Last night my little guy was begging me to stay home with him. If my husband hadn't encouraged me firmly to keep my commitment to go teach a bunch of toddlers, I would have totally said yes. Church is a hard place for me to be. I hate that about me. That has never been my story before. I don't want it to be my story now.
But this morning found my little guy snuggled in close to his daddy while I ventured out into the cold morning. My first thought outside my door was wondering what bear slept on our porch and would he please take a shower next time. Actually, I doubt a bear slept there, but it was rather smelly and I jangled my keys all the way to the car in my weak attempt to scare away any four legged fury garbage eaters.
This morning wasn't easy. I was able to ignore my surroundings and put aside the thoughts of "I wish this were more like X".
But then my husband's marathon partner came downstairs and I just had to ask him the question I've been asking all week, "Are we going to do anything together to remember Myron on or near December 28th? Our group - the group that was once as closeknit as a family - hasn't been together in one room since his funeral." The tears slipped out and he gave me a hug and said he'd find out. I went back in the classroom and got myself back together to be all "up" for the kiddos. When I think back on all the things still not really talked out with the people we once counted as our best friends after the loss of a precious friend and good leader, my heart remains broken and cannot fathom healing or restored relationships. But oh, how I want that.
I was happily playing along with kiddos, greeting them with enthusiasm and loving on the ones feeling a bit shy when a friend came downstairs. I mentioned that her daughter had told me about moving to Alberta and asked if there was a target date yet. I've known this was coming, but conveniently kept hoping it wouldn't happen until we were like 90 or something. December 1st. And tears flowed between both of us. I know she is going where she is supposed to be. But I'm sad that yet another friendship is going to be carried out with many miles in between. Why is it that I get to meet these incredible women with adorable kiddos near my son's age and then they move a province or a country away?! At least there is Facebook. Thank goodness for that one way of still getting to "do life" together.
Then, as if my heart could bear anymore, I found out some details about the physical property of our church home and felt most of my hopes come crashing down. Details aren't important, but I've never experienced so much drama, so much constant change, so many dead ends and "no's". I told my husband when I got home that I wanted to write a letter to the man who caused all of this grief. It would say, "You may not be the spawn of satan, but you are certainly his pawn. Thanks so much for making me homeless in yet one more way." Certainly not my most stellar moment as a gracious human being. Thankfully, my husband currently carries enough optimism for both of us.
By the time 11:00 this morning came around, I was shredded emotionally. It would have been nice to have someone, anyone, notice the obviously weeping redhead and smother me with a hug and a "it's going to be okay. It sucks right now, but it will get better." But while Jesus was a "man of sorrows and acquainted with grief", His people are less inclined to be comfortable around someone grieving in the middle of a community hall and they let me walk right on by. I was so tempted to reach out to a couple of people, but decided that this one time I needed to not have to do that. This time I needed someone to notice and reach out without me asking. But that didn't happen and it took a few minutes sitting in my locked car before I could see well enough to drive away.
I know that these things won't always be like this. Eventually we'll know if we have a physical home for our church that is actually usable and good, or things will get to the point for our family when we have to make some decisions. Eventually, I will have some good friendships with women that endure and are local and fill me up and are healthy. Eventually, I'll be able to give and fill up others. Eventually, I'll have joy. Eventually, I'll be able to accept this series of losses. Eventually, I will learn how to keep living and moving in a forward direction even those these losses remain a part of my heart.
But today. Well, today sucks. I know not everyone who reads this blog shares my belief in Jesus and a sovereign plan. I know that some probably even question how intelligent or sane I could be to believe in that stuff. But I do. Despite all my periodic attempts to shake it off or try something else, I do still believe in my core that there is Someone who made me who does care and who is involved. I don't understand that Someone. But I do believe that all of this mess is being somehow fashioned into a story that will point to Him and turn out beautifully.