21 May 2014
Would You Rather....
Lying down next to her, talking before bed, she asks me a "would-you-rather" question. "Mom, would you rather break your leg or eat candy for the rest of your life?"
The answer seems pretty easy. I explain to her how eating candy for the rest of my life would make me more miserable than breaking my leg and being in pain for just a little while. She adds okay, fruits and vegetables, too, not just candy. Still....
I think, though, what kind of a leg break? Clean, quick, cast and then six weeks later good as new? Or would it be a shatter, multiple surgeries, isolation in my bed healing for two years, pain in my leg from then on? Would it financially devastate us?
Maybe candy would be better.
I ask my cousin, and she wants to know how much longer she's going to live.
We don't always get to choose. Even if we do, we cannot really know the implications or full scale of the choice. Those things we think we can evade happen. Maybe it's raising children alone, something you never thought would happen to you. Health struggles. Relational pain. Accidents. Unemployment. Financial strain.
This past weekend I took all the snow pants, boots, and heavy coats out of the closet and put them in a bin in the basement. As I washed and folded and stuffed, I felt the struggle, near trauma, of my first winter in North Dakota. It hasn't been easy for me. I'm not a cold weather girl. Definitely not a subzero for months kind of person. Definitely not.
Also there's the heart-healing. The tearing away of my life as I knew it has been painful. There were many nights, especially the first few months, where I would cry myself to sleep, picturing my little nephews' faces and feeling jipped that I don't get to be a part of their everyday lives anymore.
Or going on walks by myself, a lack of good friends or good conversation to stimulate and inspire me. Podcasts have become my companion.
I miss our family rhythm, our friendly, involved neighbors, our outings and fresh produce and good deals. Maybe I find too much joy in a bargain.
I close the winter bin, trying to snap the lid. The scabs from all that tearing are still there. They are healing. Some things can't be rushed, though. I have to submit to the healing process.
I guess in a way, I've chosen the leg break. I didn't know what I was getting in to, but I believed that it was best. Saying yes to Jesus is always, always best.
"Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and developed, not deficient in any way." James 1, The Message