Tuesday, June 19, 2012
The great chasm
When I was first pregnant with Samuel, the path before me was pretty straightforward. It was a path to family and life and happiness. I walked along the path, blissfully anticipating each new step. When Samuel was diagnosed, my entire world shook and I fell to the ground. When I was finally able to pick myself up and assess the situation, I realized where the path should have been, there was now a deep and dark chasm. As I stood on the edge and looked down, all I could see was death and destruction, depression and sadness. I knew I did not want to go down there, but it seemed the only option; I could not go backwards. I lifted my head and looked across the great divide and saw the remnant of my original path. The path of my unfulfilled hopes and dreams. I knew if I could just find a way across, all would be well again. I looked to my right and to my left. Again, there seemed to be no way out. My choices were to fall into the pit - not knowing how long it would take me to hit bottom - or to step out on faith that the path was still in place... maybe I just couldn't see it. I choose the path of faith. I took a cautious step and found that I did not fall. Hmm...maybe I could take another? For five months, I continued to take these steps. I was very cautious at first, but with each safe step towards my goal of life and happiness, I took the steps more confidently. Finally, the other side of the chasm was near. I could just about jump to reach it. I knew I needed to just take a few more steps and all would be made right again. But, as I reached forward, the world shook again and I fell to the bottom. Death and depression surrounded me. I looked up and saw just how close I had been to the other side and I was even more distraught; I had been so close! I tried and tried to figure out what had happened; where I had taken a wrong step. But I hadn't. I had no control over the world. I couldn't have known the earth would shake again. I couldn't have known I needed to jump the last of the way instead of just stepping. I lay at the bottom of the chasm and pain surrounded me. The wall was so high that it felt like I would never be able to get back up again. My new path would have to start at the bottom of this chasm. People on the other side tried to reach down for me, but it was too deep. I searched around and found a few foot-holdings to climb, but only could get so far before I would slip and fall down again. Hopelessness filled me. I looked again to my right and to my left and saw that I could walk a new path on either side. The path was still in the chasm, but it seemed to end up in a better place. So I took a few steps...then a few more. I realized moving forward - even if only small steps towards an unknown destination - was better than the alternative. So I keep moving forward. Small, tired, unmotivated steps towards my new path. What the destination looks like, I have no idea. I do know the fall has left me with scars and wounds that will never heal. But I keep moving forward. Someday I'll be out of the chasm.