6:15. It came so early today. My brain fought the inevitable and my thoughts were foggy. My muscles ached. I think I actually had to pry open my right eye (a nasty but often necessary carryover action from the sickness on our journey weeks ago), not because anything was obviously preventing it's opening, but because it simply did not want to open. Everything felt tired. My bed felt warm and the snow that fell last night made everything feel cold, but as the sun rose the earth was bright and welcoming.
Each night is a battle. Each day - all day - is a battle. Each morning is a battle. It is one of the tougher battles I have faced. I keep telling myself that this season will not last. Seasons change; we see it all throughout Creation. Yet, in the midst of a cold, biting and hence painful place, it is sometimes more difficult to believe in the change of seasons, in the warmth of the sun and the brightness it affects on everything it touches.
And when our boat capsizes and we are holding on to the toppled vessel in a rough sea, it seems at those times the waves are often rougher and more persistently the dogged predator of our hopes, our strength, our ability to trust in goodness and in miracles. The waves take many shapes, color themselves vibrantly to distract us from the sun, incorporate unbelievable objects to be thrust against our fragile vessels and bruise our weakened frames.
We must hold fast, press past the threshold of our own strength, believe in promises that sometimes our faith alone keeps alive, and keep our eyes upward toward the sun. The tattered vessel may be our present lifeline in this battle, but it is very small in the portrait of the whole of life. It may keep us afloat in our weakness. For me, in this season, dogged perseverance is my tattered vessel. I may not be in a forward motion as I know I should be, but I am alive and the waves have not robbed me of my hope, my dreams, my will to live wholly (not just survive) and they have not fully taken my strength, because ultimately it is not my strength at all.
I will not paint a picture of the grotesque existence we, in this household, face on a daily, hourly basis. I will not add pictures. I will not describe it all in garish detail. Honestly, I don't think anyone should be subjected to it. We all know our own minds can be rich and wondrously imaginative and this reality is unbearable on it's own without magnification. I know we each battle our own goblins and beasts that we cannot fully comprehend even as they reveal themselves to our unsuspecting selves. I hear the hopelessness and the longing. I understand in my own way. You must keep hold, keep hope, and keep your eyes up. There will be a new horizon.