Finding Peace

“Wishing you Love and Peace this Christmas!”  Matthew stood next to me reading the Christmas card we’d just received.
Momma, you have a lot of love. But you don’t have peace.
So much for hiding my heart from my child. But he was right. Especially during the holidays. All the things that make that time special become one more thing to juggle on this tightrope that is life with Helen. And I was done.
For several months I’d felt less and less control over the chaos. I’d tried every schedule, plan and prayer I could find to make our life work. And, in some ways, it did work. But the cost was high. And after four long years, I was far past the end of all I could do. So, with no other way out, I began to let go. And it terrified me. If things are this bad now, what would happen when I couldn’t make it work any more? What could I do differently?
But I had forgotten that some things are not ours for the choosing.
And I was so tired. I longed for peace. Just a moment where my body and mind and heart could just be still. But the harder I worked, the less it was felt.
Somewhere in the middle of a week of I’m-so-sick-I-can’t-stand-up, I gave up. Not in indifference, not in doing what was necessary. In fact, much of our day looked the same. Therapies still had to be done, after all. The difference was in me. I would do what needed to be done and not anything else. I couldn’t do anything else.
Planning and goals and to-do list all have their place. And if that is moving you toward where you need to be, I wish you the best. I really do.
But if it’s not.
If living from breakfast to bedtime takes everything in you and the days blur from one to the next, I hear you. So what to do?
I get up and breathe deep.
I love the people closest to me the best way I know how.
I make some move toward God. (Even if that move seems insignificant and feels uncertain, do it anyway. He sees. He cares. It counts.)
That is all.  And everything else? All the necessary things that fill our days? I look at that day, do what I can, and leave the rest for tomorrow.
Without all the trying to change what can’t be changed anyway, I found some quiet. And, as it turns out, sometimes quiet holds a little bit of peace.

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