Sunday, December 16, 2012

Brain fog and a tired heart

I can’t decide what to feed the family for dinner, even though my freezer is full and my lists are in front of me. I just stare, overwhelmed with the task, and near tears.  Is another meal really necessary? I just want to go to bed.

I call this brain fog, and it comes during times of grief or depression.

I don’t want to be so vulnerable that a tragic event far away can destroy my ability to make a meal for my family. But I am. I am sad and I am tired.  My body, my heart is tired.  World-weary. Tired.

“I’m going to take a nap.  Does anyone want to join me?” I said, and my first baby did.  We are both too big for naps, but we are not too big to need to sit and just hold each other.
I lay with her under warm blankets, and we thank Jesus for our “warm, soft bed.” We are still counting those gifts we already have, though we are too lazy and tired to write them down this time.  I hold her and she holds me, and I marvel that she is so big that she can borrow my coat now.
I keep my eyes open as I caress her hair. I know the images that will come to mind as soon as I close them.  Her eyes begin to close.

Suddenly the door opens and my other daughter comes in, “I guess I do want to take a nap,” she says. She climbs in on the other side of me, and we lay tangled together. They breathe. And I think I could lay there forever just listening to the beautiful sound of their breathing.

They breathe, and I breathe.
 My eyes close by accident. I don’t mean to, but I picture the classroom full of dead babies. Big babies, like the ones in my arms, but dead.

I force my eyes open again.
I look at my younger daughter, my Aggie. She is asleep already. I see the light from the window behind her, creates darkness that lays like a blanket over her perfect profile.  Her mouth has no jokes, her face has no smile creases. She is still, perfectly still, except for her breath—that beautiful sound of her breath.

My mother heart wants to keep them here under blankets forever, keep them from such evil as we saw in Connecticut.  I want to keep them from grief, from tragedy, from death.

Yet my arms are impotent. My embrace is futile. I wither like grass.

I look at Aggie’s relaxed face, her crazy hair, her head. Her next MRI is this week.  I find it frustrating that the eyes of mother love and worry cannot perform a reliable brain scan. My scans reveal either what I want to see, or what I fear, and neither can be trusted. The scientific answer will settle the question, on Tuesday.
Evil is not just out there. Things crumble all around, even right here in this bed, in these bodies. 

How quickly I had forgotten. How powerfully I remember.
Surely all flesh is like grass.

Yet my babies, right now, are breathing life next to me at this moment. I listen, and though I fear, I give thanks to Him who made them. 
Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the Words of eternal life.

There is no understanding, no comprehending evil and protecting myself and those I love from it.

There is only Jesus--God with us and for us.  There is only the cross, the atonement, the resurrection. 
There are only His promises. 
There is hope and comfort, only in Jesus.

The grass withers and the flowers fall,

    but the word of our God endures forever.
Isaiah 40:8

(A prayer from Pastor Harrison. My thoughts added in italics.)

Friend of the little children, lighten the darkness of our hearts. 
Remember in mercy all who have been devastated by the shooting this week in Connecticut. To Your care we commend the injured and the mourning, the traumatized and the terrified.

Embrace and comfort children around the world who are afraid because they have seen the news. Comfort the mommy-hearts that ache and fear for their own babies. Hold close all of us whose eyes have again been opened to the power of evil and the fragility of this life.

Embrace and comfort each hurting family, O You who have known in Your own flesh what violence and hatred can do, and yet triumphed in love. Give them Your peace and a share in Your hope. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer. Amen.

How are you holding up? 
Am I the only one with brain fog and excessive snuggle needs?


  1. no i was talking with a friend at church today and told her i was an emotional wreck and i asked her "does anyone else feel the way i do?" am i nuts, i mean i can't think straight and it is like everything around me hasn't changed and people are just going on like nothing happened... i mean i don't know what i expect people to act like, but i am numb and yes i can't get the thought out of my head of those precious little children, and then the tears won't stop! Lord have mercy

  2. Pastor Mark J. Buchhop had us sing the following song as our final hymn in church on Saturday night. May they help us focus on Christ during this time of sorrow over those who were lost in Connecticut and help us forgive the shooter who struggled under the burden of sins marked by his physical and mental challenges. Here is a link to the words:

  3. You are so right! There is only the hope and saving grace of Jesus!


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