March Madness

It’s time to start breathing again.

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Y’all.  I don’t know about yours, but my March was filled with some crazy stuff.  So many things shifting, changing.  It’s left me a little tired, a little breathless…

  1.  My father died.  This is a man I hadn’t seen or spoken to in over 20 years, a man who caused no small amount of stress and horror and terror and issues for every person in my family.  He was not a good man by even the most generous definition of good.  I spent a lot of years working through all the yuck and was truly able to come to a place of forgiveness.  And I’ve stayed there, at peace.  But I felt nothing when informed of his passing.  It wasn’t like I was trying not to feel; there really was no connection and no reaction, except maybe a little pity that he died senile and alone in a VA hospital.  Messages of condolence came rolling in, and I had no idea how to tell people how completely unnecessary they were, so I just said, “Thank you.”
  2. A family member called me confrontational, said all of us were, and we just needed to sit down at a table together and hash it all out.  No, no, no.  First, there’s a huge difference between being confrontational and standing on the truth.  Think about it.  The first conveys a sort of aggressive forward motion, a loud voice.  The second conveys a sense of stillness, being immovable, quietly holding one’s ground.  A big part of the difference between the two is knowing when to speak and when to keep quiet.  I’m not confrontational – I don’t have the time, energy, or inclination – but I will defend the truth.  Second, I know my family members, and they are all very set in their own opinions, which is fine.  I don’t know what this particular family member expects to magically happen, but all that table session would be is a lot of yelling and negativity and no one budging.  As with the stuff with my father, I worked through the family drama, and I forgave and moved on.  And for that matter, I moved 4000 miles away.  How much less confrontational can one be?  A pastor friend once told me, “You can forgive someone fully, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit and eat apple pie with them.”  I think there’s a lot of wisdom in that statement, especially when you don’t live your life from the same place as the other person.
  3. I reached my limit with the terrible job I talked about in my last post.  I got tired of not being able to sleep, of having a heavy weight on my chest at all times, of the dread of going to work, of being constantly undermined.  J and I talked, and his exact words were, “None of this would be worth it if you were making $200K a year,” (which I’m not).  So I resigned, and you would not believe the number of coworkers who came out of the woodwork and said things like, “Good for you.  I’m afraid to leave,” or, “99% of the staff on center feel like you do, but we’ve all got reasons we have to stay,” or, “Did you ever notice how no one ever volunteers their real feelings in the management meetings because they’ll just get shot down?” or even, “I hate to see you go.  You’re one of the good ones.”  I know I made the right choice, and while it’s stretching my faith in a totally new way (scary), I know I need to take some time and, well, decontaminate.  That’s really what it feels like.

I have no idea what April is going to hold, but I know Who holds me, and things are going to be okay.  If you’ve just come out of a tumultuous season, I really encourage you to seek the Lord for direction.  The direction he’s given me is to rest, heal, play, create, and get in the sun, and while a huge part of me feels like I’m not doing anything productive, the smarter part of me knows that I’ve had a really rough few years, and if the Lord is telling me to take care of myself (and providing a way for that to happen), then it’s the most productive thing I can do.  So today, the temperature hit 51 degrees, and I laid outside on my deck and basked in the warm sun, and I’ll probably do it again tomorrow.  And I will paint and write and take it one day at a time until I know the next step.  And then I’ll do that one.

Stay tuned…

Unlucky #13, Huh? Hold That Thought.

Today is my 13th wedding anniversary.  It’s supposed to be a fun-filled, celebratory time, and it’s not.  Instead, this anniversary has served to bring to the forefront – yet again – something that reeeeeeeally needs to be different going forward.

I’m a little bruised, a little sad, a little angry.  I’ve stayed in bed reading all day, though in retrospect, my book choice, Chris Perez’ To Selena, With Love, probably hasn’t done my mood any favors.  I’m going to eat my soon-to-be-delivered panang curry, and then I’m probably going back to bed, where I will watch really dumb YouTube videos and ignore everything else except my son, who is wonderful and growing into a very responsible young man.  And eventually, I will sleep, and then, said in my best Scarlett O’Hara voice, tomorrow is another day.

And I won’t stop believing that the Lord is, even now, working behind the scenes on my behalf.  I will stand on this truth until the day I die, knowing that it never won’t be the case.  Even this present darkness (see Ephesians 6:12) will eventually disappear in the light.  One of these days, things are gonna get good, and I’m here for that.  Things are going to be different, and I’m definitely here for that.  In the meantime, I remember that the Lord gave me “restoration” as one of my words for this year, and I know that even today is not beyond His reach.  Post title notwithstanding, I don’t actually believe in luck or lack thereof:

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living, just because He lives.
                            – Because He Lives, by Bill and Gloria Gaither