Faith. I realize that is what I need to cultivate right now. Because when there is no safety net, that is all you have to fall back on. Your faith that you can persevere, that you are safe in some fundamental way, that things will unfold as they should, that all things arise and pass away.
Trust me when I say that's not the kind of comfort I want right now. I want a doctor to tell me I can be fixed immediately. I want the medical literature and statistics to tell me the perfect treatment. I want a 10-point plan with deadlines and promises and notarized signatures. But those things don't exist. One doctor told me he could fuse my spine and fix me immediately. Others say that is a risky and very final procedure, and that it is extremely premature. So I find myself back in this place of being in pain, of not being sure what I will be able to do from day to day, and of not knowing what, if anything, will make me better. I am going from doctor to doctor, website to website, hoping that one of them will tell me the right answer. Instead, I discover more and more, there is no magic cure. There is only trial and error.
So I find myself grasping for the "peace that passeth all understanding," because that is the only peace I'm going to find right now. I understand a whole lot of back problems right now, and that understanding does not bring me one bit of peace. Instead, it leaves me fighting all day to keep from crying and panicking, unable to concentrate on work or a book or a TV show, unable to enjoy anything about my life. It leaves me sad and desperate and lost.
Last night, a voice within me said, "Rest in not knowing." I knew it was a voice of wisdom. I have to accept that I don't know what's best, I don't know the solution, I don't know how I will make it through this or what my future holds. I know that doesn't sound like much to rest in, but I just have to be with the not knowing. And really, that's what faith is. It's grasping that this is all too big for us to understand, acknowledging the mystery, allowing for hope against the odds and trusting that, no matter what way things go, we will find a way forward. I don't feel that trust or that faith yet, but I have to keep trying for it. Because it is all I have to fall back on.