I feel like that tortoise step by step as I try to plod along and I have found I don’t need to win the race so much as just get through it in a manner that would be pleasing to God. I’m not the same person in a lot of ways, as I can’t be the same wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt or friend. Frustration rears it’s ugly head as I long to be relationally consistent. I can’t go back to who I was; I am not there but I am here in the present with the Light to guide my way.
I no longer feel that I am missing out too much, but rather find I oddly cannot relate to those who report about long shopping trips, frequent vacations, menus at restaurants and all those "normal" activities in life. For instance, I’ve been in a restaurant only once in the past 3 years and it was a disaster. Now I’m finding the joy in just the ability to eat slowly, swallow simple foods at home and when I hit on some I do not react to with allergy or intolerance it is an absolute delight. Spinach, folks, is an absolute delight, okay? So is creamy buckwheat, quinoa and veggie burgers are a huge bonus on a really good day. So much is unfamiliar that in some ways I must seem a stranger to those who carry on. I have to admit that there are times it is really lonely in a room full of people who do not play water, food and medication games all day long to control pain. I miss my spontaneous ways that used to bubble up inside me, but life does not stop here; it moves forward and so must I. So I must adjust to hearing about normal life and I hope if you are reading this you will understand I will get there in time so don't stop sharing your world with me--perhaps just tone down the descriptions of chocolate and fine wine!
Being slow in a fast paced world can be limiting but also gives the availability to open wide other avenues of experience. Ones that those fast lane movers may miss. I’m finding more of my desires in areas I never explored or just haven’t had the time to in years. I suddenly realize life is short and to my surprise I have some opinions on the way I’d like to spend it. I’ve kicked off my high heels for boots, levis, mineral makeup and thrown out the hair dye and fragrance. Life is simpler and more authentic. I’m enjoying textures and tastes on a heightened level, I am noticing the smallest fingerprints of God in the most surprising places that I overlooked before. He’s in that breeze in my hair, that glance out my window at my children when they don’t know I’m watching, that sunset over Mr.Jonston’s field that I affectionately call my own. He is in the change of the seasons that swells my heart and causes me to praise him and am filled with adoration to see the reflections of trees and light dance across the pond. I see His faithfulness to my family in the old photos I just began to be able to look at again. He is in my bills paid, that night sky that beckons me to my window and in that hand I reach over lightly to hold each night as I drift off to sleep. His provision is more evident to me.
So, I’m no longer that Hare and I’m on a journey of learning to let go, to throw off the frantic pace and unrealistic momentum so that I might just finish my given race in a manner worthy of the calling, the measure of truth bestowed unto me. I can’t pretend anymore to be someone I am not and that part is very new to me. Many a day needs in a family are so abundant I forget to pace myself, I strive to hard and then suddenly within me I know that it’s coming–that familiar welling up inside of me and I brim, I spill over with tears. Even in them I have to feel the wetness on my face and be grateful for it as I don’t generally have a sufficient supply of them due to my disease and a good cry without real tears is simply not as satisfying. These depths of emotions that come and go are deeper and serve as a reminder that I am quite alive each day and there is life beyond each diagnosis.
It’s a balancing act and many days I am aware of my failures, my pain. Then a new day dawns. My bedroom is illumined in sunlight and as I open my eyes up after a night full of tears, I can laugh again that I am really given another day. One more day to just be me; to be transformed, to breathe, and quiet my body, mind and soul and just reach my arms out as a child to the One who reminds me of the real moral to the story in this life. I take hold of what’s given, release the rest and run at my own pace.
".....let us run with endurance the race that is set before us."