>It’s Time to Limbo!

>Yeah, I’m not talking about the Catholic “Limbo” here, that’s a whole ‘nother discussion.

I’m talking about “How low can you go?” And, of course, as usual, I’m talking about me.

You see, everybody keeps asking me “How is it going?” And I can honestly say that it’s not what I expected, even as it is in so many ways what I expected. Confusing, no? Yes.
This is the most challenging thing I’ve ever done, but not actually because of Marta. Marta, so far (and I am fully aware of the whole “honeymoon” concept, no worries), has been nothing but amazingly sweet, nice, helpful, happy kid. Really, no big demands, no major meltdowns, a few small ones from being scared, nothing. She needs and craves love and affection and knowing she is secure in the family, but that is nothing but a time need. The lack of common language is, well, ridiculous, but that can only improve, right? No choice there.

No, this is the most challenging thing I’ve ever done, all because of me.

You see, this is my own personal limbo contest….just without the cute bikini. (Although I think often about adding the fun libations…..kidding. mostly). The limbo requires strength, balance, coordination, a brave spirit and sense of crazy fun. It also makes most folks fall right down on their fannies.

And, yup, I now get the fun game of seeing just ‘how low can I go?’ Problem is this “low” is not so fun and its a lot more than a simply pratfall from lack of strength and balance…..That is to say, my struggles are internal and honestly, in many ways they are a spiritual battle of my will versus, oh, anyone’s, and my control freak type A nature. It is my falling into the icy grip of fear and a good imagination. To be precise, it is a lack of faith and trust. Period.

I know, I know, I have written on this before. But I want to shout, those posts were fine for then, but this is now. Totally different.
Right….{yes I am, it seems, a hypocrite}.
Those posts talked about this struggle and the grip of fear, love as an action not feeling, and the transformation in the struggle and the suffering. But you know, that’s all fine and well AFTER the fact to think those things. It’s another thing to embrace them in the midst of it all now isn’t it? Because you know, struggle, change, even suffering (on any level, even the most minor)….it HURTS. Hence, the term: suffering. Right? And you know, we wimpy folks out there, by which I mean me, we don’t really like to suffer, hurt and so on. I mean, it’s one thing to say, I’m tough and I can take it. But really, when you step on that nail or heck, get that unexpected paper cut, you might just cuss and holler and whine, right? Ok, well, I might. Ok, maybe I do.

A good friend has pointed out that it’s like a little Rumpelstiltskin tantrum. And she’s right. Because it, my struggle these past few weeks, has been all about ME. I just really want things to be ok and normal again; my way, my timing, my ideas of what it should be like, my plan, MY FEELINGS. Me, me, me. My ideas are not playing out in the timing I would like, my body is being knocked back again and again with one variety of illness or migraine or something after another. The order I placed for a smooth transition: good health for all, full of overflowing feelings of bounty and joy, everything clicking into place…..oddly enough hasn’t happened yet. Funny that.
And so I have been having a Rumplestiltskin time. {I am Rumpelstiltskin, old middle aged girl version, maybe I should change my screenname….} And it’s hard and not a fun place.

But this week, I am also seeing something else. Not only have I seen a glimmer (and I don’t even want to THINK about seeing further) about how low I can go….{ Shocking, I tell you. Utterly, heartbreakingly, humbling.}
But I have seen what can happen when you get there. To your, ok my, lowest point. Because, oddly enough, even there, there is a beauty. And once again, that beauty is in the others. And that makes my heart be able to lift up again.

I have found myself laid flat by illness and fear, simply hitting my break point. And I have seen my husband and sons and friends (near and far) reach out to help lift me up. That’s no easy task! But they have all reached out, grabbed me and helped me stand up again – literally and figuratively. And they are still here, helping me, holding on. And they let me see that despite my tantrum of wanting everything just so, on MY time and in MY way, it’s not necessarily about that. And it’s ok to wait for it to play out. And to try to trust.
Simple huh? Sure. But not so much, not for me.

So, if you ask how it’s going I will still say this is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
But the gratitude I have for so many is some of my deepest.
So, I guess it’s going just like it’s supposed to.
It’s hard, it hurts, I’m useless on my own.
It’s great, she’s sweet, the kids are amazing.
It’s a huge change.
But I also have helpers.

And I’m grateful. Even as it’s hard, challenging me on so many levels and putting a klieg light on my every failing…for what this brings….I’m grateful.
And I am looking forward to the luau without the limbo…..

20 thoughts on “>It’s Time to Limbo!

  1. >Michele,Thank you for bearing your heart and soul in a real and honest way. You have been a blessing to us through sharing your struggles. We continue to pray for you and your family without ceasing.Justin Darling

  2. >I can't even express how meaningful this post was to me. Our situations are so different and yet our struggles sound so familiar. We are waiting and hoping to adopt a baby girl who is due in a couple weeks and I am barely hanging in there too. It was nothing like I planned and it feels so out of my control and just downright uncomfortable. I have no idea what the outcome will be and when it will be so I too am doing the limbo….but i'll leave the bikini to you :)Harmony

  3. >Ok, you don't know me at all.This is exquisitely written. I had a similar thing happen to me when our little guy came home, and I felt it for awhile. I walked around saying 'I'm the mom' in a way that was not convincing and a little shell shocked. (lest you think it was new, I was a mom already!) It got better slowly, but it was so profoundly upsetting to me I had a hard time moving through it. I did. Looking back, it went faster than I thought. And now I'm a different mom.

  4. >Thank you for your honesty..I am soaking up everything you are writing here..in preparation for my own older little girl coming home. I appreciate these posts so much.

  5. >Amen…I could say more, but you've said it all. I'm on the same boat you are…..and the limbo really stinks…..And hopefully, this is when we let go and give it to God and let him make it all beautiful. Because He will…..if we let Him! And my,,,that is the hard part!

  6. >Soooooo great to hear your heart as you work through this journey. God will use this chapter. And I love to hear you have people lovin' on you and helping hold you up … that's what we're all called to do. Blessings to you, dear friend! ~Shelly

  7. >LOVE the luau with (or without)the limbo. Please invite me when you partake as I was quite the limbo champ back in my day. 🙂 I was feeling just like you while we were in Ethiopia. I was so sick and in bed alomst the whole time. My plans and thoughts of how it should go were blown through the roof and I not only couldn't take care of my kids, I really couldn't even take care of myself. I kept wallowing in pity and reminding myself that it wouldn't last forever and I would be a Mommy again and we would bond and have happy family memories. I was so exhausted and just so physically and mentally exhausted when we got home. I was in a haze for a while and I just prayed that the other kids would hold it together with no drama for this mama for a while. Well, it not only got better, it got great!!!! (Okay, bad grammar but I was public schooled.) Are you smiling yet? :-)Hang in there friend. Thanks for being real and brutally honest. Your family is in my prayers and I am praying thanskgiving for the wonderful people around you that are lifting you up in so many ways.Many blessings,Kristy

  8. >You said so many beautiful things I don't know where to start. You said you're useless on your own. Truer words were never spoken. You are so just all heart, I love it. That, and your honesty. Christine

  9. >Oh friend. I fear that I've not been that great of a support to you. Maybe that's because I'm at a low point too? Together… we can get through together, right??? I absolutely drink in your honesty. I'm so very grateful for it. You are such a beautiful soul. I love that you have to write out your feelings too. It helps, no??? sending you lots of hugs. becca

  10. >Hoping maybe I can join you at the luau someday!! It's been a tough week and a half at home and yet reading your post helps me feel better just for the sake of commraderie-ship (is that a word?) I have thought of you so often. Wondering how life is at your house. I have been thinking about posting about a little grieving that I felt/am feeling when we first got home. I think I'll email you more about it.Love and hugs to you!

  11. >Good post. I love your honesty. We are that crazy family at Holy Savior in Addis. Would you mind me linking your blog to mine?Keep up the great posts.

  12. >"How is it going?" in this secnario always feels like a loaded question to me. Sometimes it feels sincere. Sometimes it feels like the asker has expectations of an answer and want you to affirm it. Always there is no way to encompass all the emotion and events to fully and accurately answer that question. How do you answer that. Especially when you think you have an answer or an idea of hot it IS going, only to be confronted with new challenges or new emotions.It is a complete surrender. A sometimes tough, I didn't want to know this about myself, completely vulnerable, not feeling comfortable surrender. It is tough. You are not alone. You may not know it or feel it, but you are ever present in our thoughts and prayers. And each journey and struggle is differnt, but you are not alone.Rebecca


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