I have been doing a study in the book of Esther by Beth Moore for months. Not because I'm really detailed. It was supposed to only be a 10 week study. It's because it fell in during the time that mom was in her last weeks and I just didn't have the energy to always put into it. Now, I'm finally almost finished. There have been many simple statements in the study. There is one, however, that really has stuck out to me. It was in relation to Esther approaching the King and feeling inadequate. It says...."just surviving certain tasks without falling apart is our best and in those times God is not ashamed of our performance.He's proud of us for fighting overwhelming human emotions to do His will.God isn't interested in our stellar performance but in our hearts. He loves our willingness and obedience despite our insecurities."
I'll be honest here. I'm my worst critic. I take things that people say and take them to a deeper level. Call it feeling with my heart. Call it low self esteem. Call it whatever you want. But it is a fault of mine sometimes. So if someone says I'm not doing my job, or I messed up, or i'm inadequate, I have 3 responses. Either I loathe in it and feel bad about myself for days; or I choose to rise above it and brush it off because it's not true; or I evaluate and take it to make me better. I suppose it depends on the circumstances. But often in the last 6 months, sometimes seen and sometimes not, I feel like surviving a task without falling apart is an accomplishment. But others don't always see it that way, so it's sometimes a hard emotion to overcome. That quote from the Esther study sticks with me often. I am still grieving my mom's absence. I don't talk about it openly often anymore. Most people don't really want to hear about it anymore. It's part of why I started this blog. As scary as it is for me to air out some of the emotions, maybe it will also help others to understand my position in life without making them feel awkward as I candidly speak about it.
Many days are still a task for me. I miss my mom terribly. She was my best friend. Last week I had fun for the first time in...well, in months. It's hard to say that, as many don't understand grief. I still ahve 2 beautiful kids who bring a lot of joy. And my husband is working hard to help me, too. But grief is a funny thing. It's very hard to understand unless you are the one in it. or have experienced it yourself. This week it's kind of back to it full force as I prepare for the cancer walk. Talk about having some emotions...I'm excited about Relay for Life, but I'm also pretty emotional over the event this year, too. And some tasks are just that...HUGE tasks to undertake in the process of doing it in mom's memory. It's a bittersweet event of sorts. But I believe that it is what God would have me do. I became involved in Relay last year, and mom was there with me. She talked so much of beating the disease. And let me tell you, she fought to the very end. Doing the walk with her was really emotional. I did it as healthy outlet to fight cancer, as I really could not do much else. And it quickly became a solid passion of mine. This year I am with a different relay, one being held in my county. And though it is much smaller than what I did last year, I am very excited about it. In fact, they have asked me to chair the event next year, which is a huge undertaking, but one about which I am really excited. And I cannot do a single step of it without thinking of mom. I wouldn't be passionate about it if I hadn't experienced it first hand. Unfortunately, I saw teh ugly disease unfold. The day before mom died, she was non responsive when we talked. It's pretty heartbreaking, really, to even sit and write about it. It's not how I want people to think of my mom. but as I sat with her, taking turns with my brother, sister, and dad, in mom's last 24 hours, sometimes I sat there quietly. Sometimes I sang to her. And sometimes I talked. I talked about Relay a lot. How I was going to keep fighting in mom's honor. At that time, I was up to somewhere around 1,000$ or so. Now, I think I'm at around $1,700 or so. I remember telling her that last day where my fundraising was and what my ideas were. And that I'd keep fighting for her. I do relay for mom. And I do it for every survivor out there . I should mention that my mother in law, is also a cancer survivor. She had breast cancer, and hers was caught fairly early, so she is in remission today . She will walk the survivor lap.
But if you start talking to me about Relay, I will naturally talk about my mom. And I am passionate about it. Only in the last few years have I discovered new passions. Relay and fighting cancer is one. Running is another. I could talk about running forever. I am not the greatest. Or the fastest (in fact, I'm pretty slow.) But I love it and plan to do it forever. I combined those passions into a tattoo a year ago. It's a running shoe with wings. And it has the cancer ribbon in the middle of it. I was the last person to think I'd ever get a tattoo.
I didn't plan on that tangent in this blog, but...you got it anyway. I'm sure I'll blog a lot about relay this week. and mom . They go hand in hand. In the meantime, I'll keep trying my best. Even if that means "just surviving certain tasks without falling apart."