For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

When God Throws Your Own Words in Your Face

It was medical responders class when I said it. We had finished CPR and learning about heart attacks and the reality that the heart of the survivor may the only one we could really help.

And the nightmares were relentless.

Him unconscious in a car on the side of the road. My pulling him out of the car into my lap, trying everything I knew to bring him back. His dying there anyway. It played through my dreams at night and my thoughts during the day, and there was no conscious place it wasn't.

We were driving over to Burger King to grab lunch when he asked it. How he had died, and I told him, mechanical sounding and tired.

"So why did you take this class?"

Because I found medical response fascinating. I loved learning it all. I love the puzzle, the challenge, the whole thing. The cerebral answer.

"Doesn't it make you think about him and what happened?" All the time.

"Then why do that to yourself?" Because nothing will bring him back, but maybe--MAYBE--I can keep someone else from going through what we've been through, and if I can prevent this pain for even one person, it's worth it.

If I can make the difference for even one's all worth it.

Two years later I sit in my garden tub. Tears roll down my cheeks. The pain is deep, and no matter where I look, it is there.

I think about recent blogs and posts and verbal comments and conversations and discussions, and they tumble out of my head and replay in front of me. I talk too much. I always think I'm right. I'm just flat wrong. Who am I to say that? I said it the wrong way, to the wrong person, in the wrong tone. I should have said something else, written more, said more. I should be more humble and willing to learn. I should be more courageous and willing to teach. I should sit down and be quiet. I should rise up and step into my destiny.

I think I should stay in bed and avoid people altogether.

I think about the conversation two years ago, in the car as he asked why I chose to take the class. He had no way of knowing at that moment, I was trying to figure out how to fail the class because really, I just wanted out. I wanted out of the dreams, out of the torment, and out of the responsibility of it all.

The dreams were tormenting, and the always present reality that there would be someone I couldn't save and what then? What happens when you do your very best and it still isn't good enough, and no, I'm not God, didn't want to be, but this frail human had reached the limit and maybe the reality of what I couldn't do or be was the point where I shook my head and said, "Enough is enough." Really, is peace such a horrendous thing to want?

All I wanted was peace.

I sit in my garden tub and ask the same question: Is peace such a horrendous thing to want?

And again the mental and emotional torment is unending, and I am all too aware that no matter how good I am, I am never good enough. The reality I can't help everyone slams me like a wrecking ball. It is the barrage of voices telling me how I am not enough--not good enough, not smart enough, not "this style" enough, all. And this frail human being with a heart exhausted from three years of trying to rebuild a life and trying to understand who I am to be and what God wants to do has reached her limit, and maybe the reality of what I'm not or the personality and style I don't have leaves me shaking my head and saying, "Enough is enough."

Peace isn't a horrendous thing to want, and I'm wondering if the way to peace is to walk out of the war because, God in Heaven, I'm tired, and if I step off the battlefield, will anyone notice anyway?

Then it happens. His voice whispers, and my body cringes.

"If I can make the difference for one person, it's worth it."

My words. In His mouth. Not what I want to hear.

"How much is one person worth?" His voice is close to my ear, and I really don't like this. "If there was one person on a battlefield, and you knew you could reach them, but you also knew it meant every member of the enemy's army would turn their sights on you, would you leave them there, or would you go get them?"

He knows. And I am torn between being honored and being angry. "I'd go."

I feel His smile against my ear. "Yes. You would. Jerri, there are people down, and you are the only one who can get them, and, yes, the assault will be hard and unrelenting, and you may need a breather--"

"Not as long as there is one more I can get."

His smile broadens. He knows.

And I have no idea how I will stay on this battlefield, but I will, just like I passed that class, just like I didn't flinch when my patient was young man with symptoms of a heart attack...and the same heart problem that killed my husband...because sometimes they don't die in your lap. Sometimes they get what they need and live long, beautiful lives.

Sometimes it stinks to be the one who will run into the burning building, but I think it would be worse to be tormented by the voices of the ones I could have reached but didn't. So I'm still here.

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