It’s not always happily ever after…

I have been discouraged.  I have been disheartened.  I have been downright blue.

The happily ever after that you expect to come when a homecoming happens never lasts very long and this time it was especially short.

When Husband’s plane landed, his grandfather was dying.  All treatment had been stopped and our family had begun the long inhaled breath of waiting.

And I…  have been in pain for months and the pain was only getting worse.  I’d fought for a scan.  I’d fought to make sure the doctors knew that I HURT and it WAS NOT getting better.  I had a CT scan a few days after husband came home.

A week after he returned we flew to Texas to be with our family.  Andrew’s grandfather was an Iron and Steel steam-engine of a man.  He didn’t give up on anything in life easy and he wasn’t going to surrender to death easy either.  Husband sat long by his bedside with other members of the family and 15 days–15 DAYS–after life-sustaining measures and nutrition was discontinued (he’d been on a feeding tube), he made his home-going.  We were so grateful that we could be with our family for those last few days and for the services to celebrate his life.

But it was hard.  So very hard.

On the flip-side of that trip, we came home to no news about my CT scan.  I had to boar and bully my way to the results and when we finally got them there was relief that the pain wasn’t caused by anything sinister like a tumor nor were there any surprising or concerning incidental findings but there was…  is…  a herniated disc in my back.

The pain is literally a pain in my tuckus.  But also numbness and tingles shooting down into my foot.    I’m sure lots of you who have had a herniated disc are nodding your head.  he pain has been bad for four months now, and I’ve never believed I was cut out to have chronic pain as a part of my story.  Maybe I am a wuss.  Maybe life has just been kind to me in the pain department, but the pain has been hard to ignore, hard to work around, and a definite drag on my spirits.  Some days it’s all I can do not to cry and whine about it all the time.

So life has been its usual dose of fast and furious loop-de-looping upside downing roller coaster.

And I find that I’m thankful that I worked so hard to remember where to hang my hope, or else the thud of it all could have been devastating.

What I do know is that in the hard and in the hurt and in the still so tired that has thrummed through me and through us in these last days since he got home God’s provision has also been there.

In the moments of tension when everyone was scraped thin and feelings were all at the surface…  God’s grace brought gentle words to turn away wrath, deep breaths, and encouragement from others at just the right time.

When the pain was sooo bad and I just felt like a whiney wuss there was time to rest and regroup.

Even this morning as I hobbled around in pain trying desperately to find my wallet there was the moment when it was found and the conviction that I needed to get myself in line (at least a little).

There was family to lean on and lightness to breathe in when things were so heavy it was palpable.

As it became clear that the pain wasn’t going anywhere and as I grappled with a new and common but unwanted diagnosis there was the realization that even if ‘this too shall pass’ didn’t work out the way I wanted that I *would* adapt and learn how to not let this part of the story consume me eventually.  There were friends to talk me to that point and to help me to be gentle with myself.

And today there was a physical therapist with a plan and a new exercise that brings relief and an expanse of living room floor to collapse on and a few moments to close my eyes and not be in so much pain.

These weeks after homecoming haven’t been picture perfect.  They have been hard and heavy and at times discouraging and disheartening.  We are still perfecting our dance of coming together again in the same space and on the same team.

But it turns out that the grace He gives really is sufficient.

There is manna provided where it is needed even though in the stretched thin moments of panic I don’t always readily trust that.

He is where I hang my hope.  And HE is enough.