Throughout this entire journey I have sensed God’s presence and love. However, I would be lying if I told you I never had a down day or negative thought. Before I was admitted to the hospital I definitely fought feelings of fear. I knew this was not good and that something needed to be done, but I didn’t have peace about how to proceed. So there was definitely fear.
Before the surgery when I was in so much discomfort and feeling so sick, I found myself battling negative thoughts. Would I ever be well again? Would I come through this? Would I be able to get back to my normal life?
I remember a time years ago when we moved up to New York. My husband went into business with my brother and we and our two little boys were living with my dad in the house I grew up in. It was a very stressful time for many reasons and I remember talking to one of my aunts on the phone and making what I thought was a pretty innocent comment about how I felt. Well she ripped in to me saying, “Where is your faith?” I was totally blindsided and for a very long time I felt I couldn’t let anyone know if I was feeling less than full of faith and positive!
How sad to feel you have to put a phony front on so people think you have it all together all the time no matter how you really feel! And it’s exhausting too! God never asks us to do that. It took quite a while to realize that and of course my aunt meant well but all I really wanted and needed at that moment was a listening ear. When someone responds to you in that way, you never really feel comfortable being honest with them again.
My daughter-in-law is a very upbeat and positive person and she was encouraging and supportive throughout this whole experience. However, I am secure enough in myself and in my relationship with her that I was able to be honest when I was feeling discouraged or afraid. And she was authentic enough not to judge me but to accept my humanness. I think it is so important that we learn to be real and to be honest with ourselves and others – God already knows the truth!
I told my son Matthew when we were taking a walk around the hospital floor after my surgery that even though I felt weak, exhausted and in pain, I didn’t feel “sick” any more and that had a huge effect on my outlook and attitude. You see, my faith was always intact. I never for a moment doubted God’s goodness, presence or power in my life. But my feelings at times swung to a darker place. I knew it was my emotions that were fluctuating but it was a gift to be able to be honest with those closest to me and not feel I had to constantly be putting up a good front.
Are you honest about your feelings – with yourself, God and others – or do you feel the need to always appear as if you have it all together?
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