hope needed

Apr 1, 2015

“Jeremy, do you have any hope for me?”

This was the question I should not have asked, should not have pushed him into the corner with.

But I did. And I can’t stop thinking about his answer, both what he said and what he didn’t say. I can’t unsee the look in his eyes.

At first, he tried to joke it away by alluding to the idea that we all have hope in Christ. I said, “Yes, but that is not what I mean!” Then he said, “Faith, hope, and charity, they go together.” I think this was the point I reached up from the table and swung wildly in his direction and ended up whacking him across the chest. When I continued protesting, he said, “Sure, I have great hope that the resurrection is going to be very good for you.” I said, “CLINICALLY. Clinically do you have any hope for me?”

And he got quiet. And didn’t know what to say. And the fear welled up inside of me – because if this man, this expert in muscles and ligaments and fascia, who knows my body and how it is put together better than anyone else, cannot answer this question with a heap full of hope, how on earth can I have any measure of hope?

Finally he answered. “Tracy, you are a very slow healer, but you do heal eventually. We’ve seen it with your feet and your hip and your jaw and your shoulder. So, yes, I have hope. But the thing that is most concerning to me is the number of injuries and that they keep piling up on top of each other. We need time in between the injuries to build muscles and we can’t seem to get it. You keep getting hurt with a new injury before the last one is healed. Your body needs time in a non-injured state so we can get you stronger.”

Which I know. I KNOW THIS INSIDE AND OUT. I have said those very words myself.

So, why is it so painful? Why did it cut me to the core to hear those words come out of his mouth? Why does my situation feel so hopeless as I hear his words play again and again on the stereo of my mind?

I think because it makes it more real.

And his eyes. They were full of painful sadness. He knew I needed a lifeline of hope and this is all he could give me and stay in a place of honesty with himself. I could see he was trying to give me hope…and yet, there just isn’t a whole lot of hope to throw around.

The tears have been welling up inside of me for the past 36 hours, but they won’t come out. One of my skills (and weaknesses) is keeping these heartbreaking kinds of tears buried deep inside me until they burst out in a sobbing, messy, flood. I used to not be able to cry at all, but now I cry at beautiful, happy things quite often and I cry for sad, terrible things in books and movies. But, it is still really, really hard for me to cry for myself.

But I need to cry and scream and sob and let these feelings have a life of their own instead of being trapped inside me. I need to figure out a way to know I am really, really broken and be okay with it instead of trying to convince myself I am not nearly in as bad of shape as it seems.

In a moment of rashness, I decided I would come home tonight and get my beloved bike down from its hanging peg and go out and ride. I thought, “I’ll show them all I am still strong. I am still capable. I can ride and be just fine. Besides, even if I am not fine, what more could happen? What do I care if I get another injury, surely I’ll be no worse physically than I am now, but I will be HAPPY riding my bike and I will know I can do it.”

But I didn’t. Wisdom prevailed over my rebelliousness. Instead I am resting and thinking and making my giant get-ready-for-Passover list, but I still wish I was out on my bike or doing yoga or riding my Elliptigo, or doing SOMETHING to build some muscles instead of sitting on my ever-growing behind waiting for the pain and swelling from the car accident to go away and praying for my knee to heal.

It’s maddening.

And heartbreaking.

And right now, it all feels too big and too hard and too much.

And the tears are starting to flow…

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  1. Valena

    My dear amazing friend — this is so beautifully written! Your grief, sadness and pain is so raw and real, and my heart hurts for you! How I wish I could take it from you, but sadly, that isn’t the plan God has in store for us.

    But I do know that through the strengthening and enabling power of the Atonement, you can continue to adapt to the challenges presented you. In the first chapter of Elder Bednar’s book “Power to Become”, he relates several stories of people whose challenges were not taken away, but rather they were strengthened and enabled to endure them. This is how I perceive you!! You are an incredible example to me of someone who is truly striving to find the strength to move forward in the face of great difficulties — and not just move forward, but to do it with grace and humility!

    I love you so much and am grateful to learn more about grace from you and your challenging experiences. I pray that you will see the inner strength that God is giving you daily and to recognize that you are an awesome example of the way we can apply the Atonement to all our circumstances :)

    • tracy

      Valena, thank you. Your words gave me an infusion of courage, hope, and strength that I desperately needed. Being an example or an inspiration is not my goal, but I do truly hope this journey will bless others. I strive to be real and open and share both the hard days and the glorious days.

      I think I need to revisit Elder Bednar’s book!

  2. Rhaelene

    Tracy, you have always been an amazing, strong woman who makes a huge difference in others lives. You dream big, and small, and follow through on those dreams.I am so sorry you are going through this and I wish there was a way that I, that all of us who love you, could ease your pain. I am grateful you have an awesome mom and great friends who can help. I wish more of us in your extended family were close enough to help. I will continue to pray for you, but if there is ever anything else we can do long distance to help: physically, spiritually, emotionally, let us know. My prayer for you today is that you can find some small measure of hope and comfort. Love you.

    • tracy

      Rhae, I have always loved you. Thank you for taking the time to write me and offer me a piece of your heart. Prayers are a lifeline to me – I feel the enabling power of Christ so strongly much of the time and I know it is because of prayers and angels and God’s great love.

  3. Oh my glory how this post hits the heart! I knew you had been having some very deep pain, both physical and emotion those couple of days. How disheartening to read about your journey through not-so-rose-colored glasses. So much sadness and too much reality for this mama. I hope looking at your wonderful Brian Kershisnik print will lift your spirit every single day! And that you will know that picture really IS how it is, although it IS missing about 10000 angels in that view. LOVE you so much.

    • tracy

      It was deep. And then God healed it. He is amazing like that.