While there are many hard things I will remember about the summer of 2011 one of the most unpleasant certainly will be pulling weeds. I cannot even begin to explain the weed problem we had this year. And it all started with bad seeds.
When spring blossomed at our home, we had several areas of winter kill in our back and front yards. I went to several nurseries and asked how I could deal with the problem stressing I wanted the easiest way possible to get our lawn back. All recommended a certain seed so I bought it. Now what I really needed to hear was our lawn needed far more than just seed. It needed to be airated, fertilized and watered frequently. In some areas our lawn needed new soil to be put down so seeds could take root and grow. I however did not want to hear the truth and the experts knew it. They backed off and sold me seed knowing our lawn would fail.
Well, here I am a few months later with a front and back yard that are more full of weeds than grass. I have spent a great deal of the summer pulling the weeds, spraying weed killer and full of exasperation ended up with a yard expert telling me our best solution now is to lay tarps out over the yards to kill both the grass and weeds off. Then, next spring, we can lay down a top soil, fertilize and re-sod. To have the beautiful yards we desire we have to be willing to let go of what we have and start again. We need a totally new yard. Ugh…he is probably right.
So, what’s the application to my life?
Since 2/9/2011 I have really struggled with my new reality. I haven’t wanted to hear the hard stuff. I’ve wanted to only plant new seed by attending therapies and working to get back to the old me. Countless times I’ve told doctors and therapists that it is not an option to not recover fully. I haven’t been willing to let go of what I have had and start again.
It is funny how God uses time away and life illustrations to get a point across though. My recent time away at a lovely farm certainly is an example of just this.
While there I had a thought of me standing in my back yard and saying to someone — “It’s OK. The yard is doing great!” even though weeds are everywhere. In that moment I realized I certainly can’t delude myself with my yard or with me.
I have convinced myself that the only the only acceptable outcome is if I am just like I was before after all the therapies and doctors appointments are done. That somehow my value is found in who I was before this mess — and who I am today is less lovable and valued because I am no longer the same. The fact that I could not return to work in August felt like a horrible failure. Always burning meals, forgetting simple instruction, being at the wrong place at the wrong time, painful hearing, goofy legs and the need for multiple medications felt utterly unacceptable to me.
For months now the team surrounding me has encouraged me to let go of work, and other activities that have so defined me. They have said that will come someday but for now, I need to embrace where I am at and who I am right now. Typical of me these days, instead of being willing to lay the tarp out, let the old die off and over time allow the new to be planted, take root and grow, I have fought my new reality every step of the way.
That all ended this week.
I went to a doctor’s appointment hoping for a solution and he had none. He kindly yet clearly told me there is not treatment and no cure for my condition. He said there is nothing he can do and it is time for me to accept my new normal and learn to live and love as I am. To be honest with you, I have no idea of how to do what he said. I can’t imagine living the next 40 or more years of my life with this limitation. Yet, I also know if God in Heaven allows this, He will make a way.
Now don’t read my words as me raising the white flag. I am going to another doctor in denver for a second opinion and am researching alternative treatments as well. The desire to heal is alive and well in me. However, the desire to accept me as I am and love well in spite of all these current limitations is becoming a new hope and passion within me as well.
It seems, for this season of my life, I might need to be “under the tarp” for awhile so the old that isn’t good can die off. I do look forward however to the spring, whenever that arrives when I am able to once again blossom and grow into whoever God designs me to be.
Thank you for all your love and enduring support!