Confession: I hate the phone. Well- I love my phone- I just hate talking on it. I have issues talking to people without being able to see their faces. Among the bakers dozen other issues I have.
I especially hate being placed on hold, once I’ve actually picked up the hateful phone and actually made a call. Which- happened Friday night, when all of my Apple devices projectile vomited at once. (It was bad. No email. no texting. Error warnings everywhere. It was applegeddon, trust me.)
After a couple of hours grousing, talking to myself, yelling at the computer,biting people’s heads off (mostly hubby’s and my youngest’s- sorry guys.) and trying to solve it: myself like a giant blue haired toddler… I finally listened to my husband and called Apple care.
I was put on hold, of course.
30 seconds into being on hold I wanted to hang up. The only thing that stopped me- was knowing that if I did, my poor husband would be forced to put me inpatient somewhere- due to apple induced temporary insanity.
I HATE BEING on HOLD. That much.
Saturday- I realized that sometime- in October-of last year- I put my life on hold.
- I stopped planning.
- I stopped dreaming.
- I stopped living and started surviving.
- I think I held my breath from October to February.
Because: Cancer bit in a really ugly way last summer/fall. Numbers went crazy. Chemo began. And then: The zombie apocalyptic infection that required 4 surgeries (I think- I lost count, actually) several months of twice daily wound cleaning and packing and about a million new doctor’s appointments- happened.
I’m pretty sure life was put on hold the day we had to tell our kids that a much planned and prepared for trip had to be cancelled.
The disappointment that broke this momma’s heart.
My youngest summed it up for all of us: “We can never plan anything anymore. We’re always disappointed.”
I decided not to disappoint anyone, anymore.
Since,I can’t control cancer- (I’ve tried. Cancer’s an uncooperative expletive, IMO.) I did what I could- I stopped making plans. Instead of saying “Yes.” or “No.” I started saying: “We’ll see” to everything.
- “Can we go to the cottage?” “We’ll see.”
- “Can we go to Seattle, in August?” “We’ll see, we should be able to make plans after dad’s next appointment.”
- “Can you chaperone the field trip?” “We’ll see.”
It isn’t just “We’ll see” to my kids. It’s “We’ll see” to my life.
- “Can you speak at our group, in September? I think so. We’ll see.”
- “Can you finish this book?” “We’ll see.”
- “Can you help with this project or that?” “We’ll see. It depends.”
- “Can you be at the meeting?” “We’ll see.”
Here’s the thing- in my attempt to not disappoint anyone- I’m disappointing everyone. Especially myself and maybe even God.
I coud blame cancer and build a pretty good case for why my decisions have been rational. Maybe even prudent. I could say that it’s cancer’s fault that my life has been on hold.
I could proof-text like a paraprofessional Christian and use this scripture to show you how holy and wholly- biblically supported I am:
James 4- 13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
See? We’re not supposed to plan ahead. That’s arrogant. The bible says so. Just ignore the parts abut not doing the good you know you should… Or, how the context of this scripture is about the arrogant plans of man.. not the life infused plans of a family.
Let’s pretend this isn’t about fear.
Let’s blame God and Cancer instead.
The thing is– it’s not cancer’s fault. It’s not God’s fault.
I’m the one who pushed the hold button.
The problem is: ME.
I’m tired of it.
Let’s face it- the hold music sucks. Can you hear it? It’s the sound of sacrificing hope in the future on the altar of the unknown. Well- maybe the altar of fear- actually. It’s the sound of giving up- r trying to take control an protect ourselves from disappointment.
Sure- I’m still doing all the things that need to get done. Technically.
Except for living. Planning. Looking forward. Having hope.
In my attempt to avoid disappointment- I’m living in constant disappointment. “We’ll see” has taken the place of broken promises and disappointments in plans.
“We’ll see.” Is also, evil hold music to listen to, day after day.
So- I hit the hold button that magical second time. Or maybe, I disconnected and am re-establishing a new connection- with life.
Either way-we’re off hold. Thank God. (Literally. Thank you, God.)
We might face disappointments. (We will. Trust me.) But the truth is- whether we plan or don’t- we will face disappointments. It’s part of life. Stuff happens. However- if you fail to plan- you plan to fail.(Stupid and cheesy as it is. It’s still true.) And: I’ve been failing to plan.
Being off-hold is also uncomfortable. There is another oncologist appointment Monday. I was hesitant to plan a phone call for “work” on Tuesday- because I’m concerned that Monday could start another cancer-crapstorm. And-It could.
But- if I keep waiting until after the next appointment to live and breathe… I will die. So will dreams.-and the hope that comes in joyful expectation of good things. “We’ll see” is a stealer of hope.
- There is always another doctor’s appointment.
- There is always another blood test or, set of scans or test results, or decision to make about treatment.
- Life can’t wait.
- There is only one today. No one has a guarantee of tomorrow. We plan anyway- don’t we?
- There is only one future to plan for.
- There is only one dream and calling God has given- that needs to be pursued and enjoyed.
“God willing” is a back beat to this tune. It’s not an excuse to avoid the dance. (I might clean up ll these musical references later:P)
It’s time to get brave and start dreaming again. Planning.
It’s time to get off hold- and back to life.
I’m hanging that line UP.
God willing- will you join me?
Do you feel like your life is on hold? Why? Is it really? Or, have you pushed that button yourself trying to head off disappointment and fear? How can you take a step to trust God with your future instead of holding your breath and listening to hold music?
Let me know! I’m getting my calendar out and starting to plan. It’s going to be a great summer. 😉 Or, not. Either way- I’m not on hold anymore;) I kind of like the highs and lows of the music of life much better than hold music- don’t you?