Saturday, March 9, 2013

Stop Forcing Life to Happen

Shannon needs to write.  

Not sure what this girl is going to write but I know that I need to.  


2 Corinthians 4:17 says "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all."

I'm coming up on a year without my ex in my life.  Well he's around; I'm just blessed with his lack of presence.  

This year has weighed on me in the last few weeks.  It's a year since a lot of things have happened in my life.  A year since my last miscarriage.  A year since someone told me I was a hypochondriac and their cross to bear.  A year that I've been a single mom.  A year that my family's financial stability has depended only on me.  A year of so many firsts.  So many new beginnings.  So many blessings.  And so many trials. 

Our troubles have been overwhelming at times.  They have not felt light and momentary.  Shortly after we moved into our apartment and all the help had vanished; I remember sitting in my living room sorting through stuff for days and days and days, alone.  I was buried in boxes and newspaper and trash and more stuff than would possibly ever fit in our 900 sq feet alone.  I threw my back out badly moving so much furniture alone.

I felt abandoned as I sat there and very overwhelmed.  Like the weight of the world was on my shoulders alone and I was Sisyphus destined to push that boulder up that mountain forever. Our home is far from perfect, but I can walk through our living room most days now and I have overcome.  

There are things I still haven't adjusted to yet.  I still say 'we' a lot when I now mean 'I'.  It's odd and I catch myself doing it all the time, but I was a we for 9 years or so it's going to take time to wash all of that out.  


Last year for Eowyn's second birthday party I threw an epic bash.  Tons of people, lots of prep, awesome food and hours of work ahead of time.  It was a tea party fit for my princess and it was fantastic.  I've felt sad the last few weeks leading up to her birthday that I couldn't do that for her this year.  But last night as she sat on a blanket in our apartment with her brothers and three friends eating Papa John's pizza, she couldn't have been happier.  She's getting one or two presents from me this year, but she's just happy with the tie dye cupcakes.  

 I'm pretty happy with them too.  

There's tons of other changes but the biggest changes are in the hearts and minds of the four people that live here.  We are calmer, healthy and whole.  This girl now looks forward to going to church on a Sunday morning, call in the calvary, that has been a long time coming.  My children are at peace with our new and different life and so am I.  

It's hard to not know what the future brings, but none of us do.  Married, single, with children, without, financially stable or counting pennies.  We don't know what tomorrow brings.  Praise God that we have the gift of being able to live in the moment.  

I have been striving for a lot of the last year.  Trying to make things happen:

the divorce to finally be final, 
financial stabilty for my family to be more guaranteed by my own hand, 
a future career for me that will carry us for the next 20 years, 
God to guide me in the way I want him to, 
my children to be healthy, happy and well adjusted, 
everyone to do well in school, 
my writing to be received well, 
my family to treat me the way I want to be treated,
Eowyn to sleep through the night and potty train, 
everyone to love and understand and accept me, 

and it goes on and on and on. 

But as I sat in an office this week having a conversation with someone who's influential in the direction our lives take, I had a peace from God.  I can not contrive this.  I cannot force an outcome here.  It doesn't matter what I say, how I dress, how I present myself, how hard I strive.  This outcome could turn out exactly how I do not want it to regardless of my perfection or it could turn just how I want it to even if I bomb this conversation. 

Because God is in charge of the outcome.  And this person I'm talking to is a free person; they have a choice.  I can no more force them to do what I want then I can force the weather to stay warm.  And eventhough God is in charge of the outcome, this is still a free person I'm dealing with, and he could choose not to listen to God.  He could choose a different path.  And that could affect us badly.  

But regardless of whether or not that happens, God has the grace I will need to get through it.  He has the grace my children will need to get through it.  And we can overcome because
our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  

Maybe everything will go to hell in a handbasket, perhaps it will even be a basket I made.  The worst of all the worsts could happen.  Or the outcome that I think will be best for us could happen and it could end up being disastrous.  But even if that happens and many many more tears are shed, even if those tears are shed by my children.  God will be here walking alongside all of us.  He can comfort us, we need only ask.  Sure his comfort isn't always the physical arms we want to cry in, but it is healing and profound and just what we need.  

I have not lived this last year of my life perfectly.  I have stumbled and tripped and fallen.  I have lost my temper and my faith has floundered more than a time or two.  I have been prideful and unkind.  I have not been the perfect mother either.  As I write those things I shed more tears over the sins I have committed.  

But the joyful tears are also present, the ones that have been a salve to the wounds of my soul.  I have learned to get low.   With others, with God and mostly with my children.  There is huge freedom in this.  Low is a much better place to be.  In the humility of my mistakes and the joy of my victories I have one responsibility - to point to Jesus.  If I fail, please look to him for comfort.  If I succeed, know it is by his hand.

My writing has taught me more about my relationship with my oldest than I could have ever imagined.  I often think I'm doing something for a certain benefit and am pleasantly surprised by the gift I never saw in it.  Like understanding Rowan more because I understand myself.  And understanding Rowan helps me to humble myself and have more of picture of what I was like as a child.  

There have been gifts in this minefield of a year.   I been given the freedom to stop striving and the wisdom to finally know that it gets me nowhere.  And that low, it's the best position to be in.

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