looking to things unseen

Lately I have been stirring.  Nothing seems to satisfy me.  I cannot quench my thirst or curb my hunger… and for what exactly… I don’t even know.  

Depression is sneaky and nasty all in the same respects.  One thing with depression due to brain injury, it seems to be more of a random battle rather than a consistent one.  That’s the sneaky part.  It feels like I get punched in the gut while looking the other way.  I can be going along… seemingly in a capable rhythm… then without anything dramatic taking place, with no warning, I get in a slump… the depression swarms in, takes over, and is essentially… overwhelming.

For example, let’s just take one aspect of the day – a person’s morning routine. My “pie in the sky” daily routine would be to get up at 7:30a; walk my dogs; have an uninterrupted quiet time with the Lord; 30 minutes of toning exercises while watching the news; take a shower; get dressed and ready for the day by 10:00a…maybe even take a rest break at that moment (because that really was a lot of ‘roogaboog’ for one PCS person :))!  But I’d feel okay with that break because of all the morning I had already enjoyed. Mind you, this is quite a submission on my part, being that I used to do all of the above by 7:00a and then leave for an ambitious work day.  But, I think I am over being depressed about that and now willingly concede to a 7:30a beginning to my day.

Yet, even with conceding to a start time of 7:30a, post-injury I can barely make that happen. For one, to treat my injury fairly…getting up is a chore. Then, if I do manage an earlier start to my day and try for an efficient morning… chances are I will get interrupted and all of a sudden it is 2:30p and all I can do for the life of me is grab a snack and lay my weary body down in bed (and how can I be weary from not even accomplishing half of my morning routine much less anything else?).  That’s the catch!

Now this sounds pathetic to those of you who are still able to work and may not be experiencing Post-Concussive Syndrome (PCS).  But it might make sense as you watch a close friend or a family member struggle to fully recover from a head injury.  On the other hand, to some of you it may sound ungrateful as I read many of your stories and see that it is just a challenge for you to now walk, talk, or care for yourself!   …my apologies…  My legs work.  My arms move normally.  For the most part, I can walk, talk and care for myself.  But on those unpredictable days, there is that untouchable disconnect between my drive and my ability… like there is a gap in my injured brain somewhere now that wasn’t there before.  It’s the Grand Canyon between desire and doing… and I think that makes me lose hope at times.  It is depressing.

Isn’t this new way of life confusing?  I am 6+ years into it and I still try to be the old me!  In so many ways I have admitted and given into it… but there is still that old wiring in my brain that has those expectations of myself… and that desire to get the most out of each day.

”So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

I have to hold onto those wise words or I will fall apart.  I believe in Jesus Christ and have gratefully accepted Him as my Lord and Savior… because of this… He promises that my life has already begun an eternity with Him.  So in my light and momentary afflictions, my ‘slump’… I need to read, reread, and s l o w l y  digest the HUGE promises in these verses!  

He is asking me to  not  even  look  at  what  I  can  see… what?  Who says that?!?!  

But He is right.  If I look at what I see, I see a woman who has had her world turned upside down;  income and future plans stripped from her;  success in multiple college degrees and a passionate career – gone;  an athletic body dissolved into flubber;  joy in serving outwardly – gone;  parenting abilities limited;  social escapes – gone;  the list goes on and on….

But what I can sometimes see, when I see my life through His eyes, is how much He loves and has blessed me. I am a woman who now leads a calmer life than I’ve ever led before; who has an income that has been dramatically cut, but is somehow making it financially; whose body is a bit larger, but still fairly healthy; who now finds joy in serving quietly; whose parenting, though limited now to more quiet one on one moments with my daughters, often seems all the more special because of it;  social moments now mean time spent only with very close friends who understand;

And this new, unseen list, goes on and on….

The hopeless list is more apparent. I see it more easily. I feel it more often. But He says that this temporary illness is nothing in comparison to the infinity I will spend with Him in a place of no pain, no fear, no disappointments, no slumps…no NOT ONE…and that is a beautiful vision of the unseen!

Peel my eyes open today, Lord, so that I can place my HOPE in the UNSEEN and let go of what I do see!       In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

*This document is the sole property of L. Marie Drake © 2017.  Permission granted for printing copies of this page on the basis they are not used for personal profit or any financial gain. Thank you.*

a gray day is okay

 

gray day is ok

Photo:  macaroni.and.drake@instagram

Is it? Is it okay to just accept the gray day? I think so. I think, yes…it is OK to just plain feel… whatever…even if it feels like it’s the end of the world. Since my head injury, sometimes I just forget to feel and be sad. Instead I drag it out as this, well, half-hearted happiness.  But I believe the key to this disguised treasure is in my perspective. In this photo, my daughter rushed inside the house and had to show me this “AWESOME” picture she took!  To me, it was just one of a hundred or so pictures she’d taken that day, but she persistently begged me to look at it. I was having an overwhelming brain day – spinning – anti-productive – nauseated- …seriously…what could be that awesome?  Yet she had to show me….

..This picture, of a gray, gloomy, April day when all us northerners dream of a spring that no longer seems possible!  Yes…that’s the picture she was telling me was beautiful!?  “Mama, look at the colors. The fog, how it takes over the trees and our lane. The snow, how it imitates the color of the sky. Look at the color of my sweatshirt and my nails against the other neutral colors….”  Her list went on, and on and on.  And then, I saw it!  This day had a beauty only she could see. I didn’t know it, but I needed her to bring life to this day, to light (or life) for me… and she did!

The Lord says that He will never leave us nor forsake us. In my daughter’s photo He intricately crafted the beauty of His nature and showed me what was beyond my initial understanding – that He will meet us anywhere we call on Him. He took the obvious gloom of a cold April day in Minnesota and moved me beyond and ABOVE it. Now I was able to see the gray through His eyes. There is beauty there, because He created it. He showed me the beauty of gray – the beauty to be found in my every-day life of just trying to make it sanely to tomorrow.

Is your situation gloomy today?  You’ve taken another step forward and moved two steps back on an escalator moving the wrong way, possibly? Your circumstances haven’t changed – it’s the same old street on another dreary April day. But would you do this? Would you challenge yourself to find beauty in yet another cold, gray day? It’s His April. Gray is a color that He created. There must be some light there. Some life.

As you lie in your bed, feeling the same old pain…

As you get a call from your doctor, hearing the same old news…

As you try to make yourself a meal, and struggle with the same old confusion…

I CHALLENGE YOU!

…what is the hidden beauty that is waiting for you to discover it?  Find it… Write it… Post it on your mirror… Leave a note to yourself in your kitchen about the blessings there…. Walk outside and breathe… what blessings are you inhaling?  Come back inside… do you have warmth?  That’s a blessing.  Can you feel the warmth?  That’s a blessing.  Can you see your room, your chair, your couch?  That’s a blessing.

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think… to him be glory… throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”    Ephesians 3:20-21

Tell the world your blessings…. and we, too, will be blessed.  Please add just ONE blessing you found today in the comment link below…

*This document is the sole property of L. Marie Drake © 2017.  Permission granted for printing copies of this page on the basis they are not used for personal profit or any financial gain. Thank you.*