Earthen Vessels

There are days when I feel so overwhelmed.  This week has been like that.  I think my feelings are partly due to being unable to get out and walk.  I've injured my knee and will probably need surgery in the next couple of weeks.  I am definitely one of the "earthen vessels" the Apostle Paul writes about!

Changes have been steady.  Lacy is slowly losing function.  He is having a much harder time walking now.  He has to wear pull ups and he feels humiliated by this. Lacy is angrier than usual, but that is partly because he is losing what little independence he has left.

Huntington's Disease had been called the cruelest disease known to man.  I believe it.  HD takes the body, the mind, and the emotions.  It's like having ALS, dementia, and Parkinson's Disease all at once.  No treatment, no cure.  Even if a cure is found in a few years, it will be too late for Lacy.  We can see the future and it is a bleak one.  The pain of this disease is so great, it can't be expressed in words sometimes.

I'm not saying that I don't have faith, but I'm changing my view of happiness.  In fact, I don't use the word happy nearly as much as I used to.  I feel contentment.  Yes, I feel sadness and sorrow.  These emotions hit me with more regularity that in the past.  I almost always feel the weight of HD on my shoulders.  I don't exactly feel weighed down, but it is always there.  Kenny and I talked about that this weekend.  We are both pretty good at compartmentalizing.  We have to in order to function.  We both have jobs and responsibilities.  We have to plan for our retirement.   But we feel content in God's grace and trust in His provision.

One of my Facebook friends whose son is also affected by HD wrote recently, "I don't know how we are supposed to watch our children die.  I just don't."  Kenny and I don't know how to do this either. We just put "one foot in front of the other."   I wonder... will I still be a mother when my child is gone?    How does one imagine a life without their child?

These are thoughts and fears that make my heart hurt.  It is when I feel this sadness dragging me down that I cry out to God.  Lord, give me strength.  Let the bones you have broken rejoice.

We will have the victory, but it won't be in this life.  I think that is the hope of our salvation.  Jesus died so that we could be released from the burden of sin, the fallen nature of our world.  "Be of good cheer," He says, "for I have overcome the world."

We have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed...Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, our inner man is being renewed day by day." II Corinthians 4: 7-9, 16

This is the victory we have - our faith.  This is the promise of eternal life.  Lacy - the faithful man of God - will be rewarded for his faithfulness.  Lacy will be released from the "body of this death."  HD will not have the victory.

Even though I can't imagine it now, I know that Kenny and I will have victory, too.  We will be able to take this journey with Lacy, say goodbye, and then continue the work God has for us here until He calls us home.  That is a comfort, even though I dread the journey.  I know God will give us strength.  He will meet our needs before we know what they are.

I am praying today for strength for Kenny and I, for Lacy, and for the countless others who battle HD every day.  God is all around us, even when we can't feel it.  Thanks be to God!



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