Sometimes in tragedy we find our life's purpose - the eye sheds a tear to find its focus. ~Robert Brault
Sometimes when things go crazy in life, it's to help us find the focus. The REAL focus. It's all to easy to forget where we should focus our time, efforts, energy, and emotions. Now, I am not saying that every tragedy in life is to prove some point or to give someone this huge epiphany or something. Sometimes though, I think that is exactly what these blips of craziness are supposed to do. When we get down on the kind of parent we are, down on what kind of spouse we are, down on what kind of friend, sibling, child we are; these blips sort of help us find the focus and bring us back from our pits of despair and focus our energies on the things that truly matter.
I had an opportunity to take some time with dear friends and get a bit of a recharge. I have been on the verge of quitting recently, more then once. Now when I say quitting, I'm not even sure exactly what that means. I can't say I've had any sort of suicidal thoughts because that just isn't who I am. I really though, beyond that, don't know how far quitting meant. I just know I was so tired of not being able to do, feel, or know. Frankly I stopped doing that which my Heavenly Father would have me do, I stopped seeking the good. Not really intentionally just my focus was gone. My focus was blown way out and I needed last weekend to help me realign it. The theme of the conference was fittingly, "Seek the good". Inspirational speakers, soul lifting music, and even tearful realizations were on the agenda Friday and Saturday.
Messages about how you may not choose how things happen, you do get to choose how you handle them. Messages about how all of us are in a sinking boat, some of us might have bigger holes in our boats then others, but we are all sinking. Our stories may not turn out exactly as we would have written them, lets face it no one would intentionally write in tragedy to their own story, but without it how would we really know when the really great things are happening? How we handle the rewrites is what makes us who we are. Just like the refiners fire, the tempering is what makes us stronger.
I would never have written in the loss of my Dad at 16, or that car accident that changed my direction the month later. I would never have written in the job losses. I would never have written in 12 miscarriages, pregnancies riddled with pre-term contractions, and hyperemesis. I certainly would NEVER have written in MS into the story. Those things would never have made the final draft because I would have written in all the daisies, dandelions, and yellow balloons of life. I think if given the chance we'd all pick yellow balloons over rotten apples, even if those rotten apples eventually turn into a beautiful tree later. In the now, all we see are the stinky rotting apples.
A few of my rotting apple situations turned into three of the most beautiful, trying, amazingly brilliant kids. My pregnancies weren't easy, but boy do my kids make up for that icky bag of goo while waiting for them. I am not sure exactly why my Dad had to leave this earth when he was so young, but I think more that wasn't about me. It was about this amazing man being done here on earth with what his Heavenly Father had for him to do. It was a release for him, my sorrow just happen to be a by product of the necessity for him to go on. I miss him like crazy but i know he is doing his part on the other side. This HUGE rotting sack of apples the Dr's call MS, who knows what it's going to bring in my life. What I see it teaching me right now is how to learn to ask for help. I still fight asking for help to the point of extreme frustration. I didn't ask to not be able to feel my kids face when I stroke it, I didn't ask to get tired just walking through the grocery store, to the point of near fainting. I didn't ask for an overworked husband. I din't ask for the extra stress of medical bills and no insurance. I also didn't ask to have an amazing husband, kids, caring friends, and for a disease that isn't terminal. I do however, appreciate these things. I appreciate them more now then ever before.
So what do I do with this new found focus? I learned not to compare my boat and the holes in it to anyone else. I know for sure that while I think my holes are huge, they are nothing compared to some. I learned that even if I think that I could have written my story a little better, my Heavenly Father is the best author. Only He knows where these twists, turns, and diversions are going to lead me. It's up to me to make my story something I am proud of, to handle the adversity with focus and seeking the good.
I am sure I'll stumble more then I'll walk strong. Music can drive a message deeper then even words can sometimes, be sure to stop and truly listen. The only thing that matters is that you keep hearing the music, keep finding a beating drum to march to, even if it's completely different then the one you started out marching to.
I am still refining and honing my focus. As I face new challenges every day, new frustrations every day, I will try to keep the focus from at least getting blown way out again. I really don't want to quit. I really want to get past the depression of loosing who I thought I was. I would love to move on to finding out who I will be. I want to be an amazing mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend. Until I can get there, until I can let go who I thought I was going to be and work on who I am meant to be...
I will seek the good, and try to bring it all into focus.