I didn’t know when I wrote my last post that my words would be put to the test with such immediacy. I said I was prepared to face what came and trust God would carry me through it. And today I’m packing for a journey that scares me beyond measure and I can feel the unwillingness clawing at my insides.
My father’s health has been declining rapidly. The treatments that were a possibility only a few weeks ago have dwindled. He’s in the hospital, he’s weak, he has no appetite, his body is building up toxins his liver is too damaged to filter. We are still hopeful that the doctors will find a protocol that will work, that a new medication will see him stronger, that more time is possible.
But I am scared.
Deep in my heart scared.
I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know how to face mortality so blatantly. I’m afraid to see my strong vital father sick. I’m afraid that when I head home from this trip I am truly saying goodbye. I am afraid of too much overwhelming emotion. I’m afraid of crying and never stopping. I’m afraid of my heat hurting so much I can’t breathe. I’m afraid of the sympathy others want to express, the strangers with sad eyes. I’m afraid of 1000 things I can’t escape.
Sooner or later we all have to do this, we all have to walk this road, face mortality head on. Weather it’s in ourselves or someone we love it’s still coming. And I have an avoidant spirit.
My whole being wants to run in the opposite direction of pain, it wants to shut down, close up, and hide till the painful stuff is gone. I am an unwilling girl when it comes to facing my fears.
But, I know some simple truths.
I know that this is something I must do. I know if I gave my into avoidant spirit I’d regret it the rest of my life. I know that I can cry and feel broken and wounded beyond repair and still survive it. Feeling my emotions, good, bad, or indifferent, will not break me. I can lean into comfort. I am not alone. I am afraid, but fear does not mean I can’t do this. I can. I can do this. Hurting, scared, unwilling spirit and all – I can do this.
HE told me I could. He promised to be there every step, walking with me.
I’m hanging on to that.
Every step forward is a prayer; though I walk through the valley, you are with me.
Little did I know that a retreat about facing fear while chasing your dreams would be preparing me for facing the greatest fear of my life. Jumping Tandem was more than about God-sized dreams. It was about having a God-linked tandem life.
*For more on my experience at Jumping Tandem – the retreat check back and click the Jumping Tandem category below.