I’m fairing fairly well these last couple of months. It was a marathon of anniversary dates and holidays from November to April. I dug out about mid-May and finally started feeling as if the weight of the world was no longer on my shoulders.
It feels good.
I feel happy most days.
It feels a little like normal.
Normal…now that’s not a word I ever thought I’d use to describe my life ever again.
A few weeks ago, I sat across from a new friend who has been stuck in her own cycle of grief and loss. It was a surreal experience for these words to come out of my mouth to encourage her:
“If you would have told me two years ago that I’d be sitting across from you, sharing my story of tragedy and how I’ve made it through, I would have never believed you.”
Sure, two years ago, I trusted my God to carry me through. He was and is the only One who could. But, I was in such a dark space that I could not see it, and I most definitely could not envision feeling anything but tragedy and sadness ever again.
There are days when I look around and feel as if God picked me right up out of that day before Tony died, put me in a time capsule, and shipped me right into my current life. It really is best case scenario for having to start over, for having had tragedy rattle every part of me. I am so very grateful; I certainly did nothing to deserve this great favor.
Yet, I have to remind myself that the common denominator through all of these circumstances is me. Me.
Me with all my insecurities and weaknesses. Me with all my demands. Me who more often than I care to admit likes to control my life.
I took a stroll down memory lane this week, I thought back to my hopes and dreams as a child and early teen. I remembered vividly what I wanted to be:
An independent woman.
Ha! It seems laughable now. I don’t think I had any clue what that meant at the time, but it sounded intriguing. I wanted to be able to do things on my own, to depend on no one but myself, to accomplish and achieve anything I set my heart to…all because of me.
I mean, thanks, Kelly Clarkson, for a cool song, but honestly, what young girl aspires to become that?
Still, there was insight in that phrase. It was a foreshadowing to a very thorn in my side…little miss independent.
That’s exactly how I operate when I try to do things apart from Christ, when I blaze through my day, my week, event or circumstance, depending on my strength and not that of my Savior’s. It’s my very flesh, my weakness. And when things seem manageable, attainable, achievable on my own, that’s when little miss independent takes over my life.
Sure, it’s great to be able to use the talents, wisdom, strength God has given me to go about my daily tasks, decisions, relationships. But the danger lies in thinking I am captain of my own ship, driver of my own car, my very own puppeteer in the puppet show of my life.
Contrast that with the first year, really even most of the second year, after loosing Tony. I can recount many days when the sun came up, my alarm clocked blared, and I had nothing, NOTHING, to muster to even sit up in bed, much less get up. All I could do was earnestly ask the Lord to give me the ability to get up, to put one foot in front of the other and to trust Him for the rest of my day. I was desperate. I was dependent. I could do nothing apart from Christ.
I am thankful to have moved past this stage of grief and to be able to get up on my own again. Still, I find myself wanting, longing, to never forget what is was like to be completely dependent on Jesus to meet my every need, down to the very basics. I don’t want that experience, as hard and painful as it was, to go in vain.
I suppose why these two word pictures I stare at each morning as I get ready are so fitting.
I wanna stay desperate for my God, desperate for His Presence. Desperate.
Dependent on Him.