Sunday, April 12, 2009

Being stretched

I am entering into the hardest time of my life, so far. And I'm also realizing that as much as I work at not being a selfish person, that it's that same selfishness that is weighing the heaviest on my heart and causing myself the most pain. So here I am at 50 years old realizing that I'm basically throwing a temper tantrum inside myself. Lovely.

My father is at the end of his battle with cancer. He's a very proud and stubborn, self-sufficient man. Asking for help does not come easily, to say the very least. My mother is not able to live on her own and has not come to the point she can acknowledge that fact. I'm an only child that lives 1000 miles away with my own family. My only child, my son, is about to graduate from high school, march drum corp all summer and begin community college in the fall.

My parents' home is stuffy, stale, quiet, television-free, quiet, negativity you can choke on, stuffy, stale, television-free, negativity...did I say that already? Its just not "home", you know? And I've suddenly realized that not one thing about being there is about me! I mean, seriously, I'm an only child, remember? I'm going to be missing my own family, all of my child's "lasts" of high school and I'm not going to have anyone doing anything for me. No hugs for ME. No thoughts about ME. See? I told you I'm having a temper tantrum inside myself!

I find it ironic, yet very telling, that my epiphany is becoming clear on Easter Sunday. All the emotion of my worry and stress so far came to a head earlier today in tears....and tears....and tears. It was in those tears the thought came to me, how selfish I'm being. And that Jesus gave up His comfy little life here on earth on Friday for me. For you. For everyone. For His Father. Not for Himself. He actually prayed that what He was about to go through would pass over Him. He had a human moment. Probably one of many more that we don't stop to realize. He didn't want to die, to leave His family and friends, to go through the pain and unknown. He was one-up on the rest of us in knowing exactly what is on the other side. But all the rest, He was much like you and me. But He did it for me.

For me. For me. With every "for me", the point is driven home just a bit more in just how selfish I've been and that I have an opportunity to serve. And often service isn't completely comfortable. It's an exercise in stretching. Stretching my knowledge, stretching my patience, stretching my stamina, stretching my compassion, stretching my love, stretching past myself. I can do this with His gentle help. And the love and support of all my wonderful friends and my family is priceless.

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