“Jesus, please don’t take my brain.”
I hear this plea of years ago bounce through the halls of my mind with a ping-pong intensity.
“Jesus, I can handle anything physically if you can just leave my crazy-high-GPA-overachieving-current-event-obsessed-graduated-college-in-three-years-with-a-double-major-triple-minor-brain alone.”
I hear this ego-maniacal need for control as I tuck my babies in at night.
“Jesus, please don’t take my brain!?!?”
I hear the pure desperation in this request flood each exclamation point and question mark.
And with each, I know just why He had to venture there.
It was the one place I could not surrender.
Now do not for a moment think that I am saying a surrender of your mind is an easy or lovely or unencumbered thing.
It is not.
But just like many sorrows, there is joy and laughter in the midst of it.
With giggling and hootiness and guffawing galore.
A beautiful surprise scattered among the heavy.
But today, I am going to be painstakingly honest. I am going venture, for a moment, into the ugly part of surrendering pieces of your mind. If only for the hope it will bring to others navigating a similar valley.
I, Sara Cormany, am struggling with angry.
Not the normal I have broken-up-20-sibling-smackdowns-cleaned-up-too-much-poop-and-did-not-have-coffee kind of anger.
The irrational kind.
The kind that comes from a broken brain.
Now most who know me will balk that there is even any truth to it.
I am not an angry person.
So much so that normally, even when I think I am full-on losing it, I only sound like a mildly-annoyed Kindergarten teacher.
But somewhere in the most recent reboot of my brain, something broke.
And angry crept in.
It may be because I am frustrated that my mind processes like a hiccupping hard drive. It may be that someplace in my brain needs a heap-full of cognitive healing. Or it may be as simple as leaning into the restoring power of time.
But pieces of who I was have been taken.
And it is just so blessedly hard.
To reconcile that any broken part of me could hurt those I love, pains me beyond words.
But even in the unlovely, beauty comes.
The precious forgiveness of a child and the ready apologies of a mommy who has to heartbreakingly explain, “Sweet girl, Mama loves you more than life and the angry in my words is not me. It is my broken brain. But I will do WHATEVER it takes to heal it this side of heaven and trust that Jesus will take care of the rest.”
The hugs, the kisses, the “I love you’s” that remind you why a perfect brain is not needed to make you a great mom. It is instead a perfect Savior whose mercy pours into each moment where the ugly comes and TRIUMPHS over every stinking bit of it.
The love of the man who knew you before and still loves you now. Who fights hand-in-hand with you day after day and meets you where you need him to. Who loves you, protects you and defends you like a rabid dog because, quite simply, you are the love of his life and that’s what you do.
But perhaps the greatest beauty of it all?
Illness can ravage my body. Illness can ravage my mind. But illness cannot ravage my soul.
It cannot take the Jesus from me.
The living, breathing, joy-spilling depth of my Savior cannot be taken away.
It is as though I hear Him calling,
“Sara, I am triumphant in your broken places, in every ravaged part of you. I. AM. TRIUMPHANT.”
And even as I know it, claim it and trust it, I see it in the days that stretch longer between my angry.
Be it because of prayer or medicine or adjustment or time.
A quiet restoration is being completed.
I will be healed.
If not here, there.
If not now, then.
But in the waiting, there is a Savior who comes moment by moment with the power of the universe to pick me up, to salve my wounds, to overcome the ugly.
So I can walk in the beautiful freedom of knowing that disease can take my body and take my mind, but it will never take the depth of who I am…