Ask a youngster, “What’s your favorite subject” and recess might be the answer. Some may say gym. My second graders loved to play Bombardment during phys. ed. What fun they had dodging balls coming at them from all sides! Sheer joy.
Do you ever feel like you’re the target in Bombardment? Sometimes it’s as if trials are being hurled at us from all directions. But, there’s no thrill in dodging them.
Recently, that’s been my life.
First, a realization hit me that I’m experiencing a mild relapse. Symptoms of my multiple sclerosis suddenly got worse. Knocking me out at the most inopportune times. Like when I was food shopping with my husband, Howie. Wham! That tell-tale listless feeling came over me. It was like an implosion inside my body. Energy collapsed down through my core, leaving me dizzy. The pain in my extremities got worse. With barely enough strength I whispered to my husband, “Please take me home. I need to go home now.”
In denial, I attended a Christmas party a few nights later with Howie. Bam! That same listless feeling came over me. Right in the middle of a game of Charades. With puddles of tears in my eyes I announced, “I need to go home now.” What a party pooper!
The next barrage came the day after Christmas. This time, a phone call catapulted the news of and incoming trial. The phone rang at 11:00 PM (which was my cue to duck!). My husband’s brother reported, “Howie, Mom’s fallen and I can’t get her up.” Howie’s 93 yr. old mother most likely experienced a brain stem stroke. Pow! Another trial slammed me.
Another attack floored me. We noticed our beloved Cocker, Allegro had a noticeable growth on his abdomen. Two years ago, a 12 inch tumor was removed. The cancer is now spreading.
Why can’t trials just take a number and wait in line, like we do at the deli section of the food store? Better yet, why do we need to have a bunch of challenges smash us at once? If I had to order them, I’d ask for just one rocky road please….or one scoop of suffering. Actually, I say politely, “No thanks…I’ll pass…not problems for me now.”
But life stressors hit us. It’s hard enough when they come all at once. But, when you add mental illness into the mix, it’s…complicated. In our current situation, we’re exploring nursing homes for my mother-in-law. Given her acute cognition problems and her frequent falling, she can no longer live in her home. She couldn’t safely navigate the 14 steps to get to the bathroom.
Our son, Chris, told us, “I think you’re doing to Grand mom what you did to me.” (referring to the time he was hospitalized against his will). The last thing I want to do is remind Chris of a painful time in his life. But we can’t put each trial in a box and deal with them one at a time.
Job in the Bible knew a thing or two about trials hitting all at once. He lost all, but didn’t lose it. He lost his livelihood, but not his faith. He lost all his children, but not his mind. His God is my God. I’ll survive this challenging time by following Job’s example. Job was able to say,
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” Job 1:21
If he could still praise the Lord, so can I. Job chose not to follow his wife’s advice:
“His wife said to him, ‘Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!’ He replied, ‘You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?’” Job 2:9-10
Help me accept whatever comes my way. Knowing You will never leave me. Remind me this isn’t heaven. Help me focus on Your power and love to help me through this.