Depths of Despair


But I am saying God will absolutely allow suffering, pain, and crisis in order to detach hope from other things and attach it to himself. He will use the suffering of Plan B to strengthen our faith. That is, if we will let him. If we will trust him and let him work. You’ve got to stop looking at your shattered dreams and your unmet expectations as something God is doing to you. He’s not doing something to you. But he might be doing something through you. He might be doing something in you.  (Plan B: What Do You Do When God Doesn’t Show Up The Way You Thought He Would)

On the way back from the beach the kids were watching a Barbie movie.  I could hear it, but not watch it from the front seat, but there’s this part where the two mermaids must swim to the Depths of Despair during their quest.  That phrase stuck with me this week. 

Monday was all day at Hopkins with Evie.  The day after I always struggle with depression and we just try to get through Steroid Week.  Tuesday was worse than usual.  All of my projects came to a screeching halt. 

My mind was so scattered that I had to think through everything.  I couldn’t stop crying while I was putting away the dishes.  I wondered if I would need to wash them again.  Evelyn wanted shrimp for breakfast.  Put the water on for tea.  Stand here until it boils.  The kids are shouting.  How long have they been shouting?  So many things I should be doing, but I’m just standing here. Oh, I’m waiting for the water to boil. It is boiling.  It is boiling over.  I should turn it off.  Ouch.  I’m being burned.  Where are the shrimp?  Still in the freezer.  Now Evelyn is crying.  She wants mozzerella cheese sticks too.

Project 1 — Cancer fighting.  I’ve been bugging the doctors for the end date of chemo ever since we passed the two-year mark.  There was a rumor that it would be late in October.  That meant her immune system would be strong for preschool in winter.  The older kids could get flumist instead of shots, we’d be finished soon.  On Monday we got the date:  December 9th.  It’s not that much longer, but it is.

Project 2 — I have two short stories I sent to my critique group.  One came back with ‘getting there, but needs a little more work.’  Which I knew, so I was happy.  The other  I thought was ready.  Finished.  Three critiques.  One: thumbs-up.  One: good, except the ending is unearned.  One: she felt ‘confused’ and ‘irritated’ and overall it ‘didn’t add up.’  In confirmation of the third opionion, I had a rejection e-mail sitting in my inbox from the publication to which I’d submitted. 

Project 3 — Voiceover Acting.  I’d ordered all the parts for my home-based studio.  Now the equipment needed to be put together.  This is really my idea of hell.  I’m not good at this, I don’t want to do it, there is nothing enjoyable about this process for me.  But, to get to the acting, I have to have a studio.  Here’s a picture of the boxes.


So, Tuesday was just a survivor-day.  A hold-on day.  A cry until your eyes hurt so bad that when you look at the computer you can’t read and then you think you are going blind because your Lasik surgery is ten years old and wearing off and you’re going to need bifocals or reading glasses and it’s just not fair, but makes sense with the kind of day you are having.

Wednesday was a little better.  I got my hair blown out, which helps.  That evening I tackled the studio-building.  My teacher called and was very patient.  He did tell me, at one point, “This is like Sesame Street for Sherri.  If one cord goes into an output then it has to attach to an input.”  Okay.  And then I couldn’t keep the mixer and maximizer and the multi-gate expander straight and the plugs weren’t working.  But, I kind of had that set up and it’s time to check the software I installed on my computer, but of course that won’t run because it’s missing a link because I have Windows 7 and so we’re trying to download a patch.
I was sweating so much during the 90-minute phone conversation that I had to go turn the air conditioner on and wipe off the phone.   It was nuts.  We got the software figured out, but it turns out that my laptop doesn’t have an audio input.  (FYI — the inputs with a picture of a microphone and headphones are NOT audio inputs.  Sesame Street for Sherri).  Mr. McKibben is SOOOO kind.  I have to go buy a Sound Blaster Card External and then we’ll finish the last 1/3 of the installation. 

I don’t know that I can even count that as a step forward.  A shuffle, maybe?  It just feels so hard.  And I wonder how God can give a person a dream and then just leave them.  So I prayed and I told him my feelings were hurt and I felt really angry and alone.  And I waited.  And then I said, I know you’re not a genie.  I just don’t know what I’m doing here.   Not just the plugs, any of it.  And then I said thank you for the miracle with my daughter.  Because, of course, that’s the most important.  And thank you for my house and my husband.  And then I said Amen. ‘Cause I didn’t know what else to say.