started out as a beautiful sun-shiny day. Then a fog bank rolled in. Within about 20 minutes, the sun disappeared and it felt like living in thick, soupy, foggy London. Fog horns blaring, all kinds of mayhem going on out on the bay. Well, this is to be expected when you live on an island at the coast, right?

What is interesting to me is the symbolism going on here. Let me explain...

Here I am, going along through my life just fine. Well, at least relatively fine. My current mindset is good. I am clear on my direction. I'm attending support meetings. My husband seems ok. My younger son seems to be in a good place right now. My older son is in treatment.  I'm back to fighting the insurance company for his continued placement. All good, right? 

And then the dang fog bank descends....

On January 20, 2014, it was exactly 4 months and 4 days until my son's 18th birthday. And I know exactly what the instigating fear factor of my current "fog bank" was; MLK Day. It was on this day 18 years ago that I began my hospitalized preterm labor with my son. My life changed forever that day. 

"All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face-to-face with another problem." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Looking back to Jan 20, 1996, I was faced with a very big problem... For it seemed my pregnancy was in very big trouble. I had landed in the hospital in "preterm labor" and my doctors had told me to go home, that they couldn't stop my labor, and that I would soon deliver a baby that was too little to be able to survive. Well, the outcome to this story was good. My son wasn't born for another 4 months and 4 days, and he was about as perfect and healthy as he could possibly be, given his very challenging start in life. 

But what I didn't know then was that the drugs I had to take to remain pregnant, (Intravenous Terbutaline) had been acting like a toxin to my baby's developing brain. So, now, fast forward 18 years, and we learned my son suffers from a Partial Complex Seizure Disorder, Marfan's Syndrome, severe depression, and other health ailments due to this in utero drug exposure. Using illegal drugs as a coping mechanism is about the worst thing my son can do. Illegal drugs affect him negatively, and seem to increase whatever is going on with him (anxiety, depression, euphoria, etc). In the past, doing drugs have always led him to the same cliff: suicide.

18 years ago, I was hopeful. Today, I'm not sure what I am, but I know residing inside my heart is a very big stumbling block: Fear. For my son, being on his own is a train heading for disaster.

Most days find me pushing this fear away. Some days find me with my hands on my hips, staring it down, and daring it to rule me. Lately and frankly, for quite some time, I have been reasoning with myself that I have no control over my son, that there are many forces greater than me, and who am I to be able to rule another person's life and will with my own? Do I think I am a God, or what??! (let's just ignore my answer to that question for the time being!) No, but in that, I am turning to God for help with my son...

"Strive to trust (God -or your higher power) in more and more areas of your life. Anything that tends to make you anxious is a growth opportunity. Instead of running away from these challenges, embrace them, eager to gain all the blessings (He) has hidden in the difficulties. If you believe that (He is) sovereign over every aspect of your life, it is possible to trust (Him) in all situations. Don’t waste energy regretting the way things are or thinking about what might have been. Start at the present moment—accepting things exactly as they are—and search for (His) way in the midst of those circumstances."*
So, today I am reminded of this. And instead of running away from my fears and challenges, I know in my heart that I have the power to do this... again. 18 years ago, I learned that my problem... ur, growth opportunity (staying in bed for 4 months and 4 days, and acting like a human incubator for the baby growing inside of me) took me to places I never dreamed I'd go. They weren't easy places, in fact they were the hardest places I'd ever had to go to. Places with names like Patience, Humility, and the big one: Not Being Able To Do Exactly What I Wanted (aka Sacrifice). Those places taught me big lessons. They let me know I could DO THIS. That I could take this Growth Opportunity, and make something Big of it. (Like a healthy baby)

So, now, as I glance up, I see the glorious sun has returned, and the fog has moved on. And I realize my mood has also improved. If I can just remember to Trust, to be strong in my heart with what I know is true, and encourage my fears to exit stage left.... well, I know that everything will work out just fine.

And I will go forth today with those reminders, carry Faith in my heart, and find renewed hope. Yes!

* Exerpt from Jesus Calling, January 22.

No comments:

Post a Comment