Somebody commented this morning that it has been a month since my last update. I have been waiting for my eight-week checkup to update, but that was supposed to have been today and I didn’t make an appointment. Physically, I have had some odd things going on that concern me. I have a red spot on my “real” breast, which popped up about four weeks after surgery and has stayed. And I have a lump and some tender areas over the top of my reconstructed breast. I am, of course, concerned about these things. It’s my plan to go for my post surgery check to see if these things are related to the recent surgery, or if I need to get them checked out. If they need to be checked further, I will make an appointment with my breast cancer surgeon. But no point in racking up too many $40 copayments. At this point, $40 is a lot of money. And no point in worrying when I haven’t been told to either, right?
And I don’t think I am worried, but I’m not sure, because I have become such a frickin’ expert at denial over the course of my life. Not sure if I’d know a real feeling if it bit me in the arm. This doesn’t, of course, mean that I am cold and heartless. In fact I feel way too many feelings way too strongly. In some ways, that is part of the denial. I focus all my emotional energies on things that are, yes, important, but never on the really deep things, like my own cancer, like my daughter’s kidnapping, even the loss of my mother.
But feelings I have, and many are very difficult. Would you judge me if I told you that sometimes I would like to just float away in a drug induced haze? If only that was possible! But it’s not. Real life is always there, ready to come calling. I am so confused right now, not knowing who I am or what I should be doing at this point in my life, torn in many different directions. In a few days I’m going to start writing again. Hopefully that will help with at least some things.
I have been involved in a project since the first of the year which has used my morning hours. A friend in a child trafficking ministry started a “read through the Bible” program at the start of the year and I joined in. It has been a speed reading project. Between January 1st and today, March 15th, I have read almost the whole thing. I have only Acts and Revelation and I will be finished. I got a brand new Bible on my birthday, New Year’s Eve (I do love collecting Bibles), and it is now completely marked up with my orange highlighter. This has been an interesting endeavor, and I have got completely wrapped up in it, although I am honestly not sure what it has done for my faith. And that is part of why I haven’t been writing, because I really don’t like to talk about my faith because I am so confused about it. Honestly, I don’t feel God much anymore. Maybe this is because God is not real. Or maybe it’s because God is just tired of dealing with me. I have looked for God, that’s for sure. I really long for certainty here, but perhaps that is not to be found. Even the Bible says now we see through a mirror darkly. I am not sure that we are destined to know the Truth in this lifetime. We can guess, surmise, intuit, but perhaps not know.
Reading the Bible? I have had an inexplicable love affair with the Bible since I was 19 years old. I have read it many times, and I have been many different people in those times that I have read it. I have read it as a believer and as a doubter. I have found it to be a love letter at some times, and at others I have found it to be absolutely horrifying. I recall the words of a young woman who was just reading through the Bible for the first time. She said what she was seeing was that God had a lot of human qualities. And that is exactly true. But I don’t believe a creating, sustaining power in the universe would be quite so “human.” Our jealousy and exclusivity are not part of the higher expressions of our spiritual hearts, I don’t think. They are sin. There have been many leaders in the history of the world who have lashed out and killed any who were not completely loyal to them. But that is not a good quality in a leader. Why would we see it as a good, or true, characteristic of God? Now I can find other ways to understand the Bible, besides the literal way. I may yet wander down that path, because I find it hard to toss this Book for some reason.
This is part of what has been occupying my thoughts in the past few months, just one part of the general lost and confused state of mind and heart I have been drowning in. A lot of pain, really — emotionally, not physically. A lot of sorrow. Just plain depression. I can’t seem to find the path, and so I sit. If I could find it, I could follow it I think. But I can’t. I need a light to shine on it, or a hand to reach out and pull me up and say, “Go here.” I pray for these things regularly. I don’t pray for a lot of things, but I do pray for God to shine a light on the path and give me strength to walk it. But it seems that this part of the journey must be walked in the dark. You may have heard the saying, “there are no atheists in foxholes.” That means that when your life is on the line, you just believe. For me, the more my life has been on the line, the more important it has been to not just have faith, but to get it right. When your life is on the line, you just can’t afford to put your faith into what is not real. And there is only one thing that I can say for sure is real. That is Love. If it is not Love then I am convinced, it cannot be God.
For those interested in an update on Michaela’s case, there isn’t really any news. I did get an email from our detective letting me know that there was someone arrested in another local cold case murder who is being looked into regarding Michaela’s kidnapping. I don’t know much more than that, but I am absolutely content to let the investigators investigate and let me know if they find anything. This would not lead to my living child, so there is no pressing need to know, because Michaela has no pressing need for me. But be assured there are still people working on it.
I’ll write again when I find out what is going on in my body, or if I have anything of value to say. Well, actually, I have had some things of value to say, but I have been putting them into the book I am writing. Is that wrong? I don’t know. I’ve had a lot of thoughts from the recent school shooting — not a single one of them political by the way. They again circle back to the only thing that can solve this problem. Love. Love is it, people. It is the be all, the end all, the save all.
So let me tell you what I tell my children now when they leave the house. Stay safe, be kind, make wise decisions, and remember you are loved.