The last couple of weeks I have been writing some observation posts, but now we reach a point where my story takes a very personal turn. I know, I know, what could be more personal than sharing poop stories? This post I have struggled with because it is so extremely personal, but so innately pertinent, that I cannot not share it. Here we go…
The thing with an illness like this, is that it it is imperative to live in the present. AND it is so tough to be in the present. Knowing death is more a possibility today, than it was yesterday. That tomorrow will go on without you, and that you can do nothing about what happened in the past. These are all things we know, but it carries such a significant weight now. A weight that can keep you up at night. A weight that can paralyze you. A weight and darkness that prevents you from seeing past it. I am not afraid of death, I am afraid of dying. I am afraid that my children won’t remember me and that their life will be filled of memories without me. I am jealous of people who don’t know this weight. SOOOOO jealous of them. Nothing in life is truthfully on your terms, and I struggle with this.
Those that know me, know that I examine life and its intricacies. I question, I doubt and for this reason, I didn’t think that religion could be for me. The religion I saw didn’t allow for questions, didn’t focus on today’s actions, excluded individuals by passing judgement on them and you either took to its dogma, lock, stock and barrel or you didn’t belong. I feel that it wasn’t a WWJD environment, but what would Man do? Religion as I thought it was, was manly not godly. Intrinsically that was my problem with it. Who could base their life on a bunch of stories, that came from a book written thousands of years ago by several men? Here enters my current church St. James United Methodist. They invited us in and immediately started to care about what happened to us. They were interested in community service and global concerns. They spoke of politics and personal problems. I feel, for me, they put Jesus back in the church. The pastor let me ask questions and held conversations with me that other’s in his position have shied away from.
Huh… now I really had something to think about. The things that were keeping me away from church were faced fully at this church. What excuses did I have now? Well, for a long time I still found those excuses. The “not today,” excuses… “I can’t commit to Christ today, the kids are acting up, we don’t want to be late for lunch, what about all those people, it’s Easter, he didn’t invite us to the front of the church…”I just kept having them. Then I got sicker. I went to the hospital. I was away from my church and instead of the excuses being easier, it actually got harder. “Why aren’t you doing this Demara? What is your excuse today- right now even for not committing to Christ?” I had ran out of excuses. And I didn’t want that weight anymore.
Pretty raw, huh? Bald head, dirty clothes and all. Christ turns away no one who asks for forgiveness, help and love. I have no doubt he is there. He does talk to me. I’m not saying that everything has been roses from this point out, but I do feel calmer and the weight is lighter.
Matthew 13: 28-30
Come to me all of you tired of carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and put it around you and learn from me, Because I am gentle and humble in the spirit and you will find rest. Because the yoke I put on you is easy and the work is light.
And before God was the “greater and bigger,” but really I find God is in the intricacies of life. Just stop, look and listen.