I believe I’ve been battling depression for a while.  I am preoccupied with my
daughter’s health issues, which are not life threatening but her quality of life has been affected greatly.  She suffers.  It affects all aspects of her life.  It then grates on me because of my feelings of helplessness and anger at not being able to find a diagnosis, let alone a solution.

I have had no joy in my life for weeks yet I intellectually know that I have much to be grateful for.  I have felt like a great slothful bear who wants nothing more than to hibernate and growl at anyone who dares wake me.  It has been very hard to care about the things I normally care about.  Even my beloved Toastmasters felt like a huge chore for the past few weeks.   The state of my mind and soul were very dark.  I have been struggling with my faith for months.  I actually took out St John of the Cross‘s “Dark Night of the Soul“.   Not that I had the energy to read it.

Cover of "Dark Night of the Soul"

Cover of Dark Night of the Soul

My spiritual director and I had a long, soul-wracking conversation this week over the phone.  I actually called her, which is something I don’t normally do.  She and I used to speak every other week until home schooling began again this September and we haven’t been able to carve out a regular time since.  We decided we needed to get regular again and I spoke to her last week.   At that time, she made a suggestion to me that she has made before.  Following through on this suggestion would completely change my life and my daughter’s life.

My spiritual director (I’ll call her Bernadette, like my husband’s motorcycle) is a woman for whom I have a great deal of regard.  She has hard-won wisdom and I respect her honesty.  It gives me hope.  I know she loves me and she knows me maybe better than anyone on earth except Lloyd.  The difference there is that Lloyd sees me live my stuff whereas she hears about it from me and helps me dissect it.

After I spoke to her, I waited for Lloyd to come home and then poured out my soul to him.  I also don’t like to bog him down so I don’t very often.  If he knew all the stuff that went on in my head, he might head for the hills.  lol  Lloyd believes in me.  He doesn’t just say that.  He really means it.  And that gives me hope too.  He “knows” I will overcome my issues.

Through all this time, I have prayed for my faith to be strengthened even as I wondered if I was an idiot for believing.  I know who I am with it though and as I told Bernadette, there’s no going back for me.  I know who I am without it and life makes no sense for me without God.  I could not bear life without meaning and I was struggling with my life having no meaning.  I was struggling with everything.

Bernadette suggested that I put Meaghan in school.

Can I tell you how seductively attractive and simultaneously terrifying that thought is?

I have issues.  And I am passing them on to my daughter because they are unresolved and I am a relatively selfish and immature individual.  Meaghan and I are together 366/24/7.  I added the extra day for the leap years.  It is obvious to anyone that we need some time apart.  To suddenly have some TIME for myself is an exciting thought.  But it’s a thought about ME.  It needs to be about her.  I undestand however, that it also IS about her because I am not at my best since we ARE ALWAYS TOGETHER.  We butt heads constantly.  We bicker.  I am impatient.  There is not a lot of joy.  There is not even a little joy.

She doesn’t have any siblings.  Yet.  Lloyd and I will never have any more because we can’t, but we haven’t discounted adoption and the next round of classes are coming up in February.  Locally.  For the first time ever.  We are signed up.  IF any of it happens, we are probably still YEARS away from a child joining our family.

I do not think I am capable of parenting Meg AND another kid if I am home schooling them.  Not at this point in my development anyway.  BUT, I think I could pull it off if they were in school.  It would be a total game changer for 4 lives if we could adopt.

Meg is also lonely.  This is the saddest thing in the world to me.  She is this lively, imaginative, fun person to be with but she doesn’t HAVE anyone to be with.  Home school group once a week is not enough.  She knows all the kids at the school already and is friendly with them.

Academically, I can do what is called Afterschooling.  Which is basically home school after school.  I can also keep her home once or twice a week to teach her what I want her to know, which I know she will NOT get in schools.  Her education is so important to me but so is her relationship with me.  One of the main reasons I have chosen to home school is that I want to be Meaghan’s biggest influence in her life, not her peers, until she is mature enough to make life decisions herself.  To me, that is the terrifying part.

By the same token, if she’s so sick of me she can’t stand the sight of me by the time she’s 15, she won’t be listening anyway.  At this point I have to let reason rule.

I have not decided anything yet but Lloyd will back me up no matter what.

And so yes, I have been slogging through the mire of my mind for some time now and have not even had the energy or the desire to write.  I did call Bernadette that day though and she has been praying for me.  And although there was no immediate shift in my mind, there was a small one in my heart because I had finally spoken aloud my troubled thoughts.

Yesterday, I went to Powell river to finish Christmas shopping and I prayed to God that I could help someone because I knew that would help ME.  Well, I ended up leaving my lights on in the parking lot and my battery died.  I asked around if anyone had any jumper cables and no one did.  One of the young men though, actually called a friend and asked him to come which he did.  I almost cried at this kindness.  It turns out I needed to be helped.  And it turns out that I need to be helped even more so.  Being helped is hard.  Last night, I spent hours on Skype with a friend trying to help me out with Meaghan.  It was an old friend whom I lost to circumstance 5 years ago but she and I had the most incredible relationship I’ve ever had with a friend.  And it was ever so good to just BE with her last night.  I was able to laugh.

This morning, another friend Skyped to help me with Meaghan but God shifted things into another gear for both of us before our very eyes.   So now, Micaela Pennell, my Texas Toastmaster, my http://www.400daysto40.com  friend is going to be spending the next 3 months helping me through my “issues” as is her line of work.  Words can’t do justice to what this means to me.  I know these issues are damaging.  I’ve struggled for a very long time with them.  And you see, neither of us could have engineered it like this.  Because it wasn’t even supposed to be about ME.  And in the end, it’s not.  It will help everyone in my family.  Everyone in my life.

I felt God’s hand back on my life again this morning.  And the fog lifted.  And the joy returned.  And oh dear God, I am so grateful for the HOPE.  I am so grateful for the strange and funny ways you touch my life.  And I am even grateful for the darkness because it makes the light that much more magnificent.

Isn’t it interesting how this happened on the day the light begins to return to us?  Isn’t it funny how today is The End of the World As I Know It?

So yes, I am going to be very busy these next few months.

Question:  Do I care anymore about becoming the World Champion of Public Speaking?

Answer:  I care.  But it’s a pretty low priority right now.  I need to take care of my family.

God, I know you will show me what to do.