Sunday, October 20, 2013

The In-Between

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." - Matthew 11:28

"I am done. Done! I can't do this anymore. I can't take it any. more."
Those words had been crouched in my head waiting to spring for weeks. And today, they finally flew out of my mouth in one great heated rush. My poor husband was on the other end of the phone, and thankfully, he received my anger and frustration with the grace of someone who loves me deeply.

My weekly trip with Mom to the oncologist's office had gone anything but well and it was only compounded by the meeting the day before with another of her doctors.
Too much. Too much to process. Too much to comprehend. Too much to plan for. My tank was on empty and my brain just hurt from taking it all in.
I had stepped outside to breathe and call my husband. As he listened to the silence that followed my outburst, I looked around me at the gorgeous patches of blue sky peeking through a mostly overcast day. There were gorgeous colors in the turning leaves on the trees around me and the random thought that this would be Mom's last Autumn stepped right on my heart.

Selfish. You're being selfish Robin, stop it. I couldn't prevent those words from pushing into my thoughts and I immediately felt guilty for these emotions that were so unwelcome that day.
And in spite of the guilt I felt, I was still. just. so. angry.

Angry at the doctors.
Angry at the overcast sky.
Angry for the for the interruption of my life.
Angry at my Mom.
Angry for her diagnosis.
Angry at myself for being angry.
Angry at cancer.
Angry and frustrated and beyond tired and just overwhelmed.
And so weary that I just wanted to sit down on the bench there in front of the doctor's office and cry until I couldn't cry anymore.

I'd naively thought that losing my Dad two years ago would have prepared me emotionally for my Mom's diagnosis. But that was so different.
Dad was gone in just 19 days. Hardly any time to even think about what was coming.
And with the exception of the big hole he left in our lives, there were no major life altering changes for any of us. 
Everything about my Mom's illness and diagnosis has invaded the not-so-ordered days of our lives. It's taken over how we view everything and plan everything and live each day.
And I resent it.
There. I said it.
And that's why I feel guilty, and selfish and angry.

This is the in-between.
The time between life and death.
The time that we plan and wait and plan and wait some more.
The time that passes by at an agonizing crawl and with lightning speed at the same time.
Too much and not nearly enough.
It's the 'too much' that drives my resentment. Too much time to think about it, to deal with it, to have to keep putting one foot in front of the other and not being able to see the place I can rest. 

This no-man's land of waiting is testing me like nothing else ever.
I cling to my faith and cry out to Jesus and pour out my heart in my journal and to my husband and a few select friends who I don't think will judge me but just love me in spite of my weakness.
And I hate where I am because I know that at the end of it, my Mom will be gone and I will be alone.
Alone on this earth with no one who shares my whole history anymore.
She is the only one left who has been there since the beginning and it hurts so much to know that she will be removed from me, if even for a little while.  
This is the 'not nearly enough'.
And it's entirely selfish and raw.
But it's the truth of my right here and now.

And even though I know the other truth, the truth of her outcome, that she will be pain free and cancer free and healed and whole in Heaven, waiting for me, it still hurts.
And I fight this pain with all the faith I can muster.

Thankfully, Jesus is holding on tight to me right now. Because there is no way - NO Way - that I could be taking this journey without Him. Without the hope we have in Him.
He gives me courage and permission to feel and cry and pray and scream at the sky and into the phone because He has been there and has felt it too.
He took it all on Himself when He hung on that cross for me.

Who does that? 

The God of the universe who loves me and tells me to come to him for rest.
To lay my burdens at His feet in exchange for His strength and grace and peace.

So as I see the patches of blue sky and the rainbow of Autumn all around me, I breathe.
I see the evidence of Him in all of His creation and know that He is greater than my anger.
Greater than my frustration, my resentment, my hurt, my despair and my loneliness.
And He is carrying me through the in-between.

With a Courageous Heart,


  1. Robin, thanks for sharing your thoughts, emotions and feelings with us. By sharing what you are going through, you are allowing God to use you to give strength and encouragement to others who are going through difficulties. And, the verse you shared, Matthew 11:28 is one of my favorites. I also really love the paraphrase of it in The Message: "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest."
    You and your family continues to be in my prayers.
    Love & Hugs!
    Amy Storrie

  2. Robin- I'll keep you and your mom and family in my prayers. God is surely glad when you seek him in prayer. It's rough right now but try to take a breath of God's air in His masterpiece creation outside.


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