I hear you God. You had me at good bye.
It took two divorces – the last one ending in an affair…but with that very painful death of love and goodbye from a person that I thought was the love of my life…God got my attention. The spiritual cell phone connection in my heart is no longer ‘searching for service’. He had to remove all the things I had ever wished for most in my life…but he finally has the front and center position that he has deserved all along. I apparently just couldn’t do it on my own.
I watch my own 2 year old busily destroying any order or structure that I had attempted to have in the house in any given area. Left to her own devices, she would strew every toy out and just wade through the mess and think nothing of it. I have to be the guidance, the one who instills structure and discipline so that there is not so much chaos. But she still has that choice to rebel and throw a tantrum as she sometimes does.
How similar we must be in God’s eyes…rebellious little kids, creating all kinds of chaos and havoc. He provides all kinds of guidance and structure. Sometimes we listen, sometimes ignore. Just like with my 2 year old…there are natural consequences for not listening. It just has to be. I can’t let her get away with every selfish desire…it would be a disaster.
I made it through Christmas Eve and Christmas day alive. It felt like I was bracing myself against a huge wave in the ocean. I had to hold my breath, put my shoulders into it, plant my feet firmly and then wait for it to pass and see if there was anything left of me. You can only prepare so much for this kind of thing and then there is that faith part – and hoping for the best. Like most things in life, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had anticipated. It was a fairly normal morning…just a little more peaceful than normal…that had to do with all that extra preparing, I think.
A good friend of mine is experiencing a Christmas without her spouse. Her husband had to take a job out of town this Christmas and she had really hoped he would be back in time for Christmas morning. She is dealing with disappointment, frustration, sadness, loneliness and the feeling of abandonment that she had experienced as a child. I can relate. We have been in close communication through this, sharing feelings, and trying to console each other.
I came to this conclusion. Instead of looking at this situation with such human and selfish eyes that results in sadness and despair…what if we looked through different eyes. Really, I think we are two of the luckiest girls around. God loves us SO much that he wanted us all to himself this year! He desires a relationship with us so much that he had to remove all the chaos, and strip us of our greatest desires just so we might have the chance to lean on him…just like he hopes we do.
But we do have a choice. We all deal with circumstances differently. And many folks even think this all sounds like a bunch of brainwashing hogwash. I used to be afraid of turning folks off with this kind of crazy talk. But you know…until you have been in my shoes and have everything stripped and removed…maybe you just aren’t capable of ‘getting’ it. Maybe your time is still yet to come. Maybe it has come and you ignored it by filling it with even more chaos.
That is what my ex-husband has chosen…more chaos…or so it seems. Luckily I am far enough removed this 2nd year apart that my observation is not made out of judgment or rejection. But right now, he is with the woman he left us for and is celebrating a holiday that he never really even fully believed in with her and probably her two daughters and extended family. He has chosen to be with them and miss Christmas morning with his own 2 year old.
Don’t get me wrong…I am thankful to benefit from his choice. I get an uninterrupted week with my precious hobbit love. But this is coming from a mom that HAS to be away from my oldest because of circumstances beyond my control. I simply can’t imagine CHOOSING to not be with either of my girls on this day. But this is only my perspective. Who knows what he is really thinking.
The imagination can run wild and I don’t care to torture myself with the details anymore. The problem is that I knew her well enough to know more details than I wish I did know. I know he is probably there, playing some role that I can’t even wrap my head around. It really is just bizarre. And unlike last year, I don’t wish to be in his or her shoes…I am so thankful I am not. It seems like he is ignoring all the warning signs and wake up calls that love tries to give us just to draw us near. It seems like he is doing what I have done most of my life – forcing my own selfish agenda instead of just listening.
I really can’t judge. His business is really none of mine now anyway, and quite honestly I am done caring. I only bring it up now because it is a stark contrast to where I was and where I am now. And all that God hogwash talk I was afraid to talk about before is like the only thing that has been consistent, evident and solid in my life, so I feel like I HAVE to talk about it.
I have tried to fill the void with nearly everything else: relationships, family, friends, husbands; things – good and bad like alcohol, working and parenting. I have tried to throw myself into all kinds of things to attempt to fill in that aching hole in my heart. Nothing else has brought peace and the feeling of completeness but the quiet, constant, abiding, all encompassing love that surrounds us all.
Love will come knocking. Love is searching for everyone of us. Love is always seeking us out. Love never gives up on our childish rebellious ways. Only we give up.
I am not some weird, boring, un-fun Jesus freak. Well…maybe that Jesus freak part is true. But just because I choose to love God does not mean I am a person without humor, rock and roll, and even a drink of wine now and then. I love to rock out…probably harder than most of you. I love Linkin Park, rap, and sometimes even thrash metal. I love to dance and get a little crazy with the girls sometimes. I am sarcastic and have a warped sense of humor. And the sexiest thing to me is a man with humility, humor, a sense of self (not arrogance), and smarts. Dimples help too, but now I am just getting greedy.
The point is, I can’t force anything to happen now. Well, I guess I can, but I am tired of that. This Christmas was lonely. I will be honest that I had several pity parties leading up to it. But it has also been probably the best ones yet. It was real. Love came knocking, I opened the door and it was more peaceful than I could have imagined. Though I thought I was going to be lacking everything on this morning, I was more fulfilled than ever.
I have thought like so many others that if I really start believing in God or Jesus that you would become really boring or weird or something. The truth is just the opposite. This past year, people have started seeing something in me that I don’t really understand myself. I only say that because I see the curious look on their faces, and most even actually comment on it.
I guess for once in my life I am just no longer afraid to be me. In all my flaws and even my talents – I am not hiding anymore. I have surrendered it all up and have asked that it all be not in vain – the good and the bad. The reward is better than I could have imagined…even though the gift is SO very different than I had imagined and than what I had selfishly been striving towards in my childish desires and ways. It leaves me very hopeful and guessing…whatever will he do next? I am excited to see what this year will bring.
And just like with my own children…when they actually listen and do as I ask…there are some awesome rewards. I LOVE that part! Contrary to what my 8 year old may think these days…I tire of having to carry out discipline and punishment. I love doing for them and giving them things and rewards beyond what they could even imagine. All for just laying down their OWN WILL and listening to my voice. There is such peace in the household when the children listen. Hmmm…
I had only one Christmas present to open this morning. It was from a dear friend who is more like sister to me now. It was one of the best gifts. It was a gift of friendship, a sincere reminder that I am not really all alone at all. I also had one small gift that my oldest daughter brought home from school – but it was not to “open”. It was a token of love – a box to represent her love for me. I miss her dearly and can’t wait to see her again. I am reminded how the simple gifts given from the heart are really all that matters.
When all the chaos, noise and madness is stripped away and love comes calling we have the choice to take the call or just ignore it.
Can you hear me? Can you hear me now?