I’ve been having a hard time feeling peaceful lately. This burning weight on my chest I can’t seem to shake. Anxiety? Fear? Fatigue? I don’t know. I can’t seem to put my finger on it, but it keeps me up at night and makes it hard to take naps and read books and focus when I’m driving in the car and Henry’s telling me stories (okay maybe that last one was always a struggle).
I don’t know if anyone can relate, but you know how you do that thing where you try to “erase” the possible causes to see if you feel better? Well I tried it…see below:
I wipe out lung disease and that helps a little. But it’s not the culprit.
I wipe out how I’m still not on the lung transplant list, even though I’ve been told since March that it will be the next week and the next week and the next week.
I wipe out how some of the smartest doctor’s in the country don’t know what I have or how to fix me.
I wipe out the tests I have to do when really all I want to do is travel the world.
I wipe out relationships, one by one, to see if any one of those need addressing.
I wipe out boundaries I need to create and expectations I put on the life I think I should have.
I wipe out past mistakes, guilt I feel for things I’ve done in my life, or haven’t done, or should do and don’t.
I wipe out how I should be eating better or how I can’t exercise, or how my self esteem seems to be sinking as the number on the scale seems to be growing.
I wipe out how I obsess about things and how sometimes I literally feel like a crazy person and I need 15 people to validate every single decision I make.
I wipe out how I worry that I’m too clingy to my husband cuz I maybe expect him to fill in the holes that I feel inside myself.
I wipe out how I don’t read my scriptures enough and I don’t pray enough and how I have so much to fix and how I’m really not perfect.
And I wipe out how people think I’m brave and inspiring when really I feel like I’m just surviving.
And here I am. Stripped down. Just me…sitting in a big fat pile of worries.
I feel like, as one of my favorite writers put it, “I have a lot of faith and a lot of fear a lot of the time.” Why all these worries? I think I can pin it on this one thing. I feel like I’ve been feeding this hungry idea that once I get my new pair of lungs , then my life will begin and I’ll feel so much better overall. I’ll finally be able to take charge of my health, learn how to cook healthy and get in the best shape of my life. I’ll finally be able to travel and see the world. I’ll figure out how to be a great wife, and serve my husband and I’ll finally be able to start my family. I’ll finally be able to work on that job or project and I’ll have a lot more energy. I’ll finally be able to dream and start and live and….what am I even saying?
WAKE UP, MACK!
THIS is my life. Right now. Every week that I don’t have new lungs, is another week in this reality and it’s passing me by. Come on, Mackenzie…it’s time you redefine yourself and life and okay-ness.
This last week Henry’s past Bishop, who is now a mission president in the San Jose area, invited the both of us to meet up at a religion institute class. Not being able to recall the last time we’d been to an institute class, we jumped at the chance. The lesson was on Christ’s Resurrection and there was a question that the teacher posed.
“How does knowing about Christ’s resurrection change the way you live?”
I felt this question hit me in my gut. Am I living differently because of what He did? Do I understand the significance? What does it mean to me….beautiful, crazy, messed up, me? It means this life is not the end. It means God loves me. It means He sees who I am capable of becoming and what I need to get there. It means that lung disease does not define me. I am more than this trial. My life is more than this moment.
We humans (aka me) are too hard on ourselves. I, for example, can often feel the devil creepin’ in on my thoughts…lung disease or not, he knows how to creep in. And he feeds me all these lies about myself and my journey and my self worth and about people’s love and God’s love. But that’s just what they are…lies. I’m learning that idle hands are the devil’s workshop. In other words…stop being complacent, Mackenzie! I’m learning (once again) that it’s OK to start over and begin again and again and again. I also think we humans (aka me) really hate discomfort (otherwise known as trials). We look for ways or a vice out of that discomfort or we think that life will be better once we’re over whatever discomfort we’re experiencing. But what I’m learning is that we can’t skimp out. The only way out is through and the highs are as much a part of this life as the lows (I sound like Tony Robbins). Why do I keep forgetting that?
Bottom line: Christ conquered death. Knowing that changes everything! I mean…BOOM! Mic drop! I can shed the shackles of everyday cares and worries. I can begin again….now. RIGHT NOW! I can lay my burdens, cares, concerns, worries, and fears at the feet of the Savior and I can turn to Him for peace.
John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.