While its really nice to sleep with the windows open- 4:26 came with a big runny itchy nose, eyes and sore throat, along with dogs barking. Window will stay shut for a while now.
Summer’s over. I had to put on a bathrobe.
Morning thoughts have taken over, and so I write.
Here it is:
At baptism we covenant- COVENANT to bear one another’s burdens. However, we are also instructed to “cast your burden upon the Lord.”
This past year has been hell for me, and for my family.
Nobody knows about it. (well- now a few know about it- but my burden-casting mostly consists of this blog, and my poor husband and kids bear the rest.)
I live in a community of saints, who all made these same covenants. How much bearing are we doing?
I’m the first to admit that I absolutely am the last person most people would go to to share a burden. I’ve had an occasional phone call from a fellow desparate housewife who is at her wits end and needs psychological help. Everyone knows I’m mental- they just think it’s a healthy amount of mental and that I know a bit about meds and local counselors.
Back to my story.
How, exactly would I go about bearing another’s burden, or casting a bit of mine on someone else? If someone begins to get close to me- I recoil and redirect my path so as to avoid them until it looks safe again to travel in that direction. Other’s problems make me nervous. I want things complete and fixed, and people are never complete so I run.
I have a dear friend whose life is one big problem. She’s paraplegic. Her husband is a socially stunted recovering addict. Her son has severe ADHD, and one of her twin boys has diabetes. I had to stop taking her calls. (to be honest, the biggest problem for me what her total lack of hygeine. I just couldn’t take it. I feel awful about it- but the overpowering stench of poop in her house was so repellant I couldn’t even cross the threshold. A bigger woman would have marched in and fixed it. Not I. I ran. Fast.) The worst part is that I can’t even take her phone calls anymore. After our last night out together where there were several displays of grossness, I couldn’t even talk to her on the phone. I simply cannot have a relationship with her. It’s almost like I was looking for a reason to get out. When I smelled the poop- I had my reason.
So, Husband is a struggling homosexual. Daughter has ADD and is struggling significantly in school. She rarely plays with other kids. #1 son is painfully timid and introverted. #2 son is just a ball of messy- nothing to0 earth-shattering about that, but he’s so wild, I have a hard time leaving him anywhere so I just don’t. I’ve got no help. Through this past year, my kids have witnessed my steep decline into suicidal depression and Husband revealing several affairs to me (although they have no idea what we are talking about- they see the intense conversations and the tears.) Why should they, of all people have to bear these burdens? They, whose backs are barely strong enough to bear their own?
I just finished reading a book last night which illustrated the Atonement in a very approachable way. (atonement for dummies) The way I see it- Gethsemane was Christ’s face-off with Satan. He not only bore our burdens, but he stood, naked, open, and took all that Satan could throw at him. The book said something to the effect of- Satan was holding his chain, and Gethsemane brought him one link away from holding all of creation in his hands. No wonder he laughed.
So here I sit- in my pain and anguish- begging Christ to take my chains- so he does. Is that enough for me? No. He stands there holding them- telling me to run- to get away from this place and this pain. What do I do? I hang around. I try and take them back. They’re my chains, after all. I know them. They’re comfortable. And then I complain that I’m still here.
I’m afraid that giving him my chains is like me having to smell the poop. I don’t want to do it. There’s no way He wants to do it either. So here I sit. Ridiculous.
I’m not going to go out and spew my imperfections and struggles to the world. I’ve got one of those picture-perfect lives. I wouldn’t want to go spoiling that image for anyone.
But I would really like someone to reach through that facade and find me.
For now, I’ll work on trusting Him to find me.
Update: I realized in the shower today that I totally lost my train of thought and didn’t even touch the point I had initially intended to make. My brain doesn’t smoothly flow like some of yours. . .
Another point I wanted to make is that ALL of us have something we are hurting over, yet how many people show it? There is a fine line between being real, and being TOO real though. It isn’t necessarily good to tell everyone your entire sob story, and letting it out all of the time may lead to dwelling on the problem- maybe. BUT maybe if we were more aware of other’s pain, we wouldn’t be so ashamed of our own. Maybe we could work together to support, uplift and possibly solve our achiness. (achy-ness? whatever.)
Some people aren’t comfortable with sharing. I get that. But maybe if sharing didn’t lead to rejection it would become more common and accepted.
Who’s gonna go first?