There are special days that most everyone looks forward to like birthdays and anniversaries or Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sometimes we really love a season and we can't wait for it to come. On the other hand, there are dates or times of years that bring us right down to the pit. It might by the date someone passed away, the day the divorce became final or the day of a tragedy or accident. I will admit that about a month ago I started sliding down into the pit. Tomorrow, September 30, is one of those days of remembrance for me. If I've ever shared my story with you, you will know that I lovingly refer to September 30th as "The Day Our Stuff Hit the Fan". But I don't say "stuff", I say the other word because it was really that smelly and vile.
About a month ago, as everyone was getting ready for back to school and the coming of pumpkin-spiced everything I looked at the calendar and thought, "Here it comes again." I was shocked at my sadness. Last year, I celebrated. Last year, it was seven years since our stuff hit the fan and I was elated. I declared it the "Year of Jubilee" and started decorating my front door again for the first time seven years. I readied my home for Thanksgiving and Christmas which I dreaded before because that first few months after the fan hitting I wanted to cancel all "happy family holidays" because in my mind they were all a lie. Last year, I thought for sure I was finally "over it".
I confided in a dear friend about my depression and guilt for not feeling celebratory. What was wrong with me? I asked her if my healing was a lie or had I slid back into despair. This friend who claims to not be wise said the most wise and spiritually rich thing to me in that moment. She said, "I suppose sometimes instead of celebrating the healing from something, we have to celebrate finding out we have a problem. Like if you had cancer, you might celebrate the day you found it instead of the day you got healed because that was the day you could do something about it."
And there you have it. I have never had cancer but have some friends going through that right now. Their diagnosis was devastating but at least they were able to move forward with the proper care and treatment. Proper care and treatment are exactly what took place on those days following September 30. Even though I refer to that day as "Fan Hitting Day", my husband notes the day as "Surrender to Life Day". It's the day he picked up the white flag and said enough is enough to dysfunction, addiction, hurt and anguish. I absolutely love what he calls his holiday and how it honors his courage and willingness to lay it all down.
The days following were full of counseling with pastors and talks with friends who had walked the road before us. One friend came alongside and guided my husband down the road to recovery where he met dozens of people who wanted to walk with him. Our family showed us an amazing amount of love and support that resulted in a family that remained intact when all odds were against us. We came out better than before. The care he received made him see and experience the true love of Jesus he was always missing and was unsure he deserved. A couple of weeks after "Surrender to Life Day", he surrendered to Jesus once and for all.
I'm not sure why I've struggled so much this year. But instead of the sadness I will choose to focus on the things to celebrate: a sober, loving husband who loves the Lord with all his heart, mind and strength and three girls who get to watch their dad worship Him with arms wide open. I will celebrate the raw moments with the Holy Spirit who took over my home in those days and prayed for me when I could not even pray for myself. I will celebrate the battle that was won on my little corner of the world. I will give thanks for the many people who have since entered our lives looking for encouragement and proof that forgiveness, healing and restoration are actually possible.
There was a cancer in my home and it was addiction. It was robbing my husband and my home of the life that God had intended. These are the days that I will thank God for the diagnosis and not the healing.