Another Story from Nancy
I was falling. Tired of obeying, tired of believing. In the Destinations Coffee House, in Lincoln, Nebraska, on June 8, 2019, I stopped climbing and went into freefall.
On May 20, my car had eased to a halt at our son Chris’ residence in Lincoln. The scene was chaotic. A tornado had ripped through the area two weeks earlier, uprooting things like roof shingles, tree branches, and a small trailer. Inside, it was worse.
The owners of the house, with whom Chris had been boarding, had vacated, leaving him and their junk behind – a filthy mattress, old clothes, used toiletries, mismatched pots, and food items.
I trudged through the junk and found my son in his bedroom, arm in a cast, neck in a brace, soul in a dark and painful place. One month earlier, Chris had been a passenger in an awful car accident. The car had left the road and rolled several times before coming to a rest in a field. Life-flighted to the hospital, Chris was treated for a crushed wrist, a fractured vertebra, a concussion, and a cracked rib.
Shoveling up some of his belongings, we checked into a tasteless hotel room to start putting his life back together. Mother and son exchanging one tornado for another.
Like a pair of running shoes in a dryer, Chris and I were tumbling amidst doctors, medical forms, lawyers, drug prescriptions, and fast-food menus. One after the other, over and over, a ribbon of pain threading through them all.
Chris and I tumbled into each other too, world views and generations crashing and banging. Bible Truth whacked into psychology, chilling out wrapped itself around having a plan. I felt like a bull in a china shop. Trying to be wise but coming off as pushy, awkward, and dated.
The body of Christ was astonishingly kind to us in those days. It was the parts of us that they couldn’t touch that festered and ached. The things that surface when families are flung together in trouble or pain.
On June 8, in the Destinations Coffee House, waves of pain from a stomach bug pulsed in me, and dark thoughts played in my mind. An amateur caregiver, I felt under-appreciated, misunderstood, and drained.
I pushed my coffee mug away and left the shop. Slumping into my car in the parking lot, I let discouragement and anger have their way. Like an ice climber who suddenly gives up, I fell, spiraling down.
Terrified, I swung my axe overhead into the ice, choking out the words, “The. Lord. Is. My. Shepherd.” Jamming my toe spikes into the mountain, I declared, “I. Shall. Not. Want.” Precariously suspended, I had stopped falling.
I bumped out of the parking lot to pick up Chris from work, Psalm 23, word by word, like a battle cry thundering from my heart. Upheld in the palm of His hand, I continued my journey up in victory.
“taking up the shield of faith
with which you will be able to extinguish
all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
17 And take…the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God.”
(Ephesians 6:16,17 nasb)
Picture: the ice climber