Monday, May 24, 2010

Rhubarb Crisp & Fears

I made rhubarb crisp tonight. Well, truth be told, I am still making it. It's in the oven as I type. And I am so looking forward to eating some tonight. I wish I could say it is the perfect night for rhubarb crisp, but it isn't. It hit the high 80's today and it's still hot in our house. We have two fans going and it's still warm and sticky.

And, despite that, I still decided to turn on the oven to 350 degrees and bake. In fact, I decided to bake even though I really don't feel well. I've had a sinus headache all day and a sore throat that started last night. And despite the fact that my body is telling me to stop, my brain keeps telling me to keep going. Keep moving. Keep being busy, because the moment I stop is the moment the thoughts and the fears settle.

My friend, Kristie, who is battling breast cancer that has metastasized in her hip emailed out an update this morning. After a weekend of experiencing blurred vision and several headaches she is going for an MRI tomorrow on her brain. Apparently, breast cancer can metastasize in your brain and they have not yet checked for lesions there.

Let that sink in. I sat at my computer this morning at work and I waited. I don't know what I was exactly waiting for. I think I was waiting for an emotion. Or to just start sobbing uncontrollably. But nothing happened and within two minutes I knew I had to keep going. I had to compartmentalize and work through today. Then, tonight, tonight I could fall apart. The problem is, I'm not ready to process this information. I'm not quite ready to "go there" and so in the midst of an 80 degree day when every fan in our house is on, I decided to bake rhubarb crisp.

I focused on each ingredient. I sliced the stringy rhubarb and smelled the freshness of each stalk that Ryan had just cut from our yard. I felt the brown sugar, rolled oats, cinnamon and melted butter crumbled beneath my finger tips. I smelled the sweet sugar and vanilla cook together on the stove top, creating even more heat than the oven set at 350 degrees. And I stood in my kitchen sweating. And avoiding.

Ryan asked me if I thought about how Emilie and Daniel were doing. Of course I had. The question should have been, "Have you stopped thinking for one second about the Rushes?" And without having to explain my irrational behavior he simply said, "Am I bringing up something you are trying to escape?" And with that, my sweet husband went to play video games.

It's not that I won't process. It's not that I have to avoid. The truth of the matter is that God is bigger than this. God's word tells me to cast all my anxiety on Him because He cares for me. And my fears don't compare to my God. So, tonight I will spend some time with the Lord. I will lay it down at His feet- every fear, every question, every tear, and I will offer it to Him as an act of obedient worship to the Only One who can handle all of it. And through heavy sobs, I am sure, I will offer up to the Lord, some honest and faith filled prayers for my dear friends. And then, I will eat some of my irrationally made rhubarb crisp and I'm sure I will be exhausted.

21Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 23And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us. 1 John 3:21-24