I keep thinking it wasn’t real. The whole thing was just a dream. I didn’t really have a heart attack. I want it to not be real.
I want to go back to before …
Before when my weight and cholesterol and blood pressure were numbers that looked good and gave me confidence in my health. Before when 42 was really way too young for anything scary like a heart attack. Before when I drank my coffee and ate my bagel and didn’t have a handful of pills to go with my breakfast.
We all have a before. Before the crisis. Before the hurt. Before the loss. Before can captivate us and make us yearn for what we didn’t know, what we hadn’t considered, what had never crossed our minds.
If I’m really honest, I wish I didn’t know what I know now. I long for the days when ignorance was bliss. I trust God is at work and He has allowed what He could prevent as a means for His glory and my good. I’m struggling to understand all that in this moment. It doesn’t make sense to me. It’s hard to accept these circumstances I find myself in. But I choose to believe because my mind and my heart can’t begin to sort out what it would mean if His words aren’t true, if His love isn’t perfect, if His grace isn’t sufficient.
Wrapping words around my thoughts is too hard right now. Too hard and too scary. Last Sunday I had a panic attack at church. Scott wasn’t there because he was leading worship in revival at a church 30 minutes away. And I was afraid something would happen and he wouldn’t be there to hold my hand. This fear isn’t rational. I know that. But rational and real are not always the same thing.
I stood there in my church, next to one of my dearest friends, singing a song that has ministered to me time and again …
I need You, oh I need You.
Every hour I need You.
My one defense, my righteousness,
Oh God how I need You.
And more than ever before I realized my need for God — for His presence, for His peace. I kept breathing in and out, singing those now familiar words and holding back the tears.
I’d sung the words before ..
When I cannot stand I’ll fall on You
Cause Jesus You’re my hope and stay
Honestly, though, before I had no idea what it meant to fall on Him. And now, even though I’ve had to collapse on Him, I still struggle with letting go of me, of what I want to do, what I dream, what I expect, what I hope. I wish for what I thought my life would be.
It’s scary. After is scary. After the heart attack, after the miscarriage, after the death, after the hurt. I’m finding all I can do is lean into Him. I have to … it’s the only way to battle the fear.
I don’t know what your situation is or where life has led you. But I know this, we all have befores and afters in our lives. Sometimes we aren’t sure what to do with all the feelings and the fears and the wondering and even the wandering as we work our way through the now. I don’t have a four-step plan for any of it. I just keep leaning in to Him, to His Word, and to the people in my life who keep loving me and holding up my arms in the battle. So, friend, what about you? Will you lean in too? Will you hear His whispers of love and peace and hope and grace?
And when you’re afraid, it’s okay. Because sometimes I’m afraid too … and we can point each other to perfect love. We’ll just keep walking and trusting and He will lead us all the way, just as He always has.