Two-Year Reflection

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Two years ago, on October 4, the kids and I went for a hike on the Santa Fe Trail. Chris was out of town, our older kids were living in apartments, and I was pondering a disturbing discussion. I had just talked with a toxicologist, who suggested we vacate our home.

I was shocked.

After all, we had completed two mold remediations. We replaced virtually everything in the home. Surely we were going to put our painful past behind us and move forward with our lives.

A deep anxiety came over me as we walked. My brain was fogged, my tongue had turned black on top, and I felt alone with an overwhelming sense that the toxicologist was right. The kids were innocently riding their bikes…oblivious to the heaviness of my soul.

Two weeks ago, on October 4, the kids and I hiked a trail at Saguaro National Park. My brain was not fogged, my joints no longer ached, there was no more black tongue, but my soul remained heavy.

Life has not gotten easier because we left. In some ways it’s much harder. Post-traumatic stress, chemical sensitivity, ongoing food intolerances, and fragile immune systems dominate our lives.

It makes me think of the Israelites and their journey out of slavery. I’m sure they expected life to get better once they were free.

Instead they wandered. For years. Eating the same food and enduring one hardship after another. I bet the mothers ached for their kids as I ache for mine.

Here's how one commentator describes the lesson of the Israelites.

“The shortest and easiest way is not always the best way. Sometimes the longest and most difficult journey is the safest, surest and best in the end.”

Things happened in that desert that needed to happen, that couldn't happen any other way.

I find this comforting as I watch my kids grieve their losses and fight their battles. Here is a picture of our hike two weeks ago.

You can barely see us in the picture. But there we are, navigating through the rocks and cactus. Praying for the strength and courage to keep on climbing. Grateful to have come this far. Inspired by the words of Helen Keller,

“Although the world is very full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”