It's been a while since I've taken the time to reflect and write something for our blog. We had initially set out to blog once a week for better or worse, for richer for poorer. Eh, forget it. We had the best intentions, though.
I wanted to write to spill my guts a little. I'm afraid. I think I've had two pretty severe panic attacks this year and even when they're not severe, they hit me like an almost paralysis.
Almost every time I go to confession, our priest encourages me with the phrase "don't worry about nothin'." How simple it is. "Come to me all you who are weary and I will give you rest". If I'm a Christian why do I feel so damned worried all the time? Who's watching me (besides Christ), what's after me, that could destroy my life?
I'm pinned down like a butterfly on display by these fears. They make me anxious, they make me tired and confused. They keep me from saying what I need to say to family, neighbors and friends. I'm isolated by fear. I'm owned by it.
Our priest did a healing service for me a couple weeks ago and it brought me to tears. There's something about having oil smeared all over you, right after ancient songs and prayers and the laying on of hands. I haven't had even a minor attack since then, and it's my belief that I am healed, maybe not completely, but healed nonetheless by Christ through His servant.
I'm still weary, though, and the frustrating anxieties and fears keep coming back. Maybe the question I should ask isn't "why is this happening" but rather "what to do in the face of it". The fears will come, the doubts, the struggles, the what ifs, the panicky, heart racing, oh-my-God-I-thought-I-was-going-to-die scenarios. We all struggle, but there is help, there is healing.
On another note, we will be having a baby in about three weeks. Lord knows when this will actually happen. It's come to my attention that in the midst of all the health problems and preparing for the baby and chasing our daughter around and trying to find some peace and quiet that I've failed to prepare myself spiritually and emotionally for this child. The other day I swore I heard an almost audible voice saying "make room in your heart and your life for baby Turtle (our nickname for the little one)". We've made room in our home. We've made room in our budget, our schedules, our. . .blog, but have we made room in our hearts, in our lives for this new life? How do you prepare for something like this? What did I do last time? Maybe the answer is that this baby will get what he or she gets. Maybe the answer is to let my ugliness hang out, to stop being pretentious and fake. We pray every Sunday after Holy Communion for "love unfeigned". I really mean it now. God, give me extra love in my heart for everyone.
We also pray every day for those we love: our family, friends, acquaintances, even enemies. We pray for those who have departed this life. I can't help but reflect again on the life and death of our last baby, Seraphim, as I prepare myself for our newest addition. Maybe there's a part of my heart that has still not let go of the miscarriage, has still not healed enough to love fully. Maybe it's this feeling of death creeping around every corner that contributes to my fear and uptightness. Whatever it is, help me, Lord, to come to terms with it, to confront it and see it for what it is.
So, here we stand on the cusp of more change than we ever bargained for, wearied and dazed. And ready to take life by the horns and make it run like a faithful steed (or at least not to knock us off every time it bucks). By the grace of God, to that end we go.