Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My Spirit is Groaning

Do you remember that Stevie Wonder song "Superstition?" It has that line, "Thirteen month old baby broke the looking glass; Seven years of bad luck, the good things in your past." Well, I'm not superstitious, but sometimes I do wonder what proverbial looking glass I shattered somewhere in my past. And, before I write anything else, I want to apologize to you in advance. I am feeling down in the dumps today, and I admit, I am on the pity pot, so to speak. Please know that I fully recognize the fact that the world doesn't revolve around me or my problems. I also know that there are many, many people out there who have it much worse off than I do, but I need to vent. And, if you are reading this, I would appreciate your prayers.



The last five years have been really rough for me. Every time I turn around, it seems like something is going awry. Things started falling apart about five years ago. At this time five years ago, I was getting ready to graduate from law school. I should have been excited about it, but I wasn't. I had a job that I liked OK, but I lacked any type of direction in my life. I mean, I had never really thought about what I wanted to do, or what I was supposed to be doing. I just kind of pushed forward, grasping on to the first opportunity that presented itself, primarily because I could, but also because it seemed like the easiest option at that time.




Right around that same time, my dad was diagnosed with colon cancer. You see, I hadn't been close to my dad for some time. My familial dysfunction is far too complicated to detail out here in blog world, but I guess some background is necessary for context. At this point, I guess it will suffice to say that my parents were addicts. They weren't able to take care of themselves, let alone their two children. They dumped my brother and I off with our grandparents at a fairly early age. The problem, however, was that they continued to pop back up from time to time, sometimes taking both of us back, sometimes just one of us, only to dump us off again, and always perpetuating the cycle of dysfunction. Despite all the pain they had caused, including moving away without telling their then teenage children, I tried to continue to love them the best I could. They were, after all, my parents. When my dad got my little brother hooked on drugs, I couldn't deal with it anymore, and I cut off contact with him. But, when my dad was diagnosed with colon cancer, I tried to mend our relationship.


My dad had surgery. The doctors thought they got all of the cancer, and things went back to "normal" for awhile. The very next year, however, we lost nearly everything we owned in a fire. We were living in an apartment building at that time, and one night we came home from work only to find flames shooting out of our apartment windows. But we dealt with it, regrouped, and went on with our lives. And, again, for awhile, things went back to "normal."


In the midst of normalcy, however, everything was shaken up again. My brother, who had gotten himself into a serious mess with drugs, decided to steal from his family members to support his drug habit. We changed the locks, and once again, things went back to "normal."

Seven months later, however, my maternal grandmother had a stroke. To have any relative have a stroke would have been traumatic for me, but my grandma, that was devastating. You see, my grandmother was the one who took care of me and my brother when our parents didn't. She was the person who was the closest to me in the entire world. Now, we were very blessed. She didn't die. In fact, she made a remarkable physical recovery. But, mentally. Well, that's a different story. It's been three and a half years, and she still isn't the same. Her personality has changed, and not for the better, and she needs a lot of attention. And, since we live together, most of that responsibility falls to me. (And, in addition to having my grandmother, we also have my grandfather. Thank God, he is relatively healthy. But, he has his own health problems.)



During this same time period, I switched jobs. I've blogged about my issues with my job before, so I'll spare you the details again. Suffice it to say, I get myself into real trouble when I fly off the handle and make decisions on my own.


So, while we were still working through issues with my grandmother and I was getting acclimated to my new job, my dad was diagnosed with liver cancer. I've previously blogged about this as well, but apparently, despite what the doctors had said two years earlier, they had not gotten all of the cancer. Instead, it had spread to his liver. When they found it, the cancer was at Stage IV, and there was nothing the doctors could do for him. He passed away three months later.


I so wish I could end this little vent session there, but I can't. Over that next year, my mother had a very invasive surgery, W. had recurrent problems with his asthma, my paternal grandmother passed away, and George's grandmother passed away. And, that was 2007.



Unfortunately, 2008 hasn't proven to be much better. Already this year, both my mother and my brother were diagnosed with liver diseases, my maternal grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and W. has been sick, too. Now, once again, I know that in the midst of all of this, we've been blessed. My grandmother's prognosis is excellent, and we're hopeful that my mom and brother will respond to their treatments.



But, it just keeps coming. In just the last couple of weeks, W. has been showing signs of stress. I feel that I need to spend more time with him, but I don't know where to get the time. I'm completely swamped at work. And, I can't get anything done at work because I can't stand it there and feel guilty for not being at home.



And, now my mom is really sick. She is having symptoms that mimic a stroke and has such severe headaches, she can't get out of bed. Right now no one was what is wrong with her, but it looks serious. And, to tell you the truth, I can't handle it. I have no energy left. I'm empty. Completely empty. In fact, I'm so empty, I can't even pray. I try. But, I don't know what to pray. I have no words. I find it slightly ironic that I can't pray now. I'm still really new at this Christian thing. Up until recently, I dealt with all of these problems the only way I knew how. With my own power. But, now I'm trying to give it to God, and I'm trying to pray. But, I can't. I have no words. So, if you read read this, would you say a prayer for me? I obviously could use all the prayers I could get. And, if you're still reading this, thanks for letting me vent.

8 comments:

m said...

I'm praying for you my friend. You are loved so much!

Kelly said...

Heather - I am so sorry. It's hard to understand why one person has to go through SO MUCH. I don't have any answers but know I'm praying for you. You will be stronger as you come through the fire.

Anonymous said...

Luke 17:6
If you have faith as small as a mustard seed you can move trees.
ps7:3
He bestows glory on me and lifts my head
ps 5:11
He spreads his protection over me so I will rejoyce in Him
ps9:9-10
He is a refuge a stronghold in times of trouble. He will never forsake those who seek him.
ps18:39
He arms us with STREGNTH for battle.
ps34:18
He is close to the broken hearted He saves those who are crushed in spirit.
ps57:1
I will take refuge in the shadows of your wings until disaster has passed.

These are just a few verses that have been reminding me that we dont see the big picture. He does. And we dont have to know why, we just have to know that He's got our back.
I am praying for you today.
Cindy

Caroline said...

Yet I call this to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
[Because of] the LORD's faithful love we do not perish,for His mercies never end.

They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness!

I say: The LORD is my portion,
therefore I will put my hope in Him.

The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.

It is good to wait quietly for deliverance from the LORD.

It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is [still] young.

Let him sit alone and be silent, (I)for God has disciplined him.

Let him put his mouth in the dust perhaps there is [still] hope.

Let him offer [his] cheek
to the one who would strike him; let him be filled with shame.

For the Lord
will not reject [us] forever.

Even if He causes suffering,
He will show compassion
according to His abundant, faithful love.

For He does not enjoy bringing affliction or suffering on mankind.



Oh Heather I hate that I am just now reading this. I PRAISE YOU FATHER THAT HEATHER IS YOURS. i PRAISE YOU THAT EVEN THOUGH SHE HAS CONTINUED TO BE THRONE HARDSHIP AND PAIN...THAT SHE IS STILL STANDING! ONLY YOU FATHER CAN MAKE US STAND!!!!! COVER HER HEART AND USE HER TO SPREAD PEACE! I PRAISE YOU THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT IS interceding ON HER BEHALF WHEN THERE ARE NO WORDS TO SAY. Only YOU heal, only you! Thank you that this is her testimony! May it bring others to you!!!!!!

Caroline said...

ps. those verses were from lamentations 3.21-33

Josh & Sarah said...

Prayed for you...will continue to pray...

Hillary said...

Man!! All I know to say is that I will certainly pray for you and your mom. Please keep us updated!

MamaBear said...

Not quite sure how I stumbled across your blog, but your story broke my heart. It is impossible for us as humans to understand why God allows us seasons in life where calamity just seems to rain on us daily. Praise God, He has promised not to allow more trouble than we can bear with His help.

Praying that you would take from these experiences every bit of wisdom and strength that He wants to impart to you. May they all be used for His glory.