Friday, September 26, 2014

More Than You Can Bear...

Allow me to begin with a disclaimer:

This is a post I've kept pretty close to home up until now, so if you are a close friend or family member of mine, my apologies if this is the first you are hearing of this... I just couldn't share this information, because frankly, I wasn't ready to, and I think there are just some things you aren't meant to obscurely post on social media and walk away from...

I wasn't ready to share it, because at that time, it was one of the scariest moments of my of the most trying...and one that we didn't, as of yet, have all the answers to all of the questions that those of you who love us would be exploding with...but, let me begin, and hopefully all will be answered and revealed by the end of the time it takes you to read this...

I am, admittedly, a control freak. I run the budget, I run the schedule, I manage the's often a family joke that my husband wears the pants, but I pick them out... thankfully, God planned for me to marry a guy that would be ok with that. (Love you, Babe). 

But sometimes, in those moments of obsessive control, when I manage everything, when I'm the one balancing all the cards, juggling the balls, spinning the plates...sometimes in those moment's I forget who really holds it all in His hand...and in THOSE moments, the house of cards crashes, only for me to realize I'm still being held in His hand, regardless of what I thought I had control of. 

A few months ago, I had been experiencing these headaches...and if you know me well, you know 2 things. 
1. I don't get headaches, and...
2. If I do get headaches, you won't know about it, because not only to I have an incredibly high pain tolerance (thanks, Grandma), I also am stubborn about pushing through illnesses to not be weak. (So, as you can tell, this is not the first time God has had to land me on my butt to get a message to me...) 

After about a month of pushing through these scary beyond all reason   slightly painful pressure headaches, I had decided, I'll see a doctor in a few more weeks. 

That was when God reminded me, I'm not in control. 

One night in particular, as I was driving 30 minutes to a business dinner, in my honor, no less, I began to have the worst night of my life. 

Leaving the office, the room began to tilt. In my infinite wisdom (insert sarcastic eye roll here) I didn't stop to consider how un-right that was, and kept walking to the car. 

Once in the car and driving on the highway, at 70 mph, I began to lose feeling in my hands, in my fingers, in my legs, in my feet...I looked at the car, could physically see my foot on the gas, but couldn't feel it to push it. I looked at my hands, gripping the steering wheel, but I could not touch it. I merged off of the exit to the restaurant in a residential area, and had my GPS on, but couldn't comprehend it. I couldn't understand what it was telling me...IN ENGLISH. 

Finally, I pulled over, tears flowing down my face. I opened my mouth to cry out for help, and I couldn't speak. For lack of better imagery, I sounded like a special needs patient. 

So, there i am, in downtown Nashville, surrounded by strangers, fully incapacitated, can't speak, can't feel, can't do a thing, except cry the word Help. 

A man and his wife found me and took me into their home. Complete strangers and yet, I don't think I will ever be more thankful for anyone in my life... Through my incapacities, we attempted to communicate my name, who I was, where I was going...and at this point, I began blacking out, the room spinning and my mind filling with thoughts that I couldn't control...

Was this going to stop? Would I be me again? Could I regain my speaking again? would I ever hold my babies or sing them to sleep again? 

An ambulance was called and the next thing I remember, I woke up alone and scared in the hallway triage hospital bed of some ER in the city. The next thing I knew, someone had found my husband and he rushed in. I just remember  holding on to him with everything in me and crying out every scared feeling I had experienced in that last hour (?) hours (?) into his shoulder while he held me, thanking God he had found me. 

The next few days were an emotional battle...was it a stroke? was it a cyst? was it... cancer? and if it was, how would I manage that? would this happen again?

Rounds of MRI's, CT scans and other frighteningly expensive testing later, and I received the most miraculous diagnosis... Complex Migraines. I suffer from the world's worst headaches, that, when unattended, create stroke-like symptoms. 

And in that diagnosis, I was reminded, and admonished, God never promises to keep us from more than we can bear...but sometimes, I wonder if he gives our bodies an emergency switch to say "Hey! You're getting close!!" I wonder if he allows us to experience moments like this to slow down, calm down, and allow ourselves to regroup, reprioritize and renew our perspective on who we need to be and what is important in life. I wonder if, in times that we need to pull the lever, if He does it for us? 

I'll admit it...complex migraines are no picnic. But, in a way, I'm kind of blessed to have them. Because they are a firm reminder to me who is in control of my life...and how it's ultimately not me. No amount of post it notes, calendars, project plans or budgets will change that. It's also a reminder to me to slow down, and take stock in what is truly important. That last hug and kiss of the day...a few extra moments of more bed time song... one more story... telling my husband about my day... walking on a beach with my family. Those are the moments that matter. 

So if you are feeling today, that you are carrying more than you can bear, take a moment and pull the lever for yourself. Spend some time, even if it's just a few moments, focusing on what really matters. 

With that renewed perspective, you can bear what matters...and what doesn't will resolve itself in the end.