Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Like Silver

I have kids stuck in all four corners of my house, hoping they'll take naps.

It's not looking promising.

Evany is giving me a dirty look because I'm a mean mom and I still haven't managed to put Ava's old crib together for her. Actually, that's probably not why she's giving me a dirty look, but that's what's on my mind, so I'm projecting my thoughts onto her. It's what every good parent does. She's probably just giving me a dirty look because that's what she does. She's a baby. She can look bored, annoyed, or maniacally happy, and that's about it.

I've been thinking a lot lately about plans and why things happen the way they do. I've stated several times before that I don't think there is a reason for everything (actually too many times to link), but that I do think that God can bring amazing things from the ashes.

I believe that. I believe that. I believe that.

But man, am I ever ready to see it! As I look forward to the marker of my first year on my own, I can look back and see about a million signs of God's providence. All the times the ends just barely met, all the ways things could have gotten worse and didn't. The blessings I've received this year in the form of my children and friends and family is just amazing. I've lost friends though the divorce, of course, but not because of John directly...more because some women just aren't comfortable being friends with a woman who is unattached. It's definitely a security issue, and I know I would never, ever be the type to horn in on a married man, but I still get where their coming from.

I can be difficult to be around. I'm a reminder that things don't always go the way they should...that babies die and husbands leave and sometimes nothing you do can get any of it back. It's a cold hard truth that I, for one, would be happy not knowing. So I can't really blame the people who no longer wave me down at church or invite me to their gatherings. Odd numbers are hard to deal with, after all.

The silver lining to that cloud, though, has been that there are other people who have stepped into that gap for me like nobody's business. These are the friends that offer to take some combination of the children at a moment's notice so that I can make it to therapy, who ignore how flaky I've been, who will commiserate with me about the negative and praise God with me about the positives all in the same breath. These are the friends who wake up in the morning and call me first thing to tell me the awesome  dream they had about how I could support my family (the idea never makes as much sense in the light of day, fyi, although it is always entertaining!).

I still have a long way to go. But I think there's a reason that I studied Acts for two years before John left. We spent all that time going verse by verse discussing the first church and the way they shared all they had and banded together, and then, suddenly, I wasn't just reading about it, I was seeing it, living it first hand.

It's big for me...I like to be in control. I like to be the helper, not the helped. I like to be in charge and the one who can fix it all. I am no longer any of those things. My life is out of my control. If I had not been helped this year, the kids and I would have been on the streets more than once. I can't fix any of this. But I do have control over who I give the control to, and I choose God. I can humble myself to help, and remember that sometimes God shows up with skin on. I can remember that not being able to fix things doesn't necessarily mean that they're broken. (Unless you're talking about appliances. Let me tell you...when those are broken, they're broken!)

I won't lie...I don't like being in this position. I want to be able to give back, to be comfortable, to have my pride. I hope someday I will and I can do what so many have done for me. I want to be braver and stronger and not miss out on things like baby dedication day because I'm too embarrassed to go up on stage alone. Sometimes I want to kick myself in the face for being stupid. I didn't choose this road, but I should make the most of it.

No one ever said that being refined is a comfortable experience. In fact, the word itself implies that it may be downright uncomfortable. Being brought to a purer state can't be easy, but I have a feeling it is always worth it.

How are you being refined? How have you lost control? The relationship I have with you all means more to me than I can say. I love hearing your stories and getting glimpses into your lives.
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