Not Here But There

February 10, 2010

part 3

I’ve got a few ingredients in my DNA that make life…uhm…interesting…for others around me.

I’m German by heritage. American by birth. There’s a grit that’s woven into the fabric of a German woman…a resolve and boot-strap work ethic that matches the oversized muscle and bone structure many of us have. My husband, God help him, calls it bull-headed obstinence. Staunch independence and an unparalleled will to innovate and “win” bleeds from being American. Kneed all those traits together with a Fieldmarshal, ENTJ, Myers-Briggs and Strengthsfinder that includes command, strategy, focus, self-assurance and achiever and you have a perfect storm of personality that would make Patton run. If I see something that I know should be fixed or improved, get out of my way. Sleeves rolled, mounted up, strategy in hand, troops riding hard to follow. I ride to make it right. Blazing saddles…

There’s nothing better than that first warm, sunny Spring day. Coffee in hand, toes bared. I embark on a tour of my gardening domain. Snowdrops and crocuses blooming, others rising, new leaves uncoiling. Moss growing between the stepping-stones to places I planted to feel enchanted. Wait. What’s this?! The various shrubbery has changed since the Fall. The lines and textures and sizes were no longer complementary. My husband returned later that day to find every shrub unearthed and scattered across the lawn. His face said it all. Jaw dropped, mouth agape. Disbelief in his eyes. Speechless. My response? “What?! They weren’t right. So, I’m moving them”, I said as I cast my full body weight backwards to dislodge a 3-4 foot ball of roots. Of course. Doesn’t everybody regularly reshrub their land?

A’s have been the only acceptable grade, systems and structures that make sense need to be put into place, high functioning teams built, wrongs need to be righted, justice pursued and improvements always found. Oh, but I’m not a perfectionist. Really. I just want to strive to do things better. God has seen fit to give me the ability to learn so I’m not afraid to take anything on and being creative, if I’m locked and loaded on something I want to accomplish and one way doesn’t work, I can rapidly adapt and overcome until the tribe reaches the goal.

But when I sat on my deck with my mom and had to convey the reality of her diagnosis to her. All that confidence and skill crumbled. It blew away like dust. I was brought completely to my knees. Immobilized. Incapacitated. Emotionally and intellectually hog-tied. The feeling of helplessness was as overwhelming and devastating as a tidal wave.

When I could feel my jaw set again and my teeth bared down on each other, I went to work. I was going to find a way to fight this disease and win. I kicked into research mode and learned all I could about traditional medicine, innovations being done in trials, holistic and ancient Eastern methods. Healing rooms. I learned more about cancer and treatments than I ever wanted to know. I was riding to conquer this for her.

But I couldn’t command everything. I couldn’t command my mom. She wouldn’t give up Breyers vanilla bean. I couldn’t command the cancer. Growth slowed after she drank the deep green concoction the Chinese doctor gave her to drink, but after awhile it grew. It grew and spread. And all the Breyers Vanilla Bean in the world couldn’t help her gain weight or strength.

I was back on the pitch-dark road. Crying helplessly. Crying because I couldn’t fix this. I couldn’t make it better. I couldn’t do anything to make it all go away. I had done everything I knew, adapted, but couldn’t overcome.

When I would hear that mom would go out to her woods to scream until she’d collapse in sobs, I didn’t have enough comfort to give her. When she felt abandoned and scared at the process before her, I couldn’t alter the plans. When she lost her hair, as all her teeth fell out from the chemo, when she could no longer eat, when she struggled to breath, when the pain became great, I could do nothing. Nothing.

So I cried to the only One who could.

I begged Him to fix things. I pleaded for a miracle.

But what He gave me, what He gave her, was far from what we asked for. It was far from what we wanted.

He gave us a view. A picture that was above what we saw directly in front of us.

What we saw was that He is fixing everything. He’s fixing all that’s broken and wrong. Pain. Disease. Death. Separation. Sadness. Suffering. All of it.

But He’s not fixing it here. He’s not fixing it now.

We were given a picture of the past, a view of what was happening now, and glimpse into what the future holds. We came to understand that God’s story and our part in it includes more than just here and now.

There. Not here but there. Not now but then.

While here we’re in the middle. A blend of good and bad. Glimmers of both.
There it’ll be clear. One or the other.

God is fixing it there. All that we long for. All that we seek. There.

Note to self:
Our story is longer than what happens here. It includes continuing to there. All that we long for. All that we seek we will find in part here, but ultimately there.

He will wipe away every tear. There will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. Revelation 21:4

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One Response to “Not Here But There”

  1. jenninga Says:

    spoken as one who has walked through the valley. you described it well. i know; i watched.

    love you, my bull-headed, obstinate friend!


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