Let’s play a game. Tell me what all of these things have in common.
A flooded basement due to rain
A flooded basement due to a broken water heater
A flooded laundry room (in basement) due to a failing washing machine hose
A leaking ceiling on the second floor due to condensate issues from the air conditioner
A watery mess from a leaky bathroom sink on the main floor
A broken radiator on one of the vehicles leading to its overheating
An overflowing toilet resulting from a disconnecting of the handle inside the tank
If you guessed “water,” you are correct! Unfortunately, there is no prize. Just be thankful you aren’t my poor husband, because that’s been our list of breakdowns the past couple of months.
These days I feel like I am drowning, but it really has little to do with our home repairs.
When I was in high school, I suffered from undiagnosed depression. Thankfully, God pulled me out of it, and it has never been a real problem for me during my adult life. In the past year, since Brandon’s death, the doctor put me on anti-anxiety/depression medicine, but the side effects were driving me nuts. I asked to be taken off, and I began the weaning process. Interestingly enough, I took my last pill on the day after the anniversary of Brandon’s death.
I thought I was doing OK handling all of this, as “OK” as anyone could be, but maybe it was just the medicine taking the edge off things. I don’t know. I just know that the last couple of months seem to have been extra hard. Sometimes I feel like things are getting harder instead of easier.
Of course, I am sad about Brandon’s death. I miss my son. But it’s more than that. All of us have dreams of what our lives will be like—goals, plans, prayers. For most of my adult life, mine have revolved around my sons. And no matter what difficult things came our way, I just knew that everything would work out in the end. I fully trusted that God would take care of us. When Brandon died, many of my hopes and dreams and prayers died too. The future that I envisioned for him and for us is gone.
In addition, a lot of the people around me are struggling now too. Family, friends and acquaintances have experienced a lot of losses over the last year—deaths, relationship issues, marriage crises, parental care, and serious diagnoses. Every time I turn around, someone else is struggling.
This is life—all of it—and I get it. I have so much to be thankful for—water issues and all. I am so blessed. I have a great family, terrific friends, a wonderful church. Compared to most of the world, I am rich in so many ways. Yet all that doesn’t take away the emotions—the way I feel right now. I don’t want sympathy. I don’t want pity. I don’t want fabricated answers, because there are none.
This is life, for all of us, at one time or another. It’s monotonous. It’s hard. It’s painful. And I keep telling myself to just “suck it up” and deal with it.
As I was telling a friend about all of our water issues the other night, I joked, “Do you think God is trying to tell us something?” And, even as the words came out of mouth, I began to think, “Maybe He is.” At the very least, all of these incidents brought to mind a passage of scripture—Isaiah 43. So, I decided to look it up and read it this morning. Below is part of the chapter. (I underlined the areas where I have adapted the scripture to personalize it.)
“But now, Tricia, listen to the Lord who created you. Tricia, the one who formed you says,
‘Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.
When (not if) you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When (not if) you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When (not if) you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I gave Jesus as a ransom for your freedom; I gave Jesus in your place. Jesus’s life was given in exchange for you. I traded His life for yours because you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you… But you are my witness, Tricia!’ says the Lord. ‘You are my servant. You have been chosen to know me, (so) believe in me, and understand that I alone am God.’
This is what God reminded me of today. It is what He is saying to all of us who are struggling. You can just as easily put your name in those blanks instead of mine. It helped me. I hope it helps you too. It (almost) makes all that water in the house worth it.