This is just as true today as it was one year ago when I first wrote it…
Archive for the ‘Single Life’ Category
December 4th, 2008. I’m driving home from the county courthouse.
The song, “I Will Praise You In This Storm” by Casting Crowns comes on the radio.
I was sure by now, God, that You would have reached down, and wiped our tears away, stepped in and saved the day…
It will forever be embedded in my mind at that point, on that day, driving in that van, on that road, wearing that sweater with the tiny tear in the sleeve. Embedded.
I barely hear You whisper through the rain, “I’m With you,” and as Your mercy falls, I raise my hands and praise the God who gives and takes away.
It was raining that afternoon. I drove with my wipers on at full blast and I had to pull over into a parking lot because it wasn’t just the rain on my windshield blocking my view. It was the tears pouring from my eyes that blinded me.
But through it all, throughout the storm that raged in my life that entire year, my hands were raised, and I praised Him every single day. It was all I knew to do. I knew that God was with me each and every day, each and every step along the way.
I will praise You in this storm, and I will lift my hands, for You are who You are, no matter where I am.
It was the darkest moment of my life. A failure, now twice divorced, sitting in the parking lot of Taco Bell crying.
And every tear I’ve cried, You hold in your hand, You never left my side, and though my heart is torn, I will praise You in this storm.
Never was I alone. I imagined God swiping His finger along my cheek to wipe those tears away. I was not alone. Not alone. Never alone. Never.
I said, “I don’t know what happened. I don’t know why he’s gone.”
She said, “You’re in a bubble. God has you in this protective bubble and he’s pushing away those who aren’t suited for you. He’s keeping you safe until he’s ready to bring the right one to you.”
I said, “In His timing, not my own. But I sure am impatient!“ Then a tear slowly fell.
All I could imagine is being inside this bubble and being able to see all those around me, those that I want to be with, want to interact with, and not ever getting close enough to really get to know. I can put my hand against the inside as they match it with their own from the outside. I can feel them, enough to know that they are there. But then they are gone.
And I’m left in this stupid bubble.
And I didn’t even get kissed.
(Not really. But I giggled when I thought of that as the post’s title. So it stays…)
I was driving home this afternoon and normally my radio dial stays tuned to the same station all the time. It’s all contemporary Christian with hilarious DJs and awesome music. When I get home in the evenings I don’t even try to compete with the kids for the television set. In fact, when they’re gone, the t.v. will remain off for an overwhelming majority of the time.
My standard answers before were that I liked the uplifting and encouraging music and I REALLY liked the silence from having the t.v. off as much as possible. But back to this afternoon’s drive home. I momentarily was bored from some DJ chatter and decided to flip the dials to a soft rock (don’t hate) station that was playing This Kiss by Faith Hill. Catchy tune I must say, even if it is over played and over commercialized. I made the mistake of trying to actually listen to the words as it played along. What they specifically were, now doesn’t really matter. It was a love song. And I hated it.
I can’t give my standard answers about radio and t.v. anymore. I listen to the music I listen to and avoid the television I hate because I don’t want to face any additional reminders that love is out there. I don’t need salt poured in any still healing wounds that heartache is very real and around every corner. When I listen to Christian radio I only hear love songs of the only one who will never disappoint, never leave, and never hurt me. It’s pain free radio. I don’t watch television because of all the “reality” on there. I have enough reality staring back at me in the bathroom mirror. Would I like some more reality? No thanks.
Obviously I’m stubborn and more than a little thick headed. I’m eager for God to reveal His great plan for my life because lately, I’m just not getting it. I’m tired, I’m frustrated, I’m lonely, and I’m growing impatient. Does He want me to get mad? Does He want me to get fired up? What am I supposed to be doing? What am I missing? There’s a point out there somewhere that’s just not reaching me.
I feel like I’m just spinning my wheels, moving from one day to the next, not making much of a difference with anything that I’m doing. On Tuesdays, I do the same thing that I do every single Tuesday. On Wednesdays, I do the same thing that I do every single Wednesday. I’m stuck in this loop, halfway afraid I’ll never make it off and halfway afraid of what would happen if I jumped.
Don’t tell me life is what happens while you wait. I’m tired of that line. I’m tired of all the same reasons, justifications, and excuses. I’m tired of everything getting me nowhere. I’m restless and irritated most of the time. I feel highly productive yet utterly useless all at once.
There’s gotta be something more
Gotta be more than this
I need a little less hard time
I need a little more bliss
I’m gonna take my chances
Taking a chance I might
Find what I’m looking for
There’s gotta be something more
I’m saving a place for you. If you look hard at this picture of me and the kids, you’ll notice it’s right there next to me. I can see you there as I lean back into you. I have a set of keys to my car sitting in the bottom of my jewelry box. I didn’t realize when I had them made that they would be slid on your key ring one day. That empty chair at the head of the dinner table? It’s yours too. I’ve saved it.
Underneath the bathroom cabinet are two empty baskets and inside the medicine cabinet, one of the shelves is cleared off. The top of my dresser is usually piled with a stack of folded laundry, but the space is waiting to be reclaimed.
The tool box is all yours. I’ve never known what to do with that anyway & most of the things in there are still brand new. I’m sorry I sold the lawn equipment…no lawn anymore!
I’m looking forward to Sunday mornings filled with warm pancakes and mugs filled with steaming coffee as we get ready for church. I can close my eyes and see you sitting on the second row, waiting for me to come down from the choir loft. That afternoon nap when lunch is over? Sure, no problem.
I wish now you’d find me.
You think you’ve figured it out. You get the right vibe, pick up on the little things and finally feel like you can walk out on that frighteningly small limb.
The limb holds. At least, for a while it does, before it snaps beneath the weight of your breath that you’ve been holding. Afraid to exhale.
So you fall back to the earth, bump once or twice on the rocks below, then dust yourself off and contemplate giving it another shot.
Just not anytime soon.
One of these days I won’t ever need to blog again. Because one of these days I will have someone in my life to be my sounding board and won’t need the internets to blab to. Someone happy to listen to all my wacky stories and off the wall ideas.
Someone who won’t judge when I start listing out 25 weird things about me that may or may not include the fact that I can fit my fist in my mouth.
Someone I can rush home to at night that I can share a batch of photos I took of myself while standing in front of the bathroom mirror at the office.
Someone who thinks its a great idea to eat animal crackers dipped in cream cheese frosting for breakfast and to make pancakes with Skittles in them for dinner.
But for now, and especially right this moment, I am painfully aware that there isn’t that someone.
And so I blog.
The day was not a total loss. Not by a long shot. But there wasn’t much “Christmassey” about it. The morning was spent lazily hovering over the newspaper, sipping coffee and listening to the morning talk shows babbling in the background.
Having spent the night with my Momma and Step-Dad in Tallahassee, I finished up my coffee before dressing and packing my overnight bag to go back in the van. I had agreed to drop them off at the airport as they began their week long visit with my sister in Texas.
I was there less than 24 hours before I hit the road back home to Gainesville. I was anxious to get back even though I knew I would be returning to an empty apartment. Well, kinda empty – but the black and grey haired cat doesn’t really count.
That afternoon after dropping my bag off at home and checking on the furry one, I headed back out down the road to visit with some friends who had invited me over for their family’s Christmas dinner. It was nice to be in their warm, loving home, amongst the hustle and bustle that I’m so familiar with in my own. It was the hustle and bustle that I hadn’t had a chance to be a part of this holiday season.
I made myself available in the kitchen to my friend DG as much as she’d let me. Just standing around and watching someone else do all the work is a foreign concept to me. I wanted my hands to stay busy in hopes that my mind would follow suit. Because every pause in my step made room for the reminder that my children were not with me on this day.
When I climbed into bed later that night and flicked on the laptop, the glowing screen showed the social run-down of everyone else’s joyous Christmas day. Mine had been nice. Very nice actually. But it just didn’t seem like Christmas had happened. Not having my kids around devalued the spirit of the day for me. How could it possibly be Christmas when my children were not there to celebrate it with me?
The next morning, it took all that I had in me not to rush over to pick the children up from their father’s house the moment the sun peeked over the tree tops. But before mid-day they were home and eager to open the gifts that Santa had left them there. I sat on the corner of the couch and watched as they picked out a gift one at at time for the other to open, taking turns and trying their hardest to guess the contents before tearing into the paper wrapping. My cheeks hurt from smiling.
It was finally Christmas.