Psalm 61:2 From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
This morning I was reading the above passage. Hahaha shocked ya didn’t I! Yup I still know where my Bible is – I read it every day. I think I can relate to the parts of David’s life that strongly resemble a personal train wreck. I love that he didn’t hold back how he was feeling – his fears, personal torment, lusty appetites, mental anguish and base humanness is frequently on display and I appreciate it. “Oh he was brave and fearless” .. that’s what I was taught, but what no one ever said is he was probably an arrogant, know it all for a long long time and I suspect that a lot of pain and failures taught him where he could go to when everything went arse over tit. I can relate to the “I am FRICK’EN DONE RIGHT NOW, help!” sentiments expressed in that passage. Do you know what it’s like to have an overwhelmed heart? I think most of us have been there at some point.
The first time that I ever felt truly overwhelmed is burned into my memory like a firebrand. I thought I had known sadness and torment before then, but I really hadn’t. Not like it crashed in on me that day. Our now 14 year old was 3 days old, he was born at 27 weeks gestation and up until that point, things had been okay. Well as okay as they are when you know that everything could suddenly go wrong because your child is extremely premature. His doctor had reassured us that he was okay and that there was no need to panic or be concerned, unless he called us. I was lying down having a quick rest prior to going back to the NICU when the phone rang. Our sons lungs had collapsed. I was in Brisbane – Stephen was an hour away on the Sunshine Coast and he got in the car as soon as he got the call. Within 5 minutes of that call I got another call to let me know that my Aunty, who I loved like another grandmother and who lived with my mother and father, at the home were our 3 elder children were, at that exact moment, was dying. She had collapsed and the ambulance were there, trying to resuscitate her. The TORMENT was enormous. My children ADORED her, she was a daily part of their lives and had been a daily part of my life for years and years. In that moment, I felt total helplessness and completely alone. I couldn’t leave the hospital and be with my older children, I couldn’t be with my son who was fighting for his life, I couldn’t be with my Aunty Ol who was slipping into eternity and I couldn’t comfort my family. That was the first time I ever felt the total system overload of grief, fear and dread. That day will always stand out as a marker to me. The things I learned in that time are lessons that I have never forgotten.
It has happened to me 3 other times in the last 14 years – that dreadful overwhelmed heart feeling. In reality I did well to get to the age of 30 before that happened to me but that feeling is like suffocation.
The last time that it happened was in April of 2020 and when it did – well it changed me, I am irrevocably different. Evaluating what is important has become easy. I don’t struggle with that at all anymore! When you look into the eyes of your child because they are broken by a situation that you cannot fix and they tell you that they “don’t want to be here anymore” the things that are not important vanish. When your body betrays you and eating becomes something that sends you to the point of unconsciousness every time food or drink passes your lips, you quickly find out who cares for you and who you matter to. Those are the moments in life when it is easy to gain clarity.
I also know what it is like to have 100% confidence that I can’t control anything to do with anyone else. I can only chose how I will be today. Today I am trying to chose to be confident, vibrant and excited for all of the wonderful opportunities that lie ahead and I AM – but – My body has other ideas. My legs are very bruised and swollen from all of the falls I have had lately. My blood sugar levels want to play funny buggers and I am angry that I am in this position.
I feel overwhelmed but I am aware that in a sea of uncertainty the very best thing that I can do is bring things back to IT SUCKS. I want to be outside doing all of the things that need to be done – not lying here. BUT – the beauty of this is that we can decide to get up and stay up and never frick’en give up! I may take things slower these days as we continue to work to resolve the physical issue that have been the outcome of too much pressure and stress but one thing is certain – My internal roar is much louder today on the inside of me than how things look on the outside. On the inside things are working overtime and I am finally finding a way through the dark days. The hope I needed was never far away.