I'm learning: I don't handle hot topics well, especially when they're at their hottest. I wish I did, in a way, because I think people long for someone to make sense of what causes them pain. In the past, I've allowed others to speak into my disappointment and hurt over the hot topics and walked away feeling even heavier. I've engaged in too many arguments with them, even just within the confines of my own head.
I'm learning, too: it's ok not to have answers. It's ok not to engage. It's ok not to pursue anything but a healthy something that makes me feel better. For all these reasons, I can't recommend any more highly this post from JoAnn Hallum. I had the sense, while I was reading, that she was rubbing my shoulder. Maybe even my tender, banged-up and bruised heart. I love her so.
You know, I look back over my week, and I experienced real beauty. God answered some of my prayers; my loved ones helped celebrate my birthday. But I've had easier weeks, lighter weeks.
Charleigh and I have been going at it head-to-head, and if I'm honest, she's often getting the better of me. Also, Jim and I have found ourselves at an impasse on a few issues and are working with a counselor: mostly because we're absolutely crazy about each other and want our "ever after" to go as happily as possible. But still.
My ex-husband called awhile ago to tell me his wife's back in the hospital and ask me to pick up Cade. We talked for a long time; he brainstormed with me about Charleigh and listened when I shared: my new counselor works two doors down from the one I saw nine or ten years ago, before my first marriage ended. I feel heavy and sad, I told him, walking past that other door, even being in that same building.
I told him: I feel sometimes like I'm making progress as a human, like I'm really growing in the Lord, and then, suddenly, I'm just not sure: seems like I might be as sorry and weak as I've ever been. He proceeded to affirm who I am, today, and the marriage I have, today. He encouraged me in every respect. It was a strange and beautiful moment.
I don't even know what I want to say, here. Part of me would like to be at a writers' conference, but here I am on the sofa, breastfeeding and blogging. I try to look beyond this day and feel instantly overwhelmed. I knew with more certainty what the rest of my life would look like, when I was ten, than I do at almost forty. Often, I don't know how to share my heart with my husband, let alone people I've never met in person. I don't know how to make my home a pretty and peaceful place, let alone the country, the world.
But when I look to Jesus, He says:
Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes (from the end of Matthew 6, MSG).
So I just keep putting one foot in front of the other. I just keep trying to make sense of this moment, with the people just in front of me. I just keep going. I just keep trying.