On Grace Deferred…

It seems I have compounded quite a bit of something…(resentment maybe?), whilst waiting on or adhering to or figuring out or listening to I HAVE NO REAL AND HONEST CLUE.

Everything and nothing.

I feel like I am raw and exposed in the middle of an old Western desert scene washed in sepia, with that telltale tumbleweed rolling across my path as a sign of an ensuing battle between two solitary figures.

But the thing is–and here is where I begin to splash a little technicolor on my circumstance–these opposing sides don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Doesn’t have to be either/or.

I can do my best to gift the ideal I so desperately wanted. And still fall short. And still be okay.

(Eventually. “Okay”, eventually.)

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Speaking aloud the truth that hurts my soul, hurts my body, hurts my everything…does not have to cripple me. Does not have to dictate the space I exist in.

(Because I have let it. Even when I wanted to stop. Needed to stop. Begged it to stop.)

I AM A SINGLE MOTHER. I FEAR I HAVE CARRIED OVER THE BROKEN HOME OF MY CHILDHOOD TO MY DAUGHTER’S. I DON’T KNOW HOW TO STOP THE RANDOM RAGE-WISHING THAT MY HUSBAND-IN-TITLE WAS NOT THE FATHER OF MY CHILD. I DON’T KNOW HOW TO STOP BEING UPSET WITH GOD FOR SAYING THIS WAS RIGHT, ONLY TO LET IT TURN OUT SO WRONG. I DON’T KNOW HOW TO STOP BEING UPSET WITH MYSELF FOR SILENT SUFFERING IN THE HOPES OF “MAYBE” TURNED PLAIN HUMILIATION TURNED USUAL. AND SO MUCH. AND SO MUCH. AND SO MUCH.

March 3rd, a Monday, I fought the hell out of a nervous breakdown. I began to shatter over a hot stove with some utensil in hand cooking who-knows-what. I struggled for hours between fits of exhaustive sobbing, giggling, quiet tears, rage, numbness, fear, confusion, determination (and even some, “Oh is this really what You want to do right now, God?!”). It didn’t take a whole lot of perception on the part of my little one to figure out something was wrong. But her eyes. Her eyes were unafraid. She still felt safe. Her trust is what I clung to like it was a rope burning its mark of contention into my hands. The ascent afterward was rough and rocky but the little pockets of Grace have been more profound; more vibrant. A few talks with a therapist that offered more than 50% off his rate. Sudden change in work schedule that allowed me time to recoup between days and a few consecutive Saturday mornings post-work that were free from hurry. The uninterrupted midnight pedicure my feet have been requesting for over three years. Walking the length of the east side of Manhattan with blue sky before me and the sun on my back. Migraine-free $5 coffee splurges, extra sweet. Reconnections and conversations that hugged my spirit. Cooking a meal and washing the dishes in one fell swoop; uninterrupted. Deep, cleansing breaths. And so much. And so much. And so much.

Best of all, experiencing the Grace of surrender; raising the white flag. Not attempting to do it all. In fact, doing nothing and allowing God to sometimes carry me, sometimes sit with me. Allowing God to teach me that there isn’t always a lesson, a trial, a test or grand scheme. But there is always life–often times, just that–and His Friendship and Lordship extends through every aspect of it. And I am safe…even when I’m not okay.

Selah.

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