Friday, June 22, 2012

Tears and Tissues

One non-malignant brain tumor pushing on my pituitary gland...please, and thank you!
It may seem odd to hope and pray for such a thing, but I was doing just that a few days ago. On Monday I went in for an MRI in the hopes of narrowing down (and finding out) what is causing my health dilemma. To be honest, I thought this would provide answers. I was pretty convinced the results would come back with either Multiple Sclerosis or a tumor pushing on my pituitary. I was hoping for the latter. Why would I want such a diagnosis? Easy. They can remove the tumor and my life can come back! That was my reasoning for wanting something to show up on that little image. I was holding out hope in getting answers from that test. And the pitutary gland makes sense - or made sense, I thought.
But, alas, it wasn't meant to be. Instead of a tumor or MS I was given a clean bill of brain health. Yay? I should be happy, but I'm not. I'm frustrated. I've gone years without answers and I'm at the end of my rope. I want to know what is wrong with me - even if the diagnosis is grim and seemingly hopeless. I want to know the giant I am facing. Right now he is nameless and faceless. I am getting tired of fighting a battle against an enemy I don't know or understand. What can I say? I'm worn out. In the past few days I have cried more then I have in months. My emotional breakdowns have reached a frequency that blows through a box of tissues - literally. Songs on the radio have me breaking down in convulsive sobs as I drive. I'm a wreck and I am at a loss as to how to get control of myself again.
Today I sat in the doctors office with no clue what to do next. Part of me wants to give up. Close up shop and go home. How long can I can on this way?
And then the other part of me wants to buck up and push on. I am torn between defeat and heroism. The two sides of me are at war and in that doctors office a battle was waged. Tears flowed. I couldn't control the struggle inside of me. Inside I was breaking apart. I cried for the two years of my life that have been held hostage, at the mercy of this mystery. I cried for the bones potruding from my back, making me look more and more like a skeleton with each passing day. I cried for the frustration that was exploding from every fiber of my being. What is wrong with this body? Why doesn't it absorb all the nutrients I give it through my food? Why is this happening and what will ever make it stop?
I feel like a train, speeding out of control with no brakes. Will it have to crash to bring this whole thing to an end? What will it take?
In that room with dimmed light and soothing Chinese music, I held my head between my knees and let the overwhelming exhaustion pour out of me. My eyes soaked through tissues, making my face a blotchy mess of tears (but not a mess of mascara, thank you creator of waterproof makeup).
As the doctor talked, the flood gates were broken open even further. My breakdown continued throughout the visit and after Dr. Zhao left the room. I couldn't put a cap on it. For the first time during this whole ordeal I let myself crumble with reckless abandon. I didn't attempt to stop it. I couldn't even if I tried. I sobbed. I shook. I fell apart at the seams.
For the past two years I have held it together during the ups and downs that have been riddling my day to day life. In every situation I have tried to be strong and not show how much this has beaten me up emotionally. But today I didn't attempt to hide it any longer. I am on my knees for everyone to see. I don't have any more answers. My stamina that was maintaining a steady pace of paper thin has broken through. Today was the culmination of all of the devestation that I have felt yet avoided for years. I simply couldn't keep those feelings at bay a moment longer.
So, now what? Do I give up?
For two years I have fought to keep going. Running when it hurt, walking when my legs burned, smiling when inside I was crying and getting up each morning when some days I wanted it all to be over - for good. But God hasn't given up on me. He hasn't let me come home. He still wants me here. As long as he keeps me breathing I will keep fighting. Until the day he brings my soul to Heaven I will continue on in this journey.
I have no idea why my health got off course two and half years ago and I have no idea why it got better last summer only to relapse six months later. There are far more questions than answers. But I do know that God is in control of it all. The ups and downs aren't a surprise to him, he knew they were coming. None of this is a mystery to him and not one moment of it is wasted. He promises that all things will work together for good for those who love him. He is going to work this out for good. He may not do that in a way I expect or could even imagine. He probably has something far more creative in mind - and much better, for that matter.
God doesn't demand that I always remain strong. He knows I am human. He does ask that I trust him and have faith in his plan and timing. He wants me to find rest in his promises even when I'm confused and feel broken. So that is what I am going to do. I am not going to attempt to "figure" out what God is working out in my life. I am going to rest in knowing that he has me on HIS path. This isn't my route - that's for sure. This is God's. I'm on his timetable, not mine. God doesn't want me trying to peek ahead at the upcoming turns. And he definitely doesn't want me asking, "are we there yet?" He wants me to enjoy where I'm at on the journey - even if that place includes tears, tissues and doctor's offices.

James 1:2-3
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

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