Rehab

It’s been a little while since I have posted.  Life seems to move along, whether we want it to or not.  Kids have school, homework, afterschool activities.  Basketball ended, soccer has started up, and all three are playing.  Church is moving along.  I’m working on some revisions for my book.  Life is busy.

And yet nothing is the same.

All of this feels kind of like trying to re-learn how to ride a bike after losing a leg.  What I imagine that would be, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally, is what living without Susan feels like.  Not that I have lost a limb.  Half of my heart, though.

Only God can restore that kind of brokenness.  Only He can be the thing that Bailey, Christopher and Luke need.  Only He can fill the void for Susan’s parents, for her sister and brother.  Only He can fill the hole that is left in me.  I just don’t know if He will.  He won’t, actually.  Not the way I want Him to right now, anyway.

Does God know best?  Is He always right?  Does He love me and you?  Yes.  I believe the answer to these questions is yes.  I’m going to trust that He does.  I know that He does, I have experienced it in countless ways.

So, in the middle of pain, we still walk.  We move forward, we take baby steps.  Like  a patient in a rehab center, moving one small slide at a time down the hallway.  Learning to live with the loss.  Learning to walk again.  Hoping that even without a limb, life is still ahead, not just behind.

I was with a good friend the other day and he got married when he was about 40.  He said back then, it felt like all his life was in front of him.  I confessed that I just turned 39, and it feels like all mine is behind.  Now, I know this is not really the case.  But it does feel like that, especially in the darker moments.

Rehab.  This is what we are doing in the Law household.  It is painful, but it is necessary if we’re going to move forward.  It is a good thing – a great thing – that God is in the business of rehab anyway.  That He specializes in the rehabilitation of our hearts and souls.  That He is not our physical, but our spiritual therapist, walking down the hallway with us one little step at a time.  Speaking the medicine of His love into our hearts, giving us His strength to rely on in our weakness.  The process is not linear.  There are setbacks – there are days where it feels like I am starting back at square one.  Those are the times when I need to trust that God – and God alone – is enough, and that He has my very best interests at heart.

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4 Responses to “Rehab”

  1. lisa Nageotte Says:

    keep writing you are an inspiration! So sorry you have this terrible pain and that your beautiful wife is not beside you now. You are healing others by allowing them to read about your journey. Thank you!

  2. Carolyn Says:

    I would just reiterate what Lisa had to say. I read your posts and “hear” your pain and sorrow in every word. I want so badly to help somehow, but at the same time I know that only God and time will heal. Keep on keeping on.

  3. Joan Says:

    Rehab is just not emotional, but physical too. In my experience, it is taking what is most valuable of what remains and new discoveries. This means sorting through what is left, testing it for soundness, sometimes beauty, and then visualizing how to bring it into something new. You are a good “carpenter”. I know you are building something beautiful with what remains. I did not know Susan, or any of you actually. I wandered here, the way we do today, through family connections and beyond, but I have found much grace, hope, and spirit here just the same. Keep working with your memories, materials, and hopes. That is how all the spaces of worship come into being.

  4. Tyson Aschliman Says:

    Jerel-

    We share a mutual friend who from time to time has given us updates on your family’s story, but this is my first time on your blog. Not that one more stranger’s “I’m so sorry” or “I’m praying for you” makes much of a difference at this point, but I truly am. Your words on “rehab” ring so true and bring back sharp and painful and somehow beautiful memories. You remind me of Job– refusing to doubt, but not ashamed of the question marks at the ends of your sentences. God blessed Job for that. I know that there is no comfort to be offered… no “God has a plan”, no “Time heals all wounds”, etc… All of that stops meaning anything at some point, if even offered from the friends entrenched on the ash heap with you. (Eager to get into your thoughts on Job when I have time to read through “January” here… Another great book: THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOB… eye-opening and darkly encouraging to the suffering heart.) Anyway, there is little human comfort to be offered. As you state, it’s only God that can fill in the holes. And the beautifully crazy thing is, as the first two replies suggest above, if you allow yourself to stand on this hill, arms spread wide, refusing to stop believing, crying out to God– He will use you to draw people to Him. YOU will be a comfort to others. Your suffering– much like the cross of Christ– will be to all who observe a beautiful picture of God’s grace and love… and much like that cross– it will be an adventure for you to discover what affect that has on people– good and bad. And an even greater adventure to see where He takes your life from here. (I know what you mean when you say, “my life feels like it’s behind me”. But I think you know, somewhere deep inside of you, that it’s not the case. A life may be behind you… but another may be in front. And while those words may sit like a lump in your throat today, my hope is that you learn to pray for the “life that will be”. I think that hope could be a spiritual steroid to help you along in your “rehab”.)

    I’m praying for you. Praying for your beautiful kids. That God will provide and “fill in the holes” supernaturally, as only He can. And that He provides you strength to keep standing on that hill and praising Him… even when the praises end in question marks.

    Tyson

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