I know I have not blogged in a while. It’s funny, I started the blog to share my journey of how I keep faith in the middle of the furnace. I wanted others (and myself) to know that just because terrible things happen to us along the journey of life does not mean we do not have faith. But in the process I found that it helped me to have a place to put my emotions and then walk away. Then I think the pendulum swung the other way and I did not feel I wanted to be so open with my thoughts, feelings and emotions – none of which seemed too safe at times.
Some of that is due to one part of the journey that we as caregivers always have to deal with; people who we thought were friends and who walk away. And sometimes it is not so much that they desert us as they really do not know what to do with the “new” us and since we cannot be the “way we were” they cannot continue the relationship for whatever reason. I have found that those who wanted to stay connected with me even in this fiery trial have managed to be friends with the new me. Is it different? Yup – way different. Am I different? Yup – way different. But I really do understand.
I know I am the same person. I still like to play games and will still occasionally stay up a little too late playing the Wii just because I enjoy it so much. I still like to hike even though I rarely get to. I like to kid, to talk, to read, play, sing, to love and to live. It just looks very different from here. But I found some freedom a few weeks back that has really helped me deal with the sort of prison I chose, or found myself in however you want to look at it.
As anyone who follows this sporadic blog knows, I am a runner. My first full marathon is 3 weeks from today! Yay! I had slipped into thinking that I was not allowed a life like others. And on one hand this is very true. I am home most of the time and it is can be difficult planning any sort of outing. But just because it is very difficult – does not mean I cannot do it. So I started getting out more. This can be costly when I have a race planned and family is unavailable…but I can do it! When I started telling myself that I can do what I want – it just takes more work to accomplish – I found a freedom in that somehow.
Anyway – as part of my withdrawal I simply had to find myself. The “new” or different self…And what’s cool – is I actually like myself. I don’t mind hanging out with my weird self. And over these last almost 4 years now I have learned a lot and do not need someone else’s acceptance. I have learned a lot about relationships; some people do not have whatever it takes to walk along someone who lives in a situation like this and that’s okay. It’s a long, painful and unpleasant road and not everyone can walk it with you. Jesus found that out too. The ones He poured Himself into while on earth could not handle the cross He bore.
I can’t say I have settled down any, but I think in some ways I have become calmer. I have found out that many things in life just don’t matter that much. And other things matter a whole lot! My whole relationship with God is different. Sure I have had some times when I was very angry with Him and let Him know – as if He didn’t already. I guess something I have been thinking about this week helped me find some peace. Right before the wreck Chris was talking a lot about how he was okay with it if God didn’t want him to play the drums anymore. I hated it when he said it – but I did not know why. I know Chris had changed a lot that year before the wreck and I guess this week as I was thinking about some of the things he had said…Chris is okay with God. He made this peace before it all happened. He had already given up his drums and his life. I remember he shared one time that he was just a cup and God could pour out of him any way He desired to because the cup is never in charge of what goes in – or when it comes out. Somehow thinking back about all that helped me find a little piece this week.
I think one of the most difficult things about this journey is that Chris is gone — but he’s here. I have shared before about how I grieve over the loss, but cannot move on because it’s not gone either. It’s a very crazy emotional place to be in. But this week – I think no matter what I just love my son. Even though he is different, he is my son.
Maybe that’s how God feels about the church we see today. It’s dysfunctional (I don’t care what you say!) we haven’t even figured out His intense love for us…how do we expect to get any of the “big” stuff? lol I am finding that’s it’s just fine for me and God to hang out a lot. Is it okay when we can hang out with believers? Sure…but if my relationship with God is dependent on others, I have a stronger relationship with them than I do with Him. I made a lot of mistakes back in my “church-serving” days. My intent was to serve God and I think He was okay with it. But I ended up giving myself to the establishment instead of the Establisher. I’m actually kinda comfortable where all this has landed me right now… it’s not too bad…I know He walks with me..through the floods, and through the fire; not around them – but through them. And you know what’s really crazy? That’s just become okay with me; I couldn’t think of better company in the furnace, in the lion’s den than Him!