I’ve just returned from a quick trip down to Colorado to drop my son off with J, so he can drive back up to Alaska with his father. Yep, J is coming home. And if I’m honest, I’m feeling pretty ambivalent about it.
DISCLAIMER: I never want to dishonor J (or anybody) in these posts. But he and I discussed it, and the fact is, we wouldn’t be in the situation we’re in, had he not made certain choices. To tell the story and not acknowledge that would be disingenuous. It’s been a long, hard road. People have had their opinions – some of his family finding it inconceivable that he could ever do anything wrong, so it must be my fault; some of my family insisting they knew better what God was saying to me than I did. That’s fine; I learned a long time ago not to be too concerned with what other people thought. The whole reason I started writing this blog in 2010 was to use my life experiences to hopefully illuminate someone else’s situations, help them find hope. You can’t do that without telling the truth in all its ugliness AND beauty.
I suppose, looking at that definition, it’s fair to say that trust -or lack thereof- plays into it. In my case, it’s trust in God that’s the important factor, even above trusting J. Why? Because God has been with me every step of the way. It’s old hat for me to trust Him in times of difficulty. But trusting Him in brand-new seasons that are brimming with His promise that things will never be the way they were again? That, I find challenging.
About a month ago, when J first told me he had applied for a job in Alaska and it was looking good, I had a heart-to-heart with God that went something like this:
Me: Do I even want this at this point? I don’t know this man anymore. I don’t want what was, but I have no idea what IS now.
God: He is not where he was. He is in a good place with Me. His heart is tender toward Me now. He made his “now or never” choice. Daughter, I’m not telling you you have to stay with him. But I haven’t given up on him, and this is still the best path for you. Will you trust Me? I would not have opened this back up if it was going to bring you harm.
Well, what do you say to that? On paper, the obvious choice is, if God hasn’t given up, then I won’t. In reality, I feel like I’m tiptoeing into a dark room, with no idea what it holds. I’ve been going ’round the mountain for the better part of 15 years, seeing things get better for a bit and then go all to hell again. Been there, done that, bought the tee shirt, ripped the tee shirt to shreds. BUT. What I’ve never had in the past was God’s promise that things were new and different. That’s a VERY different paradigm from, “He’s got to make his choice, but I will strengthen you and be with you through it.”
So here we are. In about a week, J and I will once again be living under one roof. And I think I’m mostly okay with that, provided there are no illusions about picking up where we left off. Nope. This is brand-new. So there needs to be a time of getting to know each other. There needs to be pursuit, even courtship. Everything has to be fresh. I have to make the choice not to default to “but in the past, you always _______.” He has to keep God – and me – in the places we belong in his life. We will start there, and eventually, friendship and feelings will come.
Similarly, J and M will need to get to know each other. M is not the little boy he was when all this mess came to a head, and J needs to know him as a young man, which is part of the reason they are on this road trip together. A week together in a car will make or break anyone!
I am cautiously optimistic because I have seen many times that what God puts together is always SO much better that what I can imagine. So I will go forward with that knowledge as my strength on the days I don’t feel it wholeheartedly. Thanks for standing with us and for us, those of you who have prayed and been privy to the inner workings of this crazy, past season. ❤ Would you continue to pray as we make this new start?