Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Monsters Inside Me’

Hello friends.

Me again. Last night, Animal Planet aired the episode of Monsters Inside Me featuring yours truly. And the timing couldn’t have been stranger.

In the fall of 2010 I was on an emergency flight from my college in South Carolina to my home in Maine, having not left my dorm room for a solid week, with extreme pain, and with a smattering of other bizarre symptoms. I never got to finish my degree at that university and I left South Carolina with much unresolved.

I never thought I’d have the chance to say the goodbye I wanted.

Friendships made there faded. College students have enough trouble keeping up if both parties have the energy to communicate post-school. My sudden absence was a black hole no one could figure out how to cross. I lost myself in a battle to survive.

I survived.

By the grace of God. And sometimes by His stubbornness when I lost the resolve. I survived.

In the spring of 2017 I was contacted by the team from Monsters Inside Me and I used the income from the show to book a ticket back to the state I had left too soon. In the fall of 2017, the same weekend I flew back to South Carolina, the show aired. And it brings a stark contrast to the life I had in 2010 and the life I have in 2017.

I’ll admit to feeling some real anxiety when I was on the plane that would carry me back to South Carolina. As I said, I had a lot of unresolved feelings in regards to friendships and independence. I lost so much of both when I moved back to Maine. And in the years since, I’ve collapsed more than thrived when I attempted to move beyond that little bubble.

The bubble got comfortable.

Routine became my safety net.

But in Maine I found a friend who loved me through my illness, seeing me as anything but ill in days when that was the only way I saw myself. And when friends like that move to states like South Carolina and decide to get married, off to South Carolina I go. Four days in a state I considered my nemesis. I was pretty sure it was a lost cause, but off I went.

And mercy of mercies, I got the goodbye I wanted. Like a kid returning to their childhood home after their family has all moved away, I dealt with so much that needed to be dealt with. Not to mention, along the way, I totally rocked the train-themed Escape Room, ate some delicious cake, drank oodles of coffee, and got lost in Downtown Charleston on a walk that scaled seven miles. And while my body needed a little more rest than the average person’s would have after that walk, I actually survived and slept and laughed and generally thrived, establishing old friendship and new friendship alike.

It wasn’t a perfect trip.

Life isn’t ever perfect. But neither is beauty. Still it was good. Good in ways I didn’t expect.

I’ve been wrestling with Who God really is, never doubting His existence or His goodness or His love, but wondering what those things look like in a world full of a pain and loss that don’t always feel significant.

This weekend I saw that sometimes it takes seven years to find the answers. Seven lean years. But seven years in which God was no less constant or good or true.

Whether you are in the seven fat years or the seven lean years (see Genesis 41), hang in there friends.

Tragedy will have its end.

God is and always will be good.

And that’s enough.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

A year ago today they took my father to the hospital. He was so weak he could barely get down half a popsicle and he missed the last day of fishing season (for those of you who know him, you know this is a GINORMOUS deal). The hospital admitted him when they realized his liver, kidneys, and heart were failing. They didn’t even have time to figure out what strain of meningitis it was. We were told we could have lost him; that we’d nearly lost him. The only reason we didn’t was because his doctor’s father had died of undiagnosed meningitis and he was being overly careful.

I’d like to say this was mercy. But how do you see anyone’s loss as mercy?

A year ago today I was weeks from closing on my house. Once they got my dad stabilized, he made legal calls on my behalf to make sure the deal went through. That’s the kind of man he is.

A year ago today I had an agent reviewing my book, my fairytale, my love. The best thing I’ve ever written because it came out unbidden. The agent ultimately turned it down.

A year ago today the world was full of promise and full of despair. I had hopes for career and home while facing serious concerns I’d lose my father. The least of my worries was that we didn’t get to join Sister Kate and family on vacation in New York. We called it the year of ‘it is what it is’. Everything broke and we just kept spinning.

Today, things aren’t much different and they are incredibly different. It’s still the year of ‘it is what it is’. I’m still working toward my fairytale, but I still don’t have an agent. My dad is still sick; we didn’t lose him, but we did lose his brother—a man who set the world on fire in all the right ways, a man I can’t even write about because my words will fall short. My family is still planning a vacation with Sister Kate, and I think we’ll make it this time. I’m still stressing about my house (tenant and renovation issues, not to mention the fly-apocalypse), but I’m the proud owner now.

And I’m still wrestling with this question: How do you see loss as mercy?

My health has failed me. That’s the unvarnished truth. You’ll probably find that out when you watch my upcoming interview with Monsters Inside Me on Animal Planet so I might as well tell you now. And when God isn’t a genie who heals you or saves your finances or makes people behave honorably or allows you to move mountains, what does trust look like? Just what am I trusting Him for?

Because He IS trustworthy. And He IS kind. And He IS good. These things are non-negotiable. And instead of the silence I referenced in the Answers post, I’m getting a very steady answer of, “I’m here.” That’s the extent of the message, but it is message enough.

I wonder, perhaps, if I’m trusting God to be there. Not to prevent tragedy or difficulty or loss, but to be in it with me. To make sure I face nothing alone—not the sweetest joys or the worst terrors. Because, really, isn’t companionship what we crave most? A friend to laugh with. A friend to hold you. A friend to challenge you. A friend that never fails to be there at your best moment and your worst—even if they don’t say a word. And I’ve got the best friend I could ask for in God.

Sometimes, the mountains aren’t meant to be moved. Sometimes they are meant to be climbed. So grab your climbing buddy and get going.

Read Full Post »