There’s only one address anyone lives at and it’s always a duplex: Joy and pain always co-habit every season of life.
Accept them both and keep company with the joy while the pain does its necessary renovations. ~ Ann Voskamp
Weary and broken I met the New Year. As each day drew closer to the turning of the time, I felt myself sinking deeper into self.
This time last year I lived in a white house with black shutters and three wicker rocking chairs on a just-big-enough front porch. I saw the New Year arrive by myself, as I was the only one who could stay awake, but I wasn't alone. The man I gave my heart to was right beside me, lightly snoring. I felt a breath of relief as 2011 entered: I believed in hope and all things new. I welcomed the blessing of change and a year of possibilities.
I didn't know the change would be this.
My life as I knew it forever changed this year. Every aspect of it has taken a new course, without regard to any of my objections or tears or tantrums.
A different city.
New school adventure.
What was to be an adventure together is now a painful process alone. To be told you are not the one envisioned with him when you are graying and the children have grown and left and all you have is each other is a rejection to the most hollow places of your hidden fears. To be told it is over, without any doubt, and it's been over for several years, makes you question every word and gesture and moment of it all. You see wedding pictures, your cherished bridal portrait, the letter "S" embroidered on every pillow and decorative accents, all reminders of what was and may never be again. Sudddenly, facebook status updates, Christmas cards, blogs...everything holding a mirror to you showing you what you have no more. The one person who said they would love you and cherish you and be on your side has now willingly left you.
I've been told to slow down. I've been told not to continue with school. I've been told to just rest on the weekends. If I do any of these things, I won't be able to get back off the floor. I will be in a heaped mess of raw wounds. I can't fully take in all that is happening, and it is only God's grace that I can't. In little snippets of movie reels, scenes flash before my eyes.
A funny story that only he would get.
Suctioning baby's snotty nose at 3 am...together.
Rounding a corner during my first 5k to see him and my little boy cheering me on.
Standing at the altar in front of my youth pastor, feeling secure in the fact that this was the first and last and always and forever till death we do part.
Bringing baby home to the white house with the black shutters, neighbors eagerly waiting for a new playmate.
As these moments are relived, I feel like I could scream and laugh and violently cry all at the same time. Scalding tears well and throat constricts...I quickly brush them away because I'm in the grocery store or at my work desk or in the car at a red light. I bury them in the dark places, where they fester until I am able to properly mourn.
And how, how does one mourn this? How do you grieve the loss of someone who is still living? How do you keep yourself from feeling unloveable or less than beautiful or needed?
Perhaps that is the worst...not being missed. Not feeling needed. Not being seen for the good and lovely rather than the torn and tattered.
And so, you go through the motions. And sometimes, the motions bring tears. Other times, the motions bring hilarious laughter at the absurdity of it all.
You daily choose...
In all seasons. In all hurts. In all glorious and hellish times, you get to choose. As Ann Voskamp shared in her blog.....keep company with the joy while the pain does its necessary renovations.
I certainly am not perfect in this situation. I was not a blue-ribbon wife or mother. But one thing is certain, I believed in my family, and I believed in my marriage.
And so, I will choose to live. I will choose to give thanks, even though at times I want nothing more than to grumble and whine and ask why and pummel my fists into the wall.
Thank you, for Grace. Thank you for mercy. Thank you for my precious boy-child who gives me unexpected kisses and sticky arms tight around my neck. Thank you for this season, for it has shown me another aspect of the Father I may never have known. Thank you for rock-like family, sturdy in faith and will. Thank you for golden friends that have given up time with their own families to be mine. Thank you for weekly papers in philosophy class that kept me focused and forced me to think of something other than failing. Thank you for well-worn running shoes that have taken me up and down hills, making me stronger physically and emotionally. Thank you for a career that I am proud of and gives me passion to make changes.
For more thanks, read here