I wrote earlier this year about the darkness that skips behind me and what happens when it reaches me. When I was underwater, surrounded by darkness last month, it was not the time to be blogging about the experience. But I needed to share this one with you.
This was the worst day. My brain felt like it was filled with burning cotton wool. Moving felt like dragging my body through molasses. I stayed in bed. Normally I will do anything I can to avoid giving up and getting under the covers. If I can just stay moving, fake normal for long enough then maybe it will pass. Maybe I’ll fool everyone into thinking that I’m just like them. Fool my kids into thinking that they have a regular mother.
But sometimes all you can do is stage a tactical surrender. On this very worst, blackest day, I surrendered to bed. If I had been tired, it might have helped. Had I been laid up with the flu, then rest and drinking liquids would have set me back on the path to health. When you get into bed because the darkness has swallowed you alive, no amount of rest will put you back together again. Grace is what it takes. So I sat around waiting for the Grace to kick in.
The trouble was that I promised to help make a sit down dinner for our community. I had to make roast vegetables for forty people. My fridge was overflowing with vegetables waiting to be sliced.
People were counting on me, even if I couldn’t count on myself. The whole day I’m lying in bed, hoping that any minute I’ll feel better. And the minutes are ticking by, until I have no choice but to get out of that bed and chop those vegetables.
I would have done anything to find another way but there was no one else to ask. I dragged myself downstairs and looked those vegetables face on. I started chopping and tears are rolling down my face. I want to be anywhere, doing anything else. And mostly feeling any other way than the way I feel right then.
I finish the onions and I keep on crying even though I’ve run out of any viable excuse if someone come to the door. The tears are streaming down my face and I’m wiping them away so that they don’t get into the vegetables.
There is nowhere else to turn. I say:
“God? Are You listening to me? Glennon Doyle says that you have to show up before you’re ready. Do you see me here? I am totally not ready.”
I look at myself, a puffy eyed, drippy, exhausted, manically chopping mess.
“I am so very, very not ready. But here I am. I am showing up.
“But, listen God, if I’m showing up, then You have to show up too.”
I made it through the vegetables. They were served to forty people who ate them happily, never knowing that they were prepared with buckets a tears, and a giant serving of Grace.