Thursday, June 28, 2007

The art of walking on water

It's been a long time since I was down. Despite my mother's illness, May was a month of hope and I had a heavenly song of joy singing in my heart. June was a month of family reunion and celebration. Now is a time of... I don't really know, for sure. Internal battle, perhaps?

There is a curtain of melancholy lying like a heavy cloud over my head, that someone insists on pulling down in order to dim my view. I've been battling that curtain for a few days now, and there has also been a touch of despair and anxiety lurking in my shadows. My mother is hurting, and it makes my heart bleed not to be able to do anything for her. There is nothing in my power that can ease her pain.

A little voice is stubbornly proclaiming that the good times have come to an end, and wants to bring me back into a state of mourning. I know that voice and I care little for the insinuation, but a bleeding heart makes an easy prey for despair. Hence the curtain-battle. But I have all reason to hope, even though my heart is being a bit resistant right now.

I wanted to write something deep about Niger tonight, but I have no concentration for that. Instead, I will tell share something that happened on the 19th of May. Something I've been needing to remind myself of for the past few days.
My mother was woken at 06.15 am by a voice, saying: "Bettan, you are to receive a great gift." Her first thought was, "Have I been healed?" but she hadn't, not then at least. A little while later however, my brother and his wife came to tell her her that they were expecting another baby - her second grandchild. That was indeed one of the greatest gifts anyone could possibly give her.

I'm not easily moved to tears, but when my mother told me this, I had tears of joy. My mother could not have been given a greater gift than to know that she will have another grandchild, but above all, it is was the fact that God sent a messenger to tell her that moved me to tears. Somehow, he just knew that she needed to know from him before she heard it from anyone else.

The funny thing is that things have been looking very gloomy lately with my mother's health deteriorating day by day. And yet, I am full of hope because God is with us and my heart is singing a song of joy. How could I want life to be otherwise when I have peace in my heart and overwhelming joy and thankfulness? How could I be anything but grateful?

I don't care about the outcome because I have a hand to reach out to, and I will squeeze that hand tight and savor every minute that we have together. And I want to live my life wholeheartedly and invest every day as if it might the last.

I could write pages on my current state of melancholy, but I know, deep inside, that it's all about having faith. It's not the rain outside that brings darkness to my soul. It's the constant battle of daring to venture into the unknown, choosing to follow that whisper in my heart that gives me peace.
Even though I walk through the shadows of death, I fear no evil, for you are my comfort.
Although I call it a battle of curtains, it's actually all about daring to walk on water. I was running on the surface a few weeks ago, eager to reach my goal and to follow my heart's desire. Now all of a sudden my legs are made of concrete and the impossibility of it all is making me sink.

I know where to find comfort, and I know whose face I will seek. I know who carries me when my soul is weak and my legs are limb and even when my heart is bleeding and my tears have run dry. I know who takes over for me when I am losing the battle of curtains. I just need to remind myself to actually go and ask for help.

Copyright Eden Foundation 2006



photogchic said...

Beautifully written, I just want to cry reading this post. I love the story about your mom and the voice. It seems to me she has many gifts, including you. You have such a "sunny" personality, it goes against your nature to be down, but my advice is to close those curtains and let yourself be sad for a time. Soon enough, there will be a time when you are ready to open them up again. I am really sorry Ishtar. Is there any possibility of her beating the cancer?

Anonymous said...

Oh Ishtar! I wish I could reach out to you and give you a big hug. I know what it feels to lose a loved one to cancer, I lost my aunt. and now my mum has got the cancer. You have to be strong for her. You always seem to smile and be happy, seeing you so blue, is breaking my heart. You are very strong and I know that you will surely overcome the sadness and spread joy around you....Your family and you are always in my prayers. Keep the faith sister. Hugs....Childwoman

loomnie said...

Ishtar, this doesn't sound like your usual self - at least the one we get to know through your blog. But that just shows how many sides there are to each one of us. I am really sorry about your mum. It would have been nice if I knew that what you wanted to hear was that things would be fine. But I know that you've probably heard that so many times that it has ceased to have any meaning. All I can tell you now is that your mum has a great family who really love her. There is no easy way through this.... I wish there were one. I offer my warmest feelings to you, and I hope that you keep holding on to your love for her, and hers for you and the whole family.

szavanna said...

Hi there Ishtar - hope you are feeling better - I think that all IshtarNews readers are sitting here by the pcs - thinking : "hm I wonder if there was a new post? ...or not? .... let me check one more time .... hm ... hope she is feeling ok from Szavanna

Ishtar said...

Thanks for all the warm comments!!

Yes, my mom has many gifts and I think of all things that have been given to her, she is the most proud of her children and her grand-child. I think the curtain-battle ended with me posting it. I went to sleep fighting with God (I told him I needed to be fight with him to be reassured that he was still on top of things....). I woke up with a mended heart, feeling complete again, and that song has been singing in my heart since.

I've been enjoying these last two nights together with my mom (I filling in for my dad while he's in Niger). This night, we were up four times I think, small talking for a few minutes and then falling asleep again. She's hurting and that's the hard part, but I love spending the time with her.

In human terms, there is no possibility for her to beat the cancer, so if she comes through, it'll be through a miracle. In any case, she is not afraid of dying and feels blessed through it all. In the end, it's the pain and the hurting that gets to me most - not being able to do anything to relieve her. Believe me, if there was a chance to do something, I would!!!

Loomnie, you're right; this doesn't sound like the usual me, but the choice between having faith and giving in is always there. And we all have different sides. Had you met me in 1995, you would have met a very dark and troubled teen. Had you met me as a child, say in 1984, you would have met a little sunshine charmer occasionally turning into a fuming monster. There has never been anything in between. For what it's worth, I don't do anything partly; I launch into things with great enthusiam and high expectations, but that also comes with a price to pay when hardship and tiredness gets the better of me. Wouldn't want life any other way though: this is living and there is good and bad, darkness and light. A few days ago, my view was darkening, but the battle is over (for now) and things are looking bright again. I fought with God all night, telling him I just needed to feel that he was stronger than me. When I woke up, my heart had found peace and it is now singing a song of joy again.

See, the sun is shining! The sky is blue and the grass is brilliantly green! It reminds me of all the things the things I love in my life and that I am so extremely thankful of - and my enthusiasm and expectations are awakened once again.

Warm greetings!

Izz said...

Ishtar, Stars only shine (fortunately and not so sadly either) in the night only. In the darkness. In the light, they may struggle to shine and give light and guidance. Not that they are being tested, but that they perform better their duties when darkness cuts in. Very few are stars and shine in the darkness of challenges. Many will bow and bade farewell to such haunting darkness without attempting to illuminate with love and life. On reading this and some of your fulfilling entries - and for the work you do and choice of purpose - I admire the character that lights up the darkness of night like the stars.

At the same time, my thoughts are with you and the lovely mother. Many wishes and admiration, Izz.

Ishtar said...

Thank you Izz, very warmly said! I have to pass on the compliment to the one who's carrying me through all this! All I do is say that I want to do it, but if he didn't give me the steady ground, I'd be far under the water surface by now... :-) Hope to see more of you here, by the way! We have deep issues to investigate further!

Izz said...

Praise to Him for such strength passed to you!

kwrenb said...

Ishtar, your post touched me deeply. Your crisis in faith comes in bearing witness to your mother's suffering, but the same Source that sustains you, sustains her.
I know of that Voice your mother heard - interestingly (but not coincidently, I'm sure)I heard that voice speaking the same passage from the 23rd psalm that you quote in this post. I heard the Voice as I was laying in my bed puzzling over what seemed to be a very dark mist covering the ceiling over my head.
Within two days, I was in the hospital battling what turned out to be only the first in a series of life threatening flares of emphysema.
Even though your mother is suffering pain right now (and I am so sorry) she is still being held up by the Source of that Voice.
And because of that, you can accept the solace of that Source for yourself.
God bless you and your family, Ishtar - I will be visiting your lovely blog again.

Ishtar said...

Thanks Kwrenb!

exskindiver said...

I am glad polli pointed me here.
I am sorry for your pain.
may your writing allow you the release you need during your curtain call.

Ishtar said...

Thanks you Chesca!