Fear at the door, Rest inside.

A few years ago I heard the word “rest”. I realized how horrible I was at it. I wasn’t even sure what it was. Is it extra sleep? Is it not working on Sundays? Shortly after I heard this word, my life started changing. For one reason or another, one by one, the things I occupied myself with were stripped away until I found myself with nothing to hold onto. Two years ago I was in a panic

  1. We didn’t look for different doctors who would say something we wanted to hear. I continued to sit and stare at the fence, to quiet my body and eventually, sometimes, my mind and my heart as well. I can’t even describe the amount of Fear that was there. But I also can’t describe the difference between this time and other times in my life. It was like, in the past Fear walked in the door and I was afraid. Now it was like Fear stood in the doorway and waited to be invited in. More and more and more Fear gathered at the door, but it didn’t come in. It only waited. I could see it there. It was terrifying. But I wasn’t able to invite it in. Rest was occupying the space instead. The moments in the hospital on January 7th 2015 - I thought Heather might die. I expected to hold our lifeless baby that morning. I knew I’d speak at Olivia’s funeral and not know what to say. It was like a nightmare. But I remember it. I was there. If she would have lived only an hour, I would have been there for that hour. Because Fear was at the door, but Rest was inside. My posture was rest, quiet, and trust. It wasn’t about making things happen. It was about watching, listening, and being there and nowhere else. I wasn’t going to miss it, as horrible as it could have been. The first few months of Olivia’s life Fear kept congregating at the door. We thought we saw her last breath so many times. We were so sleep deprived - I passed out one day just walking across the room. At this point, I felt pretty incapable of getting up and making something happen. The doctors were clear that there was nothing we could do. Hospice was at our house every few days. I wasn’t tempted to get up and do something about Olivia. Now I was tempted to get up and work. To make sure the bills got paid. To make sure my career didn’t disappear any more than it already had. But underneath it was a stronger need - to run - to get the hell out of this situation. Work is always a good place for a man to avoid the realities of his life. It was pretty obvious that work was not to be my focus

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