When Life Is Crappy

This week has been real crappy. And if I’m honest, the past 4 years have been crappy. Life is just so hard sometimes.

A few weeks ago we discovered that Brian has an aneurysm in his carotid artery. It sounds like I’m making that up, but I’m not. It’s like we were getting bored and created a crisis for attention.

The doctors have no idea how it got there, but it’s big and has to be fixed. It may have been there all his life, but it’s an unstable situation and doing nothing could be catastrophic {insert all the panic you feel when you hear the word aneurysm}. The doctors have asked him questions like; have you ever been in a severe car accident with injuries to your neck? Ever been shot or stabbed? Seriously.

So tomorrow we head to the hospital for an angiogram to see more clearly what’s going on in there and to determine how to best fix it. Most likely they will put a stent in it, but we’ll know more tomorrow.

In the midst of that we are facing some of the hard sides of ministry and trying desparately not to lose heart. Ugh. And then there are the basics that always seem on the verge of overwhelm. Life with 3 kids, finances, constant messes, lack of sleep, lack of “us” time, lack of alone time, etc. And then last week I got rear-ended on the freeway. And then a couple of days ago I hurt my knee while catching my 5 year old from falling off her bike and can barely walk (read: feeling old, out of shape, in pain, frustrated and useless). The piling up of life’s responsibilities and disappointments can feel so heavy.

So last Friday we headed off to see Poppy’s orthopedic doctor, hoping that all would look good and she would be done with her treatment. We are beyond the projected end date and although progress has been slow, things have looked favorable. And we need some good news. We need to finish this hard chapter (because we’ve got all kinds of other ones). We planned to go to the zoo after her appointment to get some good family time and to celebrate our anticipated good news.

But we didn’t get good news. Her hips have regressed a little and the setback feels too hard. Back to full-time in the brace, back to hard adjustments and a frustrated little girl. She was days away from walking and now in the brace she can barely stand. About 75% of what she did to keep herself busy and happy (climb, explore, try to walk, scramble around with her toys) are no longer things she can do. She can re-learn in the brace (apparently even learn to walk), but it is so hard watching her be mad. I swear she gets mad. img_0746

If I string the trials together it feels like there have been years with no break. No fun, no rest, no light at the end of the tunnel. There have been more hardships in the past four years than I could have imagined and we are so tired. But I’m really good at hope, so I keep believing that a season of relief is just around the next corner and that we are almost there. Even when one tunnel keeps leading us into the next and the disappointment is trying to take over.

I heard myself saying on Friday that I don’t want to see anyone, talk to anyone or do anything. I just want to crawl in my bed and stay there a long, long time. Truth is, I haven’t slept for more than a 3 hours at a stretch in over a year so staying in my bed is probably not a bad idea. Except that I have 3 small kids and a life to live and all the challenges will still be there when I wake up. So we went to the zoo anyway and I hobbled around trying to face how I feel.

I am certain that I am called to help others cultivate the ability to see bright spots in their dark places. To see Jesus and the golden threads He is weaving. So naturally, I am getting plenty of opportunities to practice it myself. This world is a hard place to live and suffering is everywhere. I can hardly bear the news this week. So I come back to hope because that is the fuel for the journey. The thing that keeps me hunting for shiny, bright, golden things.

Hope is the anchor for our soul. The thing that trials can produce and the thing that gives birth to perseverance. It’s not a flimsy thing that I make up to keep me going, it is real and it is this: I am not alone. This is not all there is. I am loved by Jesus who lived a perfect life about all the right things, gave up everything for me, is more powerful than pain and fear and even death, and who will make all things new.

But thieves will try to steal this hope. Try to convince us that we are alone and that all we can count on is that life will be hard. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, the biggest lie we believe when we are struggling is that this will never change. Things will never get better and how we feel right now will always feel this bad. This lie is at the root of depression, of suicide and of losing hope. The truth is that we are never alone and that there is a season for everything, “a time to mourn and a time to dance” and that even if the mourning lasts way longer than we expect, this too shall pass. The dancing will come.

I don’t know yet what golden threads are being woven in this time around, but they’ll join the others and my pain won’t be wasted. I know that. I’ll look back and see it.


Life is but a Weaving  /Corrie ten Boom

My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.

Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.

Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned

He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.

Hope is the thing with feathers /Emily Dickinson

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

8 thoughts on “When Life Is Crappy

  1. Bless you Stephanie and Brian!!! Wow!! It does seem overwhelming!!! But you can live in the truth!!! Our precious Savior will never leave you, will walk through this with you!!! Hold fast to Him dear one !! Hold fast !!! I love you and am praying for you!!!!

  2. Read your post!  Hope the procedure for his aneurysm went well today!  Will keep him and you in my prayers!  I am so sorry you are going through so much!  Know I am praying for you and your sweet family!  I sure miss seeing you around!  XO

    From: Golden Threads To: jenniferpenner@sbcglobal.net Sent: Sunday, April 23, 2017 10:23 PM Subject: [New post] When Life Is Crappy #yiv3801345734 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv3801345734 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv3801345734 a.yiv3801345734primaryactionlink:link, #yiv3801345734 a.yiv3801345734primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv3801345734 a.yiv3801345734primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv3801345734 a.yiv3801345734primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv3801345734 WordPress.com | Stephanie Day posted: “This week has been real crappy. And if I’m honest, the past 4 years have been crappy. Life is just so hard sometimes.A few weeks ago we discovered that Brian has an aneurysm in his carotid artery. It sounds like I’m making that up, but I’m not. It sound” | |

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