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Giving In

Monday, July 25, 2011

I have begun the process of surrendering. 

Until recently, life has felt like a monster, eating at me, nibbling pieces of me little by little.  I have been unhappy, frustrated, exhausted.  I felt bogged down - weighed down - as though every step I take is like moving a 100lb weight strapped to me.   

But I've felt conflicted.  I work so hard, trying to change the course of my experience.  At times, I gain traction.  Other times, I find myself stumbling over my efforts, even losing my grip, hitting the ground harder and harder each time.  This has caused me to feel trapped, unable to get out.  Unable to see how life will ever be different.

A few weeks ago, tired of this all, I just had to turn around.  My eyes glaring.  I looked this ugly no-good monster in the face, defiantly threw my hands up and said, "OK! I give up!  I'm not fighting you anymore.  I give in!"

As so, I did.  I began the process of accepting this is where I am, right now.  This is my life.  This is what I have been called to do.  This is the place where God has placed me.  Like it or not, want it or not, chosen or not, this is where I am.  And there is no point fighting it anymore.

I am a mother with a g-tube fed toddler with a very serious and time-consuming chronic life-threatening illness, a preschool son with minor needs and a husband in a very demanding school program. 

These three things alone affect our family's daily life in significant ways.  We move about our life according to these factors.  Sometimes, these things are assets, but many more times, they feel like liabilities.

But, I realized several months ago that instead of fighting where I am, I am going to accept it.  I am not only going to just accept it, I am going to embrace it.

Oliver's issues have and will improve.  The needs of young children will not always be so demanding.  Brian's schooling will eventually come to an end.  But the one thing about Cystic Fibrosis is there is no point in envisioning life will be much different.  CF is here to stay. 

Our life will change from time to time.  The disease will be more and less manageable at certain points.  But, all in all, there will be no life without Cystic Fibrosis.  CF is and now will forever be a part of our lives.

Treatments will always get in the way of other things.  Schedules will always be necessary.  Hospitalizations are only a matter of time.  Difficult transitions will be as common as the kitchen fridge. 

In the midst of my fatigue of fighting and despair, I sense frustration.  It's as though I have been living my life only in hopes to move to another part of my life.  Why, I have wondered, am I refusing to embrace this part of my life as though the next part of my life is going to be easier or more enjoyable? 

Tomorrow is not guaranteed.  And tomorrow is certainly not guaranteed to be better.  All I have is the here and now.  And so I can either fight against it, or go with it.  Surrendering is my only choice unless I want to keep wasting my time fighting myself. 

So, a few months ago, I decided to refocus my life.  I began asking myself deeper questions such as "What matters in my life most?" "What does God expect and want from me?" "What makes me feel fulfilled?" 

I was suprised to see a pattern emerge.  My responses to these questions have been that God wants me to be fully alive.  And I feel most fulfilled and fully alive being a good mother, a loving wife, a compassionate friend and by following my passions.  What matters in my life most are the people who are in it, especially my husband and my sweet sons, all who need me.

Why, I've wondered, have I not been experiencing life this way?  Why am I, in my heart of hearts, begrudging and bitter to the place God has called me?  Why am I kicking and screaming, wanting something different but being unable to see the blessings put right in front of me?

Really, I didn't know I was fighting.  In fact, this bitterness, anger and frustration within me has been like the nasty bacteria which is beginning to gather deep deep within the pathways of Bennett's lungs, nestling down with all intentions to stay awhile. There have been feelings deep within me that I have not recognized until I began surrendering.

As I stopped wanting something different, I began noticing I'm happy where I am.  When I stopped being frustrated over feeling trapped, I began not feeling trapped at all.  When I started to embrace that change will be consistent in our lives, I found I actually looked forward to change.

It's funny how we're made with a fight or flight response.  Why, oh why, am I trying to fight and flee from myself??  What I've got here is very very good.

4 Responses to “Giving In”

  1. Giving in sounds like a very good place to be. Love you!

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  2. Wow, Breck...I totally see myself in your post. It often feels like CF is just a "temporary life" that we are working to just do the best...that tomorrow will be different. I think I tend to think like this so I can cope better with the realization that cf is life threatening...and I don't have complete control over it. Thanks for your honesty and thanks for sharing what I think a lot of us find hard to admitt.

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  3. There you said it.
    I am there too, but people think I am unaffected of it all and that is so not true either. I have just accepted how life is and it does not feel too bad at all! :) These days we are in hospital for 14 days of IV antibiotics. Hugs Hanne

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