Asking to See

I don’t know how it got to be today.

How, after being home here for five months after my mother’s stroke, that I am packing up my things to return to NYC.

I’m going to be honest, I haven’t even made it through the socks and underwear yet, and I’ve already cried twice.

I was not expecting this. Returning to New York is supposed to be joyous. Full of celebratory anticipation. And yet, why do I feel my heart is shattering?

I was driving home from getting groceries today when an Audrey Assad song came on: Lead, Kindly Light. And one of the lyrics really stopped me in my tracks:

Here in the dark, I do not ask to see.”

I rolled that over and over in my mind. And I realized, that’s just what I’ve been doing during my time here at home. Things were dark – I was more scared than I have ever been in my life – unsure as to the permanent toll the stroke was going to have on my mom. I was in the dark. And I realized, that I have not yet asked to see. I haven’t begged or pleaded with God to reveal what it is I’m supposed to learn – What the take away is from all of this. How things are going to turn out. I haven’t. I haven’t asked to see.

I’ve just been blindly trusting that God is going to lead me to where He wants me to go.

Going back to New York, my heart is not at rest. I don’t want to leave my mother. I don’t want to walk away from my family and leave behind this world where things are good, albeit, frightfully different. I know that they will be fine without me here, but what if I’m not.

My heart has changed. My mom’s stroke has changed who I am – what’s important to me. How I want to spend my time.

Maybe I’m just anticipating missing her. Thinking about leaving the comfort and security of my life in Ohio.

Perhaps I’m going to miss taking care of another person.

All I know is that I’m really having a hard time letting go.

And as I’ve walked around with this feeling in the pit of my stomach all day, I’ve begun to  finally realize where it’s really coming from:

I’m afraid of hurting her. 

My mom has been through so much. And is trying her very best to get used to this new state of normal after her stroke, and I know how much she cherishes having me around, and would love me to live here.

And I know that my leaving is going to add another layer of pain to her already burdened heart.

How can I do that to her?

It just breaks me down to think about.

And sitting on the edge of my bed, listening to my mother weep in the other room, while my own silent tears sear down my cheeks, I can’t help but feel I’m making a terrible mistake.

I feel I am betraying my mom, my family. Being uncaring and selfish for going back.

And probably that’s true.

And I guess, God, this is the first time I’m going to have to ask You to see.

Because I am at a loss for words, for thoughts, for direction. I need to know what to do. I’ve gone through this recovery with her with the motto that I’ll know I’m doing the right thing because God will give me peace.

And well, this unrest in my spirit is a big ol’ red flag.

And I know that her saying, “I’m gonna be fine,” is just brave talk from a loving mother.

Lord, help me to know what to do here. You know the love I have for this courageous woman, my lifeblood, my best friend. Show me where I’m supposed to be. What I’m supposed to do. 

Here in the dark, I am finally asking to see.

I guess…to be continued…

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381 thoughts on “Asking to See

  1. I have no answers, but I live with a similar tension. I do understand. If I didn’t I wouldn’t write that. I’m not going to elaborate on my situation, but it involves other human beings too. Life is indeed like an onion. There are many levels to our brokenness, and there are many levels to the solutions we find. There is not a solution to every problem, but thanks be to my Father Who is present in both.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Daniel, thank you so much for this thoughtful response. you’re right – life is like an onion – I like that. Know that you’re in my prayers during your situation. Hang in there. sending massive hugs xox

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, Hun. I can tell your heart is aching and my heart aches for you! Your situation is similar to what has been on my mind lately. My father in law is very sick and we we live an ocean apart–literally. He is in Texas and we are in Hawaii. I feel guilty for living so far away. I feel guilty we can’t be near them during this season. However, I have had to trust that God is using me here and this is where I need to be. I find some comfort in that. You’re on the right track in seeking for God’s leadership. Sending hugs and prayers….


    1. oh thank you so much for your kindness and prayers. it seriously means so much. I’m so sorry that this is hitting so close to you. i will definitely keep your father in law and you and your family in my prayers. Yes, let’s trust the Father. big hugs xo

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me (John 10:10).” God still speaks to His children. So to me, the question becomes “have I heard from God?” If so, you obey. If not certain, the Lord has the power to make Himself known. Perhaps, it is time of being still and knowing that He is God (Psalm 46:10). A time of being alone with God and His Word until you know you have heard one way or the other. “This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know (Jeremiah 33:2‭-‬3). The life principle for what do you until you know that you have heard from God it’s to keep doing the last thing you heard…that is obedience. The most important thing for life decisions is knowing


  4. I can empathize with your feelings on this, especially given the complexity of the emotions you are going through. There is light at the end of the tunnel and though it’s difficult to reconcile “all of this”, try to rest in the knowledge that God truly will not give us more than we can handle (even when we feel like this is the case). While the road to recovery is a challenge, you still have her here with you on this earth and that in of itself is a blessing. We don’t all get this chance; I speak from experience right now as I struggle to come to terms with the shock and anguish of losing someone so dear to me, so suddenly. At the end of the day, there is no rhyme or reason, just the journey. Blessings and may God grant you the peace that comes with resting in Him.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. you have heard from God. It is His plan and purpose that you want to walk in. Sometimes it is a matter of humbling bowing, surrendering to His will and expressing that to Him. Father, I die to my will and only want yours, reveal your good, pleasing, and perfect will and I will walk in it to Your glory! The last option is you know you have heard…to go or to stay, walk by faith and not sight, praying every step of the way. Ask the Lord to fix every heart and go before you preparing your heart and way…whether it is stay with mom or leave for NY. Never forget, God already knows and thru His Word and Spirit, He will correct your path. XOXOX


  6. Your post draws me back to a similar time in my life. I can feel the struggle in your well written words. I guess that because we often cannot reverse what has taken place, all we can hope for is to find peace in it. I found no other peace to suffice situations like these but God’s peace. I pray that you discover your place in all this.


  7. First I want to let you know that I’m sending you love and light during this extremely difficult time. I’m praying for you and your mother. I won’t presume to know what you should do but I think that what you’re doing, “Giving it to God” is an important first step. Sit in quiet and just Be and the right answer will come to you. The only advice I would give is to try to leave your own perceptions of what your responsibilities and duties are out of the thought process. Too often we allow these perceptions to drown out God’s message. I wish you peace and healing in whatever decision God guides you to. ❤


  8. I know that feeling of uncertainty and lack of direction, and there’s nothing easy about trusting God to light the way. Because this can also mean He might want us to sit in the dark for some time in order to test out faith. Time and time again God uses this method to test the heroes of faith in the Bible (see Hebrews 11) and, in the end, each was rewarded for their faithfulness. As I am waiting for God to lead me to the right teaching job at the right school, I’m torn apart by the feelings of uncertainty and frustration the waiting brings. And yet, deep within my soul, I know God has the best, even the perfect, plan for my life. I hope you find encouragement in His Word, His People, and His Plan. Cheers and God bless!


  9. Your mother wants what’s best for you. Honor her by honoring that, too.

    Is she able to tell you what she wants?

    I hope you can find the truth of what you need, and what she needs, beneath the noise of expectations.

    I once enjoyed a lively discussion with my rabbi about “listening” vs. “hearing.” One is active (I listen on purpose!) while one is passive (I hear what occurs nearby.) “To look” and “to see” bear a similar relationship…

    Are you looking, or is God providing something for you to see?

    My thoughts and prayers are with you as you grapple with these troubles.


    1. That’s such great advice. thank you so much for sharing that, Willo. Listening vs hearing — now there’s some food for thought. And thank you for your prayers — that is so appreciated. big hugs xox


  10. I definitely know how you feel. My grandmother is a double stroke survivor. I blamed myself for a long time because I was her caregiver when it happened. The thing is, I prayed to God to relieve me from it because I wanted to move on with my life. I just wanted Him to send someone else to takeover. He did, but under the worst circumstances. God has healed me from many things since then and guilt is one of them.

    Our parents want to say they need us, but sometimes don’t know how because we’ve needed them for so long. I had a near death experience thirty years ago. It forces your perspective into a tiny box. Life is never the same. You can’t help but wonder how much time you have left on earth. Your mother is afraid right now, having to confront her “new normal.” More than anything she needs your moral support to remind her she’s not going through this alone. I’ll be praying for you and your family.


  11. Do what’s best for you! Your mom knows that your journey is yours and you have to make your own choices. Now, that could mean leaving or staying, I don’t know because I’m not you. 🙂 Sometimes we come into situations where our head says one thing and our heart says another. We need to find the space in between where they meet, find the compromise. You can do it – humans are natural problem solvers! No matter what happens, remember that you WILL be okay, and you CAN change your mind!! You’re not going to be trapped by your own choice.


  12. I’ve been in a similar situation and let me tell you briefly how my decision affected me… I’ve decided to move out to a different city and now in a different country. Remembering the cause and effect feels very heavy and knowing that I’m even farther away makes it worse because we will never know the day of tomorrow, perhaps we can do better? We will never know until we drive over the holes on the road.


  13. I can relate to your feelings. When my Mother died my Dad who was beginning the cruel twilight zone old age sometimes brings seemed to move further into that darkness. I was working overseas and went through the same emotions as you. However though it made him sad to see us go he refused requests for him to join one of his children for a long time afterward. In practical terms each of us children had families to support and could not pull out of our jobs to come back to a town where there were no jobs. That would not have been right or fair for our own families. Good sense dictates otherwise. About a year later when neighbours became alarmed and notified us, Dad did consent to “pay a visit” to his daughter who kept him there under one pretext after another until he passed on. While you may not have quite those obligations you have to get on with your life and contribute toward appropriate care in the home your Mom is familiar with. Staying in your old home town is not the best option for you. However the fact you care will be so much appreciated by your Mom who would want the best life has to offer for you. That’s what Mom’s do!


    1. Thann you so much for sharing your story. I’m so sorry you had to walk that difficult journey with your father. I’m so sorry for your loss. You’re right, that’s what parents do. Thank you for your thoughtful words. Hugs and love xox

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I have been thinking about you and your decisions about Ohio and NYC – hoping and Praying that you have found resolve. Wishing the best as always and just know that God is in control!


  15. Stay strong and follow your heart. If you feel that torn about leaving your mom then maybe now’s not the time to go. Maybe, just maybe, the reason you’re hesitant to leave is God’s way of saying that you’re not done helping your mom. Either way, God will give you a sign. Until then, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your mom. Sending nothing but positivity your way!!!


  16. Hi Caralyn. I have not read through the (hundreds!) of comments, but I’ll guess you have many prayers, maybe opinions, maybe even a consensus. I’m here to mostly say that I hope you are feeling better. A lot of decisions and actions involve wrenching and heartache, and if only we had that 20/20 hindsight in the present, right? I’ll guess that you have good reasons to return to NYC, that you can fly back often to be with your family, and – since nothing’s written in stone here – you can go back and live at home whenever, if you want or need to do so in the future. It’s Great that your brother and sister-in-law moved so close to your parents; now they will get the gift of giving, as you did by being there ; ) Best wishes, more prayers.


    1. Thank you so much for your prayers and kind words. You’re so right – nothing is written in stone. That’s such a comfort. And yeah, I have some really great siblings. 🙂 thanks for stopping by. Hugs and love xox


  17. God is helping all along the way. It sounds too like your Mom does enjoy your time there but also knows you have to live and breathe too. She doesn’t sound like the kind who makes it “all about her” and her every everything. She knows you are a beautiful person and doesn’t take you for granted for having your own life as well. You are amazing which makes you beautiful inside and out!! xoxoxoxo


  18. Oh sweet girl. I am praying for you today! When we are at our weakest, God shows His mighty strength to us. Sometimes, being at a point of depletion is where God works best! May He give you comfort, strength, and His peace today! God bless you, and know that many are thinking of you and lifting you up in prayer! You GOT THIS – because HE’S GOT THIS in control!! ~ Allison


  19. My heart broke reading this. I’m so sorry you’re going through this… please know I’m praying for you. I don’t know what His plan is, but always remember that He is right by your side and will carry you through this. He loves you so much. ❤

    Much love and huge hugs,
    Robyn 💜


  20. My second thought (because my first is never empathy) is to say that this must be so difficult for you, but I know you will follow the lead of the One who calls you to Him. So try to let go.

    But for my first thought, allow me to engage in some theological engineering (can I trademark that term? 😀 ) . What took you to NYC? What we He sharing with you then, or what told you that was the right decision? Has anything changed there, or in the calling? Do you think you’ve done what He wants there? Is there still a need to remain there? I”m totally sure that you’ve asked yourself all of these and more….but sometimes it’s useful to have someone else ask you, so you have to see your own answer.

    Sorry for the theological engineering…..not a great first response (where problem solving is generally my first response) but at least I led off with empathy 🙂

    Have a good weekend sister. xo


    1. Theological engineering — i like that 🙂 Thanks so much, for these profound perspectives Jeff. Those are some great questions to think and pray about. I really appreciate it 🙂 hugs xox


  21. I’m actually going through something similar. I’ll be moving to Orange County from my small town in the mountains.

    It’s a little scary. It isn’t the first time I’ve left. I’ve managed to find my way back here three times now. But any time we move forward it takes faith.

    I’m a little afraid because I know that there will be new battles, and new temptations waiting there for me. And it’s going to take faith that God will provide.

    Anyways, just thought I would share that I kinda know how you feel. Guess we both will just have to have faith that God will show us the way. Also, I’ve been following you for a while but never commented. So hi by the way! 😀


    1. Thanks for sharing your story. I will definitely keep you in my prayers and you transition to this new chapter. I fully believe that God will provide:) and give you a new adventure along the way. Yes! Thanks so much for reading and leaving a comment! It’s truly great to hear from you!! Sending massive hugs and love xox

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Short Answer = Stay this time won’t come back again ever. So regret your whole life later, better to have a meaning in your life is more important. Unless you have too due to official commitment, I didn’t know how you are living for earning.

    But if you don’t have issue, because I am observing, you are getting the meaning of life day in and day out. Life us telling you it’s colors, which you should hold and see.

    So stay you will recover yourself. Perhaps that’s why God has bring you back.


    1. thanks friend. i think you’re right. i’m back in nyc now, but i think i’m going to go back this coming week. i just need to be there with her. my heart is not at rest, and you’re right – i’m only going to live to regret it. thanks friend. hugs x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s about enjoying your life and living your life rather than spending your life. We all are spending our life’s and making our mind say we are enjoying.

        The true happiness is where you get the tranquillity in your heart. And from your post it sound it’s at your home. Where you can teach me tennis and banging your head as to who has become your student 😂😂😂😂😂😂


  23. Sometimes it’s difficult to set guilt apart from genuine anguish. I rarely feel guilt and I owe that to God (although that makes me sound like a psychopath too lol). Now genuine anguish does come as a sign that we haven’t yet made a decision that is good for us. As a problem solver, I’d highly recommend testing your peace ‘compass’ by pointing it at different directions. Truth be told, often times we need to choose between two evils – just keeping in mind that there’s always some level of gradation: ‘bad’ is still better than ‘horrible’. 🙂


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