I've been sitting here at the computer for awhile, procrastinating. For me writing is one way of processing all the things running around in my head. And this is something I don't want to process. I'd rather stuff it down and ignore it. But it’s time to start working through it. So, please bear with me…
Where to begin?
Lots of people have been asking me the very same questions I've been asking myself lately. Are you going to sell your house in Michigan? Are you going to move to Indiana or stay up there? Are you going to quit your job (teaching Kindergarten)? How are you doing? How is Marley doing? Have you gone through Jim's stuff? What are you going to do with all of it? Did you find a home for your dogs? Are you going to trade in the truck and the Jeep and get a car? Are you going to rent or buy a home down in Indiana? Are you going back to school for nursing? Are you STILL living with your parents? :-)
My mind is spinning with all of the things I have to think about on a daily basis. Thank God for good medication! But that's a whole different post. Focus, Megan. (Yes, Mom. I said "focus". If you're a Payne kid, you get the irony here...). The truth is, the answer to most of these questions has evaded me.
And it's mostly my fault.
You see, I remind myself of an ox. When presented with a heavy load to pull, I tend to put my head down, throw my weight forward and pull against the harness with all my might. I don't look cool while I'm doing it, cause if I did, I would remind myself of a horse. Horses are beautiful and cool. Oxen, not so much. When I think of an ox, I think of an animal who is strong, stocky, and efficient. I also think of an animal who will pull and pull and pull until it falls down from exhaustion. An animal with a ridiculously strong will. An animal that needs guidance.
When Jim was sick, he was receiving treatment at one of the best hospitals in the country. The Cancer Center at U of M is top-notch in treating the very rare type of cancer he had. But it was also HUGE, and a research and teaching hospital to boot. That meant a ridiculous amount of red tape. Referrals to different departments within the same hospital could sometimes take weeks. Getting a call back from a doctor was nearly impossible, and getting one from a nurse was sometimes difficult. But if you have the mentality of an ox, you put your head down and start pulling. You ask lots of questions and educate yourself. You don’t wait for those doctors to whom you’ve been referred to call you with an appointment. You call them every day until they give you an appointment. When a nurse doesn’t return your call in a timely manner, you call her again. You get to know which lady at the message center will be proactive for you, find out her name, and ask for her every time. And if your husband is in terrible pain and doped out of his mind from a procedure and isn’t strong enough to walk but won’t stay in his hospital bed, but no one will help you keep him there or answer the call button you’ve pushed four times, and it’s 4 am and you haven’t slept in two days, you go out in the hall and YELL FOR PAIN MEDICATION AND THIS IS NOT MY JOB, GET IN HERE RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!! It is times like these that having a personality like an ox can be helpful and can get you results.
But that was then, and this is now. Being an ox doesn’t help me. I can’t bring him back. I can’t help my daughter understand the finality of the fact that her Daddy is never coming back, because there’s part of me that doesn’t quite get it either. This is all still very fresh and raw for both of us.
So, now what? I have to admit, I’m having trouble hearing God. Yes, I’ve asked Him all those questions I started this post with, and many more. Many times. Now and again, when I get quiet enough, I think I hear “Wait.”. I was encouraged to have this confirmed by a pastor at my church in Hillsdale. He and I hadn’t spoken about it, but when I went forward for prayer during a recent visit, the word he was given was that I was to wait and to work on my broken heart. Confirmation is always good!
Mostly what I’m hearing is quiet. Not silence, but quiet. There’s a difference. God is there. I know this. Honestly, I think He’s waiting for me to settle down, make a few practical big-girl decisions, and listen a little better. One thing I know for sure is that right now it’s too painful for me to live in my Hillsdale house. Maybe later it won’t be, but it is right now. Am I running away from reality? No. Trust me, I know it’s there. I just don’t have the emotional fortitude to deal all at once with everything the last three years have left for me there. This ox is tired. I’ve fallen down from exhaustion So, for the summer at least, Marley and I will be living in Indiana in an apartment. We will make visits to Michigan and process our life without Daddy in little pieces, a step at a time.
I will seek, I will listen, and I will WAIT.
“For they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.
They shall mount up with wings as eagles.
They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”