Sunday, August 19, 2012

Rehab session

Let's be honest. Rehab sucks. It's hard. It's exhausting. It's physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually draining. I went with a friend yesterday to pick up her boys from Trout Lake Camp. I wasn't "watching where I was going" and got hit by a multitude of thoughts once we got there. For one thing, it didn't occur to me until I stepped out of the van that the last time I was there was in May when our family spent a few days together there to remember Matt's birthday. Then I looked around and saw countless teenage counselors holding up cabin signs for their young crew to locate their assigned groups. All those teenagers. My heart started to shake. I drew a deep breath, squared my shoulders, pushed the thoughts of teenagers out of my mind, and, with determined focus, set about collecting the boys' things.

We loaded in what we could, then headed up the hill for the closing ceremony. Because of the herniated disk in my lower back, I sat on the steps of a nearby cabin, watching and listening to the swarm of kids. But, as usual, alone with my thoughts in the midst of the crowd, I wistfully wondered if Matt would have volunteered to be a counselor. I guessed that he would have, and then tears began to fall as I realized we'd most likely be picking him up from camp as well if death hadn't pierced our lives. 

Now overwhelmed with emotion, I stood up and walked slowly back to the van. I realized that this was a "PT" session. I can't avoid certain situations because they're painful, and I can't avoid teenagers for the next however many years. But I allowed myself to cry without reserve in the privacy of the van. 

The GriefShare (Day 4) devotion titled, "Grief Lasts Longer Than Expected" came to mind. How perfectly fitting it was for the moment. Dr. Larry Crabb states, "The grieving process for me is not so much a matter of getting rid of the pain, but not being controlled by the pain." It's a fine line between letting yourself grieve and being stuck in grief. It takes discernment and a "eternity" perspective. It requires doing the hard work of PT, which guarantees tears and painful stretching. PT validates that the recovery process is grueling, hard fought, considerably longer than anyone anticipates, and necessitates the help of others. It is incredibly humbling and dissolves any belief that a "stiff upper lip" or will-power will be enough to get you through.

I definitely do not like PT, but I can't deny the fact that it's necessary for the recovery process. All I can say is this: I am deeply, deeply thankful that GOD is my therapist. I may stumble and fall, but He will pick me back up. He will see to it that I will walk again. Someday. And definitely not without a limp like Jacob. But with the LORD's help, I will. He's got my back. Death may be fatal, but it's definitely not final.

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