Yet I’m fairly certain I’ve accurately diagnosed my condition: Stross’ birthday is nearly here. Therefore, my annual personal performance review has begun, and I have no idea how I am doing.
The symptoms have basically remained the same for 20 years.
A fleeting thought triggers a moment of breathlessness – the kind that happens when I get caught off-guard but then regain a sense of presence with a deep cleansing breath.
Or a lingering thought leads me to a land far away, into an existence not yet known, and I languish between a grief that is familiar to me and a type of sorrow I’ve yet to identify.
And then there are the unannounced tears.
I awoke early this morning with a solitary, quiet tear falling from the outside corner of my right eye. It made a cool trek down my cheek before landing on my pillow. Instantly I traveled back in time to a hospital bed where I once laid in the same position with a river of tears quietly traveling from cheek to pillow.
Twenty years ago on the fifth day of May, my life changed inexplicably. Strangely, I have never been hung up on the “why” of it. However, I think I will always wrestle with the “how.”
26Then he said, “Let me go, for the day is breaking.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.” Genesis 32:26
Like Jacob – stressed with the prospect of encountering Esau and thereby coming face-to-face with his past and his future – I wrestle, praying that the One with Whom I wrestle is God and not some shadow of a former me.
Bless me, I demand. Help me retain a sense of hope. Give me a future that matches my present reality. I will not give up until I am assured I am blessed. I will wrestle as long as I have to.
Yet I know I cannot escape such an encounter unscathed. I know it means I will forever walk wounded toward the future my family and I will share. But I believe the blessing will be worth it. At least it has been for 20 years.
I am in for a long bout of wrestling this year. I can feel it. But I won’t let go. I refuse to. Not until I am blessed.