This is Us...

This is us... THIS is hard...

Are you a fan of the show, "This Is Us"?   I should have known, but I didn't, so just checked, and Season 2 begins on Tuesday.  We were fans of Season 1, not saying we agreed with all the characters' decisions during all the episodes or even the writers' choices in all storylines.  Regardless, we were hooked.  The title of the show says much and then really nothing at all.  If I remember correctly, the pilot episode included the celebration of birthdays... four different people - adults, at first, seemingly unrelated.  Not far into the show, we were brought along for the creative story of how each of these lives were so intricately intertwined.  Each week brought new eye-opening, tear-shedding moments of the deepened understanding of each character and ... usually with a twist... the intricacies of their relationships.

Many moments were sprinkled with scenes from the past mingled with present day events in their lives, then just with a blink, back in time again.

What might your pilot episode include?  Would you share about your "now", or would a past event be key to understanding the progression of life?

Seems I've been busy lately with a time of figuring out... researching unexplored territory... asking questions... discerning much of what I don't feel qualified to discern.

How did we get here?  Anyone else ever asked that question?  Our family's journey, really it is Frank's journey, of chronic, unrelenting pain (we will never forget the gift of that pain-free six months!), has offered little relief and even less explanation.  Frank has battled hard often through gritted teeth with determined resolve to fight with every ounce of energy he could muster.  Realizing early on in this 14-year struggle his strength and will simply couldn't carry him through, his dependence on God's promise for help and sustaining presence became his lifeline.

Recently our "this is us" scene catapulted with such force, we've had a little trouble bouncing back.  Let's be honest... we've had a little trouble crawling back.  Without bunches of details of what we and some "much smarter than us" experts are trying to define, Frank has experienced a significant, for lack of a better word, my very medical term: brain fog... from days of memory loss, sleep deprivation, confusion, sadness, and honestly, deep despair.  This is hard.

For years we've laughed out loud at the term pain management.  Our discussion seemed to return to we have no interest or desire to manage pain... we'd simply prefer to remove pain.  That hasn't been the case, so management became the goal.  With much help we learned to live in a new normal of the managing reality.  

Managing this new normal... that prayerfully, will be short-lived, is hard.  Nobody has offered us the rule book, the ABC's to follow, even a list of "here's the likely way this will run".  

This is us... and this is hard.  We will continue to trust our God is the midst of very hard.  

We have prayed much... and will continue to.
We have asked others to pray... and know they have and will continue to.
We have grieved the unknown... and agreed that God knows.
We have feared uncertainty... and know Who conquers fear.
We have pleaded for understanding... and realized His grace is indeed sufficient.
We have asked for clarity... and hear the word of God give grace and peace.
We have looked for help... and know the HOPE of Jesus is our answer.

His word is active and alive... and brings comfort to these weary soul:
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
 My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth
He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
 The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm
    he will watch over your life;
 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.  Psalm 121

Praying His comfort in your 'hard', friend... and thankful for your prayers in ours.


  1. Susan and Frank, I know all too well that there are few people who can truly and completely understand this kind of constant and long term pain, with absolutely no end in sight day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year, unless they too have "walked in your shoes". I have been fighting a very very similar fight since 1991 when I was first injured. At one time I had literally been to 26 six different "specialist" and had been given a total of 11 different diagnoses, NONE of which wound up being the right one, but because I was dealing with insurance I was made to go to one after another to another for years. I have had a total of 8 surgeries to date, 5 of which have been on my spine and was actually scheduled for the most intense and extensive one by far for tomorrow, which took 3 months to get all the various things "in line" which included a Neurosurgeon, an Orthopedic Surgeon, an Infectious Disease Doctor, due to my propensity to contract MRSA, many many other folks who were stepping in and up to help out in various ways, ALL THINGS PLANNED, until yesterday when I went back to my family doctor for my "final"' medical clearance, THAT WASN'T granted due to some very unforeseen medical issues that had chosen to show up RIGHT NOW!! The state of "limbo" is no place to visit or live, but yet here we are. My absolute favorite Bible Verse is Romans 8:28 and is is also my Life Verse. So EVEN WITH all the many many things that life in general can throw at you, I KNOW THAT I KNOW that MY GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD, and he has ALL of this in his hands, and He also has you and Frank there as well. My heartfelt prayers have been and will continue to be with you as you too KEEP ON KEEPING ON my brother and sister in Christ 🙏