On Tuesday, Dec. 1, How I Know There is a God . . .
My heart was the heaviest it had been in a long time; so heavy that my mind began picturing my “reaction” to the heaviness of my heart. My mind pictured my body throwing itself on the bed, crying in my pillow, and staying there the rest of the night . . . maybe into the next morning and afternoon.
After reading the email that contained the two court dates where I will stand across from my father and testify to his financial incompetence, the heaviness of my heart could no longer be “contained.”
Regardless of how much Scott tried (because my father no longer speaks to me), my father would listen to no reason.
“It’s his money . . . so if he chooses to give it to con artists, so be it” has been my philosophy once we were able to secure enough of his savings so he could pay his larger bills. But once he started amassing thousands of dollars of debt, it was a different story.
According to Social Services, I have no real choice. I can either file the petition or they will. It’s called senior adult fraud, and according to my case worker, once they start (the senior adult) there is no stopping.
Apparently so . . . . because we are well over the $120,000 mark.
I feel guilt and absolute sadness as he chooses to “befriend” the con artists that call him on the phone over the counsel of his daughter.
“If only I’d called more . . .”
“If only I’d been more engaged in his day to day life all along . . .”
How can my father of 45 years choose complete strangers who whisper in his ear messages of hatred against the President, minorities, etc. . . . over me?
Somehow they have convinced him they are the ones “on his side” . . . and for just $4800 more, we will give you millions.
The dread and fear I have about standing eye to eye against my own father feels debilitating.
I have a hard time caring what joyful music we are going to sing on Sunday as we prepare for Christmas.
I need to go do some baking for the staff Christmas party that I so desperately want to have . . . they deserve some fun. They work so hard. I need to say “thank you.”
The presents that need wrapping . . . the work and emails that need doing . . . all those things take a backseat because there are tears that need drying.
Tears of disbelief . . . sadness . . . and mourning.
“How can it all come to this?”
The thoughts in my head move to thinking “I’m not sure, this time, that I have the mental tenacity to deal with all this.”
A text to a friend read, “This is the first time ever that I don’t feel emotionally and mentally strong enough to see it through to the end. Always before I could picture myself standing tall, able to see it through, regardless of the outcome – good or bad. Because in my soul I know the worst things are not the last things. This time – as far as I can see – is walking in a courtroom with the one I really do want to love me, turning away from me.”
Their response, “I’ll pray. You know – I’ll pray.”
That’s all one can ask for, really. Since they certainly can’t take all this away.
I suck it up, sit down to do some work, and the first email that pops up has this title,
|Cultivate Mental Toughness With the Navy SEAL’s “40 Percent Rule” by Patrick Allan, Lifehacker.|
|“Developing mental toughness isn’t just about being resilient. It’s also about learning to access your reserve tank when you think you just can’t go any further.”|
Those are exact phrases I use . . . “my reserve tanks” . . . “resilience” . . .
I’ve been taught – “The health of any organization is directly tied to the resilience of its leader.” Since I am so passionate about my calling, the local church, and my love of connecting people to the Love that transforms all things, I am DETERMINED that I am going to be resilient.
In fact, I take pride in being resilient . . . but isn’t pride one of those monsters that lurk in the dark? (The seven deadly sins)
Maybe this time my pride will get me into trouble . . . So maybe I should stop, be still, and listen for where the voice of the Holy Spirit is working in the midst.
I continue to read the article, turns out it was as if Divine Love sat down in front of a computer and wrote an email directly to me.
“No one knows you more than you, but when you run from difficult circumstances or uncomfortable situations, you don’t even give yourself the chance to prove that you can overcome. It’s all about environment. If you want to get better at dealing with heat, then you go to the desert. If you want to get better at dealing with cold, then you go up to the mountains. If you want to get better at dealing with stressful situations, then you go to the stressful situations.
Sticking through tough times can give you the confidence you need to keep your composure when stuff hits the fan. It’s okay to be in touch with emotions, but having some control over them is beneficial. Instead of emitting an emotional response that stems from your discomfort and fear of the situation, you’ll be capable of checking emotions at the door and taking care of business in a calm and efficient way.
Remember, mental toughness is about building the strength and resilience to do the things you need to do and the things you want to do. Don’t make it harder on yourself by trying to keep strong for something that doesn’t benefit you or your goal. Some things you just have to completely let go.”
I do not like the situation I find myself in.
This is not how I pictured my father living out his final years . . . in disagreement or estrangement with me. However, at this point, there are only a few remaining things I can do . . . and it is now time to let go of my fear, trust in a power that is stronger than my own, and try to do what is best for a man I’ve always loved.
How ironic! I knew I needed to be focusing on “The Force” so I can try to lead West to encounter Christ this Christmas, but I had no strength. Yet once I was willing to let myself and my emotions “go” . . . that is when I heard/felt God most clearly.
“Feel the Force”
Tonight – the force was strong, oh weary one.
Psalm 139: 7-12
Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light around me become night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.