Staying Peaceful When You're Overwhelmed
|My peaceful view from my computer desk.|
The holidays are always overwhelming aren't they? This year has felt a bit more so than usual for me I'd say. God has given me an opportunity to practice what I preach. What I preach (or rather how I try to live each day) is peace. Peace in all circumstances. At all times. No matter what.
It sure is easy to be at peace when life is going your way and things are basically status quo. It is much harder to stay in peace when the circumstances of your life are not easy for some reason.
My reason is that I have to have surgery to repair a torn ACL and meniscus. In other words, I have been limping and balancing on one foot for a month since I blew out my knee at my sister's house. It was an innocent accident (a minor collision while dancing in our pjs in her living room) but I heard the characteristic "pop" and my knee no longer wanted to stay in alignment.
Unfortunately, I had a terrible fall a week later when my knee gave way which resulted in a great deal of pain and bone bruising. This experience has been a blow to my peace of mind. I'm not an athlete for goodness sake! Why does a mom like me tear her ACL?
|Scary MRI room - definitely not peaceful.|
After visiting three doctors and getting definitive MRI results, I have had to face the new reality of being very, very handicapped for the foreseeable future - as in the next six months of recovery and physical therapy.
When a doctor looks at a mom of three boys(me) and says: "Stay off your feet now and plan to be non-weight-bearing for six weeks post surgery" the walls begin to spin around said mom and her family's normal way of life no longer seems possible. She thinks: Who will cook? Run errands? Do laundry? Drive the kids to school and sports? Go up and down stairs to clean this house? All a mom can think in that moment is "I just don't have time for this." (And this does not even include the Christmas shopping, baking, and general running around that this time of year demands.)
I truly don't have time for this. And I guess, that is the lesson. No one ever has time for the circumstances of their everyday life to change and yet that is what life is all about. Constant change. Nothing can really stay the same for very long can it?
Needless to say God and I have been in constant communication since this accident. The night it happened I lay awake most of the night, praying the Hail Mary over and over, just trying to regain my ability to breathe. Deep down I knew my life had just changed dramatically. It was my first opportunity to practice what I preach. I was in pain, I was afraid, and I was alone with it all. I had to turn inward and draw on the silent pool of peace inside. How grateful I am that I have tended this source and found it full to overflowing with quiet calm and grace.
I have been doing physical therapy everyday for two weeks and I am seeing excellent results. My limp is diminishing and my pain is too. Sadly, just when all seems back to normal is when I will go in for surgery and set myself back to worse than even the injury was initially.
So how am I staying in peace you ask?
Well, when I am stressed I seek gratitude and I have so much to be grateful for already:
~My mother, sister, brother-in-law, and in-laws have all offered to come and stay for long periods of time post-surgery
~My friends have also offered to drive my boys home from school post-surgery
~It is fixable, common, and non-life-threatening (and I trust my surgeon completely)
~My husband and boys have already taken over by cleaning the house and running countless errands
~I am praying more and finding deeper reservoirs of peace available
~I am a stay at home mom who has time to devote to this recovery process
~Having an excuse to sit down is a beautiful thing!
Instead of visions of sugarplums dancing in my head I now have visions of reading many books, blogging more, watching Downton Abbey and spending quiet time with my mother and family ahead of me. You can be sure I will keep you posted along the way.
In the meantime, might you spare a prayer for me?
Thanks so much and God Bless you and yours this Christmas!