Tomorrow Comes

Today I threw away several pair of fuzzy socks, remnants of a box of comfort a friend sent me over eleven years ago when I began chemo for the first time. I’m not sure why I’m sharing this. I guess because I never thought throwing away socks would bring an ache to my heart—-an ache of gratefulness for the kindness of friends years ago who spoke my love language, an ache of “look how far the Lord has brought me!”, an ache of loss, of feeling like those holey socks: years of wash and wear removing their softness and battering them full of holes. I guess because I feel battered.

“Weakness is my lot
Suffering is my prison
You have chained me to frailty
I cannot break free”

I spent yesterday in bed, writhing and throwing up for most of the morning with a migraine. I begged God for relief. I curled into Brian’s arms. I sang through tears as gentle music washed over us, “Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.” I told Brian I wanted my mom, and he texted Ash who had driven his siblings to church. Ash found my parents and they came, and I laid in bed with my hubby and my mama while my daddy stood guard. Then I thought of friends who don’t have a mama to come, and I wept for their loss. It all feels so sad and heavy these days.

I am stronger today, but very weak. I swept my kitchen floor and then rested. I folded a load of laundry and then rested. I have no idea what I will do next or even if I can. We don’t know if yesterday is because of my new treatment, because of changes in air pressure, because I overdid it the few days before… we just don’t know. All we know is that this is our life. One day I’m mostly fine, the next I’m not. And we continue to ride the tilt-a-whirl.

“But this prison is your workroom
and I am your clay
You are not a jailer
You are a potter
I have not been condemned
I am being molded”

Ahhh… the tilt-a-whirl. I wrote of it in my last post, and my dear, dear Uncle Sam texted me. He wrote of his love, his prayers, and his memories of that ride as a child, how even when the ride stopped, the car would rock back and forth, back and forth until the attendant came and stopped the car and let them off. He wrote of that feeling of no control. But the attendant… our attendant…

Oh, y’all. Even on days when I feel well, the car is still rocking. What may seem like control is an illusion. And I look to the attendant, and I wait. One day, the car will stop and my attendant will let me off, only this attendant, our Jesus? He will wrap me in His arms of love and welcome me home. I, like Paul, am hard-pressed between the longing for home and the ache to remain.

“My weakness is not about what I am enduring
My weakness is about what I am becoming
My travail does not preach your anger
My travail preaches your grace”

I keenly feel my weakness. I carry the weight of my failures. I grew up in a church culture that screamed of suffering as punishment. It’s a battle to not look at my weakness, my suffering as rebuke. But to see instead the eyes of a Father Who loves me? Who knows that this suffering is molding me and making me? That I can be a vessel of grace?

Oh, y’all, the beauty of this undoes me. All of this struggle is His grace to me. All of this… His mercy to me. To ME?

“This prison is your classroom
I am learning
Your presence
I am learning
Your promises
I am learning
Your power
I am learning
Your mercy
I am learning
Your gospel
I am learning
learning
learning“

On Thursday night, we drove to Richmond to see Traveling Broadway perform Les Misérables. It was my late birthday gift from Brian. (Side note: I’m so thankful that our whole family loves musical theater and can share in it together. Side note number two: Bear is not in the picture below because he went to see it the same night with the fine arts department of his school.) I took lots of medications to combat side effects in hopes that I would make it through the evening, which I did. And it was such a gift.

As I sat next to my Ash, he reached over and held my hand, and we cried together. “There is a grief that can’t be spoken…” washed over us, as Marius sang of his friends who had died. “Here they sang about tomorrow, and tomorrow never came.”

But then… to weep of the hope that comes at the end, of the saints surrounding Jean ValJean as he comes home. “Do you hear the people sing?… It is the future that they bring. When tomorrow comes. Tomorrow comes.”

Oh, y’all. I’m learning still the language of hope in the midst of this grief that can’t be spoken… of my pain, of the pain I see and hear in other’s stories, of shattered lives. We are all being pieced back together with the gospel. A hope that death cannot conquer. Beyond the barricade of the this world’s struggle… there is hope.

The tilt-a-whirl spins wildly. We hold on for dear life. It rocks and sickens. It will slow to a stop. And our attendant will come.

“The darkest night will end, and the sun will rise.”

Tomorrow comes.

The eternal tomorrow.

(I sob as I write this.)

“Beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?”

Tomorrow comes, y’all.

I am learning.

It comes.

(Excerpts from his poem, “Weak,” by Paul David Tripp)

2 responses to “Tomorrow Comes”

  1. Perhaps one day you will understand HOW MANY lives you have touched and changed with your honest, heart-wrenching words, while you and your dear family solidly hold on to God and His promises and mercies.

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  2. Oh Ange. My heart literally aches for you. I have no words sufficient to express my feelings after reading this post. Perhaps gratitude. There IS a tomorrow! A wonderful peaceful beautiful tomorrow! Praise God. And thank you for reminding me to keep looking heavenward. ❤️ Beth

    Like

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