Love and Faith…Dangerous Refuge

So much busy-ness and so many confused thoughts floating around in my head these past several weeks that it’s been difficult to figure out what to write. In fact, it still is. The last post I wrote my youngest son had recently had a karate accident which left him mostly blind in one eye. The week before his finals, a child popped him in the head with a wallet filled with coins, which separated the vitreous fluid from the retina (called posterior vitreous detachment) which caused him to have over 100 “floaters” in the already damaged eye; as well as increasing the chances of a retinal tear in the near future.

This, only a day after the blessed news that his vision was slowly and steadily improving–finally able to see 20/80 (the second line below the giant E in the eye chart) instead of barely 20/2000 (light and motion perception) when the accident occurred…at least in 25% of his vision field (the other 75% is still black.)

Needless to say, this coming on the heals of an already stressful and confusing few weeks sent us all into a bit of an emotional nosedive. It is difficult to find your equilibrium when every time you begin to balance yourself, the waves come and knock you off your feet again. Mine has always been a relatively forgiving nature (probably my lack of memory makes it easy to “forget” the offenses caused by others, thus making forgiveness easy!) and the last thing I wanted was to blame this teenager for further damaging my son’s already damaged eyesight and possibly being the cause of permanent vision loss. Knowing that the second “accident” was not an entirely “accidental” act made forgiveness difficult, to say the least. And for one who manages to find forgiveness of children very easy, my unforgiving spirit left me totally drained…and not really knowing how to find balance.

And in the middle of all of this, I was back in the doctor’s office for more tests and procedures. This time, once again, for digestive problems. When I was in my twenties, single, and eating whatever and whenever I wanted (translate: way too much junk, way too little fruits and veggies), this didn’t sit very well with my digestive tract, and I developed Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Once I married and learned/practiced better eating habits, this was no longer an issue for me–until after chemo! Oh the lovely things that chemo stimulates! And to top it off, I now also have diverticuli (little pouches along the lining of the colon) which can get infected. Also, not a problem until AFTER chemo. Last fall, I had a nasty bout of diverticulitis (inflammation of these little pouches) and in the middle of my son’s issues, it decided to flare up again.

So in the middle of all my worrying and fretting over my son and his vision (since IBS and diverticulitis tend to be worse under stress, probably BECAUSE of all my worrying and fretting), I’ve been running back and forth to the doctor for my own health issues. More imbalance, more stress, more uncertainty. Somehow in the midst of all this craziness, I need to find balance. I need to regain my sense of focus and faith. And I’m having difficulty doing it.

I read a beautiful blog today that went a long way to helping me remember where to find the balance. The blogger spoke of the love affair we seek with our God…a dangerous God, a dangerous love for an out-of-control world. And I paused for just a moment, and remembered my own faith journey, my own “love affair” with the Savior. How in the midst of some of the deepest, darkest trials I have felt and been comforted by His presence in my life. Just knowing that He loves me has been enough to bring balance and restore peace in my soul. So why not now?

Is He any less “in control” because these problems center around my children, instead of around me? Do I have less confidence in His ability to be there for them than in His ability to be there for me? He has healed me through the skillful hands and watchful eyes of my physicians…do I really think that He can’t or won’t do the same for my son? And if there is no further healing, do I doubt His ability to guide my son into a new way of looking at life, a way that won’t require full physical vision, but might actually allow him to see life more clearly? Why won’t I just let go and let Him have His way in all this? Why must I try to be “in control” of this situation, even when I know full well that I’m NOT in control. I can’t bring back his vision any more than I could have stopped either “accident” from occurring–or from either “accident” causing harm–in the first place.

Love is dangerous. Loving a God that challenges the very nature of who we are, is dangerous. Faith in anything, especially such a God, is dangerous. Faith is simple, but it is not easy. Having the tiniest amount of faith can be a challenge. Loving (and forgiving!) when surrounded by hate and anger and pain seems like weakness. When the gail-force winds and the rising surf of the seas of life seem to knock us off our feet, wiping away the course we have charted to take, setting adrift in an unknown ocean filled with new and terrifying experiences, faith seems not only futile, but meaningless and nonsensical.

But in this world of danger, challenge and fear, faith is the only solid thing I have to hold onto. The love I have for my Savior, the love He has for me, the “love affair” that I live each and every day with Him, is what holds me together in the midst of those trials and challenges.

As a lover feels safe when held firmly in the arms of their lover, in the midst of the trials of this world, the loving arms of my Heavenly Father–the truest Lover my heart has ever known–is the only place I can find safety, focus, meaning, and balance. And I know deep in my heart, that He is there for me. There for my children. A solid rock in a storm-racked world. Waiting for me, for us, to come to Him with open arms and open hearts.

I’m not certain what the future holds: for me, for my family, for my son’s vision, for anything. But I do know that through all the trials and dangers that I will face, He will be there. And when I stop focusing on the tragedies and focus only on Him…that is enough.

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