Some days it feels like I can’t find my way.
For years I’ve had a recurring dream. It creeps back in when I least expect it. Maybe you’ve had it too. I am standing alone, out of breath, in the stark silent hallway lined with metal boxes stacked one upon another. For the life of me I can’t remember the numbers. My chest rising and falling with heaviness at the thought of walking in by myself. Having to tell the teacher I can’t find my work because I can’t get to my books.
God seems to keep me in the classroom. The place of continual learning and growing. It begins with the admission that I don’t quite know the combination. I can’t quite get to the place where the answers are. One recent Friday morning the dream came in the waking hours. The voice on the other end of the phone drew a deep breath before solemnly speaking the words…”the doctor says it’s time to bring the family in.”
Nothing prepared me for this moment. Nothing. It was as if all I had learned and knew about coping was out of reach, inaccessible. Within just a few minutes, Christa walked through the front door for our previously scheduled meeting. Little did I know God would use her to walk with me as I entered the next lesson. The next classroom.
I am dependent upon God’s very breath in me to keep and sustain me. I was drawn in the weeks prior to this moment to the words breathe and breath. No understanding of why, but very intrigued. Now, in this moment, all I could do was breathe. One inhale, one exhale at a time. We thought she was getting stronger. She had made seventy-five percent improvement. But now we are preparing for her last breath.
How was I to prepare for the last breath of the one who gave life to me? The one who labored and birthed me?
I didn’t have the combination.
I couldn’t access the books.
Standing in the stark silence of her room I was at a loss for words. Some say they can hear you even if they don’t respond. The machines spoke for her. Where were my words? Why couldn’t I access them? I have spent a lifetime wondering if I have honored her. Knowing I will stand before My Father to give account. I love deep. It’s how I am wired. Did I miss slivers of time to love her deeply? I have asked myself that question for years. I feel certain I did. The struggle has been long for me.
Yet, in her last hours of life the Teacher is close. He instructs gently. Ever so gently.
Gently reaching for her hand under the blanket. This is honoring her.
Remembering what she would want in the last hours.This is honoring her.
Lifting her silently before the One who first breathed life into her. This is honoring her.
As I turned to leave the room, my heart heavy and full, I stopped two or three times before reaching the doorway.
How do I do this? How do I just walk away? My whole lifetime with her comes to this one final step through a doorway – and I will never see my Mom again. To even hesitate to leave her…this is honoring her.
My heart is learning to listen as I sit in the classroom of grief. His breath in my is what literally sustains me and leads me on this unknown journey. I hit the pause button from time to time in this classroom. It’s ok. I trust the Teacher and so I will return to this classroom over and over, books or no books, until he says we’re done.
What classroom are you in today? Do you trust the Teacher? You can, you know.