Monday, January 2, 2017

Immersed in the Psalms: Time to Sing

So here's a quick recap of my last 2 1/2 years.

My husband lost his job the day after his 16th anniversary. One week later, the person who fired him, mysteriously quit. Coincidence? Suuure. Our biggest loss? Six weeks of paid vacation per year. He's back to 74+ hour, 7-day workweeks; something we thought we had left behind, 11 years ago.

One month later, my mother passed away completely unexpectedly.

I was assaulted, then publicly shouted at by this person's mother. My father witnessed the shouting... what did he do? He SIDED WITH MY ATTACKER!

Then my body began to fail me. It has been steadily getting worse ever since. My wheelchair is with me whenever I leave the house, I am unable to climb stairs anymore, and two hours of light housework is followed up by six hours of extreme exhaustion. A simple flu virus leaves me sick for two months, breathing with the help of nebulizers that leave me shaking and nauseous.

Just as my body began to fall apart, the state unionized in-home daycares. My plan for the past 20 years had been to start an in-home daycare, once I graduated my own kids. This new union means that I would be unable to take any kids who receive government daycare subsidies... which is exactly who I had intended to take on; the lower income families. Twenty years of planning and purpose, lost. 

My eyes also took a turn for the worse; I am now fully nightblind, my depth perception is shot, and my vision is no longer fully correctible. I can drive only during perfect daylight conditions and on city streets. I now wear reading glasses over the toric multifocals I've had for eighteen years.

My father remarried less than seven months after my mother's death. I found out third-hand, one week before the wedding. I spent six months watching my new stepmother's daughter talk about the parties and dinners she enjoyed at my childhood home. I was not invited to my childhood home once, and in six months was only called ONCE. I have not heard from my father since I angrily pointed this out to him.

When I finally went to the doctor to find out why my body was falling apart, I found out that I have a malfunctioning heart valve. Open heart replacement is my next and only step. It is anything but risk-free.

Then we learned that my son had the same condition. And then, my daughter. Fortunately they are both stable and MANY years from the same surgery, but this is degenerative and unpreventable. They will need the same surgery someday for no reason other than that I am their mother.

My husband ended up developing a hernia from the physical demands of his new job. We are still making monthly payments on his surgery.

My daughter and I are both battling anemia, which has simultaneously stolen our energy, and given us extreme insomnia. 

I have developed a third hernia; this one causes GERD, and is not typically operated on which means my diet has been changed for life. I pop Tums while munching on bland foods and dreaming of lemons.

The tendons on my hands now dislocate, meaning that my fingers are permanently weakened and alternate between locking, and snapping shut tight. There is an operation for this, but because my injury is caused by a genetic disorder rather than extreme age or an injury, the surgeon says the operation would only make things worse. So I sleep in a splint, and am slowly giving up things like sewing, crocheting, and braiding my own hair.

And up until ten months ago, we dealt with ALL of this while sharing caregiver responsibilities for an individual who vocally and visually lusted after me every chance that they got while being as difficult as physically possible.

Why am I sharing this? So that when I say that it's time for a change, you can see exactly how ready I am for that change. I can't change my circumstances, and I can't change my health. The only thing I CAN change, it's how I handle what is thrown at me... and I certainly can't do that alone. 

Four months ago I set aside a "freebie" e-book, and decided that I would start the new year with a devotional studying the Book of Psalms. Last week one of my friends shared that he had just finished copying out the entire New Testament by hand. Being kinesthetic, I was inspired to try this myself and decided that writing out the Psalms would nicely enhance my devotional time. 

That's when inspiration struck. Why not also color the Psalms, with a themed coloring book? What about embroidery? I could stitch a different favorite Psalm every month. And there are multiple Psalms set to music... Psalms DOES mean songs, after all! 

Thus was born a one year adventure. Starting on Sunday, and for an entire year, I will be:

Some of my adventure may be shared, while some will likely be kept personal. All I know for sure, is that I am ever so ready for an adventure of praise after so much pain.

It's time to sing.

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