“I am weary with my sighing;
Every night I make my bed swim,
I dissolve my couch with my tears.” Psalm 6:6
No doubt there will be many times on this journey that my heart will simply not be capable of finding anything to laugh about or be positive about.
Sometimes I will just want to sit down and have a good cry, and while the tears that stream down my face likely will not come close to making my bed swim or dissolving my couch (my bed is a loft bed, so it would take some pretty high water to make it swim, and my landlord’s couch is old and sturdy and would be hard to dissolve) there will be times when the tears will come.
Indeed, there have been times.
When I think of my children and the ways my lifetime of addiction and self-absorption took away so much of me from them, and I am faced with the reality that I may not have the length of time that I wanted to love them, to know them, and to share their lives – I cry.
I have cried for my Daughter.
So much time was lost, particularly with my Daughter, and we all know we can never get time back into the bottle from which it escaped. So much time was wasted. So much laughter was never shared. So many Father-Daughter moments that are what help an old man smile in his waning years were never experienced, nor were they photographed to be gazed upon with old, loving, watery eyes.
I have cried for my Son.
In the six years I spent as a single parent to him, more time was spent cavorting in my own decadence than was shared with him doing all of the things a Father and a Son do together. We shared a true, loving closeness, for sure, but I could have been a much better example of what it means to be a father; what it means to be a man; what it means to grow and mature; what it means to be responsible.
I have cried for myself, too.
What? Surely you didn’t think that I was always laughing, always positive, and always upbeat did you? That is really almost impossible no matter how hard I may try. There are simply going to be occasions when I am going to find myself crying and saying, “This sucks!”
At this writing, I have completed the first 10 sessions of radiation and the first 3 sessions of chemotherapy. I have had no major side affects from the chemo, but I take a steroid before treatment to block any allergic reaction. While it gives me a useful energy boost for a couple of days after, it can also produce some downswings in mood. While the chemo can produce diarrhea (praise the Lord for spell-check, eh?), keeping me sitting on one pot, the steroids can relegate me to the pity-pot, and I don’t really care to spend much time on either one.
As to the radiation, since it is primarily focused on the lymph node in the center of my chest, it is impossible to avoid damage (albeit most likely temporary) and irritation to the esophagus (thank you again, Jesus!) and currently I am developing a raspy voice, a cough, and some discomfort swallowing. My morning cup of mud today (although it is not Mission Mud) feels like it has little chunks in it (and yes, I checked, and no, there are not.)
So where do I turn in my tears?
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22
So when I think of my two beautiful children, I will refuse to focus on what I didn’t do right. I will focus instead on the things I did. I will find joy in those thoughts and I will let those thoughts rule the day.
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Phillipians 4:13
I can face this disease and the major changes and disruptions to my life (and the lives of those who love me and care about me) because He says I can.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
I can trust in the Lord and in the blessings to be found in this curse, because even when I want to sit down and cry and say, “This sucks!” I know that I can count on Him to be there to wrap me in His love and help me take another step forward.
So. The tears?
They will come as surely as this beautiful day has dawned.
But God sacrificed His only begotten Son in order that I don’t have to wallow in them, make my bed swim, or dissolve my couch.
And how incredibly awesome is that?
May our truly great God bless you all and keep you and your families safe.