May 9th, 2015
This morning I heard a ‘Java with Juli’ program that made me weep with hope that her words about our dreams changing- our fairy tale endings being replaced with a better reality- would come true soon enough.
This afternoon I try to find the blog post that she had referenced at the end and ended up on Moody Cleveland’s website, where the invitation to ‘listen live’ was awfully tempting. “Now playing: ‘Java with Juli'”. I turn it on exactly as she’s stating the words that had impacted me so deeply this morning. She follows with, “I don’t normally do this, but I’d like to pray” and the tears return as I agree with her as she prays for those of us who are committed to honoring God in the middle of our mess.
Relatively speaking, my mess seems like one that many would love to have and my common answer, “can’t complain”, to the even more common question, “how are you?” is true on multiple levels. “You can’t or you won’t?” Both.
I am grateful for the place I’m finding myself in- very much reliant on an invisible being that I’d be tempted to believe I made up if I didn’t have scores of stories, both mine and from others who’s lives have also been hijacked.
Neither can they.
A stranger told me on Easter that in a chess game, I’d be the knight; he said I was a mover as his feet started going into a restless point- pulling them together and raising to the toes in the same way that I do when I clearly want to start dancing but am not positive that it’s appropriate (or when I’m fighting the sometimes uncontrollable urge). My mind raced as to whether he had been watching me; I hadn’t done that yet that evening, or had I? I was in the back half dancing- I almost let myself go when I was interrupted and then discouragement hit in and then…. No. This man didn’t know me but I heard the words- that I was finding myself in odd places and wondering how I got there- that I jump (vs shuffle or move in a straight line) and I just marveled at how accurate that was. Even more so now.
The following week I found out that I was accepted into graduate school and the week after that I accepted the offer and started a new shift at work, starting occasional 4 am mornings that wouldn’t have been possible if I had been asked a month before when I was still living at home. Oh yeah- did I mention that I have officially changed my address to a place of my own; the switch was much sooner than expected- I did just buy a new car at the end of Dec- but like with everything else; the fit is so perfect, the timing so impeccable, the story so divine that –
I let the blinking line just sit there for a moment as I try, once again, to justify the seemingly arrogant assurance that my life is divinely orchestrated.
I think of Job’s statement, ‘can I only accept good and not also the bad’? I brace myself for one of these close calls to be it; I half expect an accident to change everything. I write journal entries about being a tomato that needs a sharp knife to be able to be cut well. I send that reminder to myself via Futureme.org and I wrote a letter to myself yesterday that can only be opened in the event of my husband’s death, reminding myself that the loss of the man who frustrated me so greatly and who I loved so dearly would not be the end of my story- that a change in status reflects a change in assignment.
Single and wishing I was not (or more so trying to be grateful for this time while hoping that it doesn’t last much longer), I speak to my potentially future self- single and wishing she were not – saying that even now you are not only allowed but supposed to live an abundant life. I give myself permission to grieve, just like now I claim the right to cry over the death of a dream.
I cry along with a grieving widow, hoping the letter isn’t opened until 2095, but wanting to be prepared.
My memory isn’t great so I remind myself of some of the object lessons from over the years; some of the examples that this world is just a reflection of the next “a stop-over in an unfurnished shack” (1 Cor 5:2 MSG) and that the gift of an earthly husband was designed to make us long for Jesus- the real deal.
Frustratingly true object lessons that I’d get mad about if I wasn’t so grateful for the personal attention; for divine patience in spelling things out for me.
(I wrote out one of those stories and some of the lessons that it taught me, but cannot release it into cyberspace. I have it password protected on this blog: email me for the pw if you would like to read it. firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jan 3rd, 2017 update: now married to someone other than the one the object lesson refers to, I’m ready to remove the pw. I’m still convinced that the Lord set up that encounter to show me something incredible, explain more of His character in a way that would make sense, prep me to allow myself to love a man without making him my all in all.
I’ll continue to try to trust in my God’s impeccable timing. “Do or do not, there is no try”. I will trust.
Who else has words of life? Where else would I go? Who else is clever, capable, kind enough to pull such things together? I’m drawing a blank.