Kara’s Collection: Jealousy—the longing for normal

from an article originally posted December 3, 2014…

Oh, my heart. Oh, my sad and covetous and jealous heart. I have recently been in so many interviews, and I am often asked if I struggle feeling angry over the path we find ourselves walking. My answer is typically the same: I have fought to be broken instead of bitter and angry. It’s not a simple journey.

No one has ever asked me if I’m jealous. Now that would be a different question altogether. Last night, I was screaming in pain, weeping, and so unbelievably frustrated that our plans aren’t going like I want them to go. Like I have planned them to go: my WAY! This new treatment was supposed to work. This new plan was supposed to make it all better. And all of the sudden, pain unimaginable has quickly snuck in and left me ragged and weary, to say the least.

My doc and I are trying new ways to treat my pain, but nothing is touching it. I want an answer for the pain, he wants an answer for the growing cancer. I’m not ready to admit that it the problem of this pain, because I like this new chemo. Well, no one likes chemo, but this treatment isn’t so debilitating as the others. I have felt a new quality of life restored to me, and I don’t want to lose that. I don’t want another treatment option to not be working—that is inching me closer to the moment of No More Options.

So, last night, the new pain plan didn’t work. I was in agony. I was weeping hot and angry tears over the pain. And all I kept saying over and over is, I’m so jealous of normal people. I just want to be kissing my kids goodnight and sitting down for a glass of something and adult conversation, not calling the hospital and debating if I need to go there to spare the kids from hearing my agony. I want a bad hair day, to worry over a spelling test, or upcoming lines in a play coming out smoothly for my brave young lady who has taken on drama with a stutter. I’m so proud. So proud of her. I want to go to a thrift store and buy old wool sweaters and make ugly stuffed animals with my kids and bake over Christmas break. I do not want to be back in radiation battling to kill what is killing me... or hurting me. I want to be decorating my house for Christmas. I want to buy a house where we can have chickens and goats, and outdoor-ness. I still want my farm, but I know I will never be the woman I dreamed that could handle a farm. I’m not angry; I’m simply jealous this morning of normal people that get to do normal things.

I don’t even want to say out loud what is really bothering me, because then I would be held accountable to what was said. Though it has always been my own practice not to drive while taking any big medication, yesterday my doctor said I can’t drive until we get this pain figured out. So, I get it, I never drive on these big meds anyway, but I was told out loud by a person of authority (my kind-faced oncologist). And I’m just really sad about losing that corner of normal. I hate it. I find myself needy again in a new bitter edge in this battle. I was invited to coffee this morning, and I couldn’t go after the devastating night battling pain, but I also couldn’t go because I can’t drive. And I just am so discouraged. I simply want to be ordinary, normal, just me. My friends would gladly drive me without question. I just don’t want to ask.

Last night as pain wouldn’t let go and let me sleep I went to the HGTV website and watched a new show online called Fixer Upper. My sister told me about it, and said the couple reminded her of us. Oh, my soul, I want to get cable just so we can watch that show. The couple that flips the homes are so sweet and gentle with each other, and they create amazing spaces together. In stressful moments, they speak kindly to one another and support one another. And I just cried, because I would love to do that. I would love to be searching out a farm to remodel, a cabin the create memories in, a new project on this home just because we are normal and have mind space and energy for that. But that normal isn’t my today. And today I’m repenting my jealousy, and hunting down peace that seems to be evading me. Seriously—HGTV, Fixer Upper, they have two episodes online for those of you, like me, without cable.

So, I’m going to turn off this screen. I’m going to open my Bible, and I’m going to hunt down the grace, the peace, the source of what living—true living really is. It’s not the absence of this pain, it’s not the presence of normal. It’s the ability and strength that I covet so desperately. It’s Jesus. He is who I need. But I also know He’s not disappointed in my wrestling, weary heart this morning. He will show me, once again, that he is enough. Maybe I can’t run to the store and Christmas shop or decorate, but after I search out peace, I have this little devise right before me, and I plan to find a few treats for my people for Christmas. That feels almost normal. And tonight as a family, we can read scripture, and as a family we are going to curl up in my bed and pick a Compassion Child to support together. There is a link on the side of my blog if you are interested in loving another this Christmas with the gift of sponsorship. I will post later about how tonight goes. It’s an amazing ministry that partners with the local church to love in big beautiful ways all around the world. Oh, I feel the peace coming just making this plan. A moment not focused on me. Glory! I feel a contented face coming right now; thank you, Jesus.

I love you, friends. Thanks for braving my broken heart this morning. Please pray as I head back in for a consult with radiation this afternoon. Something needs to give. I think we have put off dealing with this pain too long. Pray we would know which is the right direction to take. Looks also that I may have a new chemo regime coming at me. But I don’t even want to think about that right now. Breathe, just breathe, look for Jesus, rest, and repeat. And remember all the past moments where you were kept, known, blessed, comforted, and normal, and give thanks for those sweet moments. Feast on the small great moments and know they have not come to an end at this small corner of pain we are battling. Gonna just add a ton of pictures that remind me.... I need reminding today.

My heart is already lighter after hunting down and adding all these pictures. I could add a thousand more. God has been very good to this broken-hearted mama. He was good a thousand yesterdays, He is good today, and He will be good tomorrow. My moody does not move Him—praise be! Thank you for kindly meeting me here through the heights and the depths of this journey. Today I feel a little whiny, but that’s where I am. But I’m still on the hunt to see grace. It’s here; I need to keep looking. The Hardest Peace—to keep searching for it—even when your heart is desperately weary and struggling to remember.

Where are you struggling for peace this morning? What corners of life make you jealous and struggle with covetousness?