About a month ago, I was messaging with my friend Jess and the discussion of Joseph and his trials of life was brought up. Most of the time, I automatically default to Job or Jeremiah when thinking of times of trial biblically, so Joseph has been on my mind since that discussion. Then this past weekend, I was able to have some one-on-one time with Abigail while Joanna was at a sleepover. She got to pick the movie from Netflix, and she chose Joseph: King of Dreams. She watched it a couple of weeks ago with her sister, and she said she really wanted me to see it too. So we snuggled up on the couch, and watched the story of Joseph together.
I know the story of Joseph, and studied it in college with Dr. Bayer at SBU. It’s not new information, but watching the movie was a fantastic refresher. Joseph’s life was kind of a gigantic mess. He had these wonderful moments of happiness, incredibly loved by his parents, but was set apart from his brothers, which caused this intense animosity. When he was sold into slavery by his brothers, his trials really began, leading him to a monumental amount of time in prison, both literally and metaphorically. He was so very low and found himself angry and confused by the plan God had for him. Then there was this moment, while he was at his darkest, where he started to hope and trust again. In the movie, there is this dramatic song about how God knows better than we do and to trust in His plan.
I’m Joseph. I don’t have a movie, a super cool coat, or a dramatic song with a chorus singing as I work through my trials, but I’m totally Joseph. I’m still in the prison. If I’m being honest, I feel like I still have a long time left in the prison. I’m way in over my head right now with all my life and grief junk.
I’ve had extremely low days recently, and then I’ll follow with a day or two where I’m on top of the world. I was worried when I started having this pattern in my grief. Sonya, my counselor, says it's normal and not to freak out over the pattern. She says when I’m having my low days and I’m sitting with my grief, that I’m giving my body, brain, and emotions what I need at that time. I’m processing and I’m working through the hard stuff. It’s overloaded processing which is why I feel so low, my anxiety is elevated, and I’m overwhelmed with everyday tasks, not to mention the extra tasks. My brain and emotions just can’t keep up with it all. I either then completely shut down, or I have an anxiety attack. This has been an everyday thing for about 4 weeks now. You know when you want your computer to do something, and it just isn’t processing the information fast enough. So, you think that in order to speed it along you should continuously click on whatever it is you want it to do. Then, your computer flips out and opens 16 different tabs of the same website, or your printer shoots out 20 copies of whatever you wanted to print or you get an error message asking if you wish to report the problem to Apple. All because you got click happy when your computer couldn’t process fast enough for you. This example right here, this is my brain right now with everything I’ve been trying to process and work through. I have to find a way to slow down and be patient with the process, so I can keep up with everyday life as this portion of my grief works it’s way out.
The multiple days of low and overwhelmedness is taxing. But, when my body and mind catch up with each other again, and I wake up refreshed and happy to start my day and take on the world with the girls, that’s where my hope is. Those are my days of hope, that I’m not going to be in the prison forever. Joseph was suppose to have his days in the prison. He didn’t understand why, and he felt betrayed by God almost at times during his processing stage. I don’t understand why this is the plan. I do not understand so many things. I’m trying to get to the dramatic song in the movie where Joseph realizes that God knows better than we do, and we just have to go with it. And though, I don’t have a chorus singing behind me and a big dramatic song to show my hope, I do have hope. It’s not quite big dramatic song worthy yet, but it’s there. I’m just going to keep pushing myself towards the hope, and being brave on the days I can’t see it as clearly.