Bring on the rain.
I have always been scared of BIG noises. Silly, isn't it? When you logically think about the things in this world that should elicit fear? But big noises have always sent me cowering. When I was little, I would hear a siren go by our house and I would hit the floor and crawl to my mom. I HATED loud thunder. Like, to the point that it made me nauseous and itchy. My sister in law didn't know that about me until she had been a part of our family for years and we were in our first big storm together at my parents house. The lightning would flash, and I would get this panic stricken look on my face in anticipation of the thunder coming. She almost laughed at me because it was so incongruous with my personality. Which it is. I know that thunder is the part that CAN'T hurt me. Logically, I know that. I know that it is just sound. But I had a physical reaction to it that I couldn't help. A deep, inner level panic that I had always let win.
Then I had kids. It never ceases to amaze me how God uses these little creatures to teach us things we didn't know we needed to learn. When the twins were itty bitty, I still reacted the same when a big thunderstorm would come through. Abandon ship, hide under covers, dive into my husband's arms every time a big "boomer" would come.
And then, they started to get bigger and would notice my reaction. They would get scared too and start to whimper and freak out. I saw that my reaction was impacting their choices. Its the And Then that changes us. Because it is in the And Then that we are startled in realizing that something has changed. Because when I saw that my fear was making my babies scared? I was able to change for them. I was able to be stronger. Not that my fear went away. No, my heart still jumped and I probably still got wide-eyed and a little concerned looking, but the flee all noises, hide under the bed, heavy breathing was no longer a choice if I was going to survive the storm WITH my kids. Now, its not like I LIKE storms, or look forward to them, but I have practiced keeping the panic down and I'm getting pretty good at being calm and holding them tight. My Nick especially. I don't want them to have the same fear I did. BIG noises can't hurt you.
But having to do something for a reason that is bigger than yourself can totally give you the ability to do so. I don't want my kids to go through life with a mom that can't play all the things, or that they feel embarrassed by or who has issues with food. Just like I don't want them to go through life fearing thunderstorms. I don't want that to be a part of their story. So, I will practice the things I need to practice to be able to change. I will do this HARD THING so that I can show them that it can be done and they don't need to hold that in their lives. I can hold in the rising panic that I can't do it because my need to get it done is far greater than giving in. That's how I know I can change. That's how I know that I AM changing.
For the first time in my life, I am not looking for a way out of this. I'm not looking at it as what it will be like when I fail and things go back to "normal". I don't want fear to be my normal anymore. I want strength to be my go-to. I want to look at the flash of the temptation and steel myself and say, 'that can't hurt me', and believe it. I don't want to give it power anymore. And I know, I'm not under the assumption, that once you decide this kind of thing that you "overcome" it. I still feel my heart jump whenever I hear that crackle of a BIG thunderboomer start to explode. But I go back to what I need to choose to be for my family and for the example that I need to set to make my kids more successful. And then, for that time, I have overcome it. And then I need to start again. And again. And again.
I will be tempted to make bad choices after my surgery. But I am really hopeful that this change, this choice, will give me the ability to do different. So much rides on it. And I would so rather live in the peace that this thorn in my side that has so long controlled me, will just roll away like thunder as it moves across a storm.
So today, I'm saying this: Bring on the rain. I'm ready.