Oh the anticipation…

I’m sitting here wide awake at 2:30 am. Frustrating… because sleep has been evading my son for a while now and just when he finds it, I lose it. I’ve been on the verge of panic mode, that’s why I can’t sleep in these wee hours of the morning. Usually I can shove the fears out of my mind and replace them with truths, but right now they haunt me. And I realize I need to take them on. To allow each one a platform so I might be able to deal with them individually, to deliver a sentence that lasts instead of turning around finding one or more of them have retrieved a ‘get out of jail’ card and are wreaking havoc on my life.

The truth is, I’m afraid.

I’m afraid I don’t have what it takes to do this. What happens if this is true? If I most certainly crumble and there is nothing left of me but an empty shell? What if, despite all my efforts to evade depression and grief, sorrow and heartache take over and they are all I’ll ever feel again?

What if… What if the only thing I will have left is you, God? All else is gone. My whole identity of who I am in this life, my dreams, my everythings.

What if? Because there are days it feels entirely possible.

I keep mulling that around in my mind. I’m terrified by it, to be honest. That road feels too painful. I cry… that classic ugly cry. I beg for Him to change things. I can’t do this… I can’t give Him everything and allow Him to take away if that’s what He chooses. I can’t. How would I live in such an empty shell of life? No breath, no sustenance, no control.

But wait…
There is still YOU, God.

And in that moment, all I will be able to see is You. Nothing else to filter you through, nothing to hold as leverage, nothing to put blame on or put my faith in. It is only you.

And because I believe You love me and have great plans for this pain my family endures, I know in my heart I wouldn’t just be surviving. I’d be thriving. A flood lamp beaming deep into my soul, through every part of me, only You. Your goodness, your love, your peace, your “fully enough”.

I find myself reminded once again how small I am. When I start to grasp this concept, I start to live and breathe in the very fullness of Him. If I try to live in the means of my physical body, my control, I will surely suffocate and succumb to despair, depression. But if I can live within the means of His Spirit, working in mine, my very lungs expand when all around me says they should be constricting. I’m pulling new breath in places I shouldn’t be breathing at all.

It occurs to me that this might sound heartless. How can I so easily write off all that fills my life now and accept that even if all is taken, I could still be full?

It’s not an easy write off at all. My heart has been filled with so much love – because of my boys, my husband, my family and friends. And that love source comes from God. He is love. He doesn’t just have love… He IS love!

I have two choices, the way I see it. First choice, I could choose to grasp tightly to my worries, my fear and need for control, which in turn is really putting two hands around my throat and squeezing tight…

Or…

I can accept this incredible gift of love God has poured on me. And when the day comes in my life when all that’s left is Him, I still have love. I have not lost. And I know the same promise of love is extended to my sweet boys, my husband. I could never provide that kind of everlasting, thirst quenching, joyful kind of love to them out of my own means. It is of Him. And so I find myself waiting in anticipation

Anticipation is a funny thing. It can be exciting or it can be anxiety kingdom! We just recently planned a trip to go see some dear friends. Originally I was going to make it a surprise, but my anticipation of the trip was so big, I couldn’t hold it in. I had to share. In turn, I gave them the gift of anticipation. We anticipate things all the time! I just learned about a term called anticipatory grief. It’s a term attempting to define a complicated combination of emotions. For those of us caring for terminally ill loved ones, we grieve daily at what has been lost while simultaneously trying to leave room for living in the moment, enjoying the now, taking in whatever we can before all is gone. And we do that all while we wait for the end to come. It can become quite the merry go round. I need something, someone rooting me… A firm foundation in the midst of the crazy cycle. I need anticipation of what God will do.

He doesn’t expect us to live these lives, full of hard, with no promise of redemption. No! Rather, he uses all things for good, redeems it all! What anticipation I have of what God is going to do through our story, through our sufferings.

So I come back round to my fear – the one of losing all. And I’m reminded that we won’t lose at all… In fact, we will gain! The day Titus leaves this physical world, he will be in the arms of Jesus! I imagine Jesus meeting him with a big, black, shiny train engine and letting him drive it and pull the horn. I can see my son, able to run, dance, talk, shout with joy! I love to imagine my Gramps and my sweet Grandma Naomi there to greet him, perhaps getting in on the train ride themselves. What anticipation I have for what God will do.

I imagine embarking on a journey to fight Batten disease and, along with many other amazing families, joining the fight to find a treatment or cure. Could God use us in this way? Oh the anticipation I have for what God will do.

I imagine lives who feel dark and lost stumbling upon our story and seeing truth shine through and love broken free. Perhaps they would see just how loved and treasured they too are by our God. Oh the anticipation of what God will do.

Let me tell you, I wouldn’t have written our story this way. But I’m here to say again, “Yes, Lord. I will go…” Wherever there is. Thank you for this gift of being Titus and Ely’s mommy. As fear rises and my perceived control slips away, my throat constricts and tears run hot, may I be reminded that I will always have You and I can wait in great anticipation for the wonderful, good things you will do.

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Thanks for listening…
Bekah

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11 thoughts on “Oh the anticipation…

  1. the hard truth is: we are never enough, strong, brave, loving–never enough. But God is! and we just abide in Him! God bless you!

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  2. As Mother Teresa so wisely said. ” Give yourself fully to God. He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in His love than in your own weakness.” Stay strong. I pray for you all daily. Pam

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  3. I am very touched by your family! I pray everyday for both of your children . May god continue to watch over all of you. Stay strong and god bless

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  4. Bekah – your story is so different from mine. I cannot even begin to comprehend the pain that you are dealing with. I honestly can’t. I can however comprehend the pain of burying a child. The loss of hopes and dreams, not just for their life but for your own and the life of your family as a unit now without them. I know the truth of this and it’s a dark place. Those ugly cries.. I remember once thinking “I didn’t know I could cry like that.” I had never known DESPAIR. But as someone who as literally fallen off the edge of the cliff into that darkness – Bekah, you are so right! The only thing left to do is cling to Christ. Cling hard. Legitimately for dear life. And that darkness will not swallow you up. Christ overcame the world. He will carry you.

    Thinking of you often
    Tara

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    • Bekah – I have not walked in your shoes. I have been a hospice nurse 40 years ago, and then hospice nursed my beloved mother and family members right to the moment they reached out and took God’s hand. It is a long, deep valley – and I can assure you there will be moment of peace, rest, restoration, blessings beyond measure, and such gut-wrenching pain, agony, despair that I found myself pleading to take them now – spare them more/please don’t take them as I can’t survive it- please take me instead. And there will be a purpose to it all, and God will use ALL of it. Every.single.second. I love your courage, your transparency, your human heart, and am praying over you all.

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  5. Bekah, I have been following you since my daughter, O’Malley (Coach Bowman’s hurdle runner at Olivet), shared with me your story. Your testimony has been so uplifting for me….true faith and reliance on God. Today, as I was doing my devotions (Ifequip.com), I came across a testimony from a family that reminded me of you. I just feel the Lord wanting me to share it with you. I hope it encourages you. I’m sure you have a community of people praying for you. I continue to do so as well. I love your courage and your strength. Here is the link. http://youtu.be/QH_6ohczPNc

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  6. Bekah, your words bring me joy yet simultaneously bring me to the reality that God can give and take. We can be so grateful that He is a God of love, and although we do not know His reasons, all He does is for our own good and strengthening. I pray for you and your beautiful little family and hope God sends his angels to wrap you in His love in your darkest moments. Much love.

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  7. Bekah, I am praying for you and your precious family–praying for you, over you, around you, and undergirding you with prayer. Although the situations are vastly different, we are going through similar emotions with Dale’s mom’s advanced Alzheimer’s that is slowly and arduously killing her brain turning her into someone we don’t recognize. I imagine the terror she lives with daily of not remembering where she is, how she got there, or recognize anyone around her and it breaks my heart. Then I read your words and am reminded to anticipate what she is going to be like when she meets Jesus face to face, whole and well, reaping her final reward of living a Christian life for most of her 89 years. We will not succumb to the darkness, no matter how difficult each day may be because we have Love–our love for her because of His love for us–always and forever. You are loved, Bekah!

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