seeing fair colors once again
A sure way to maintain readership: Write fairly consistently for 6 months, then disappear for three. Oops. Sorry, guys. I blame summer, and what a summer it was.
I’m writing to update those faithful readers who have encouraged me to get back in the game, offer my heartfelt thanks to those of you who walked with me through this long and bizarre summer, and, well, get back in the game.
Summer began with the end of a relationship that I thought would be my last relationship. There’s something about a breakup, and the disentagling of lives that follows, that makes me want to swear off dating forever, crawl into bed with a magnum of cheap wine, and sleep for a week. I know there’s a fair chance that many of you reading this will be hearing this news for the first time, as neither B nor I felt an urgency in volunteering information about the split. It’s not something either of us are proud of, and it took a great deal of support from my family and close friends to get through those first few weeks and months. Frankly, it sucked. All of it. When you’re certain you’ve fallen in love with the man and the family that will become your family, the most excutiating part of the whole thing is unweaving those lives that have lovingly grown up around each other. I hate that what had become an integral part of my life is missing. I hate it for both of us. I do, however, take great comfort in the deep and abiding honor and respect we have for one another. Our definitions may have changed, but that has not. It took an immense amount of love to recognize that it was time for a change, and that knowledge did help dull the pain during the hardest days. Before I start to sound any more like my therapist, let’s move on. Enough of that.
Shortly after, my sweet grandfather passed away. I’ve already written some about this, so I’ll move on quickly. After a trip to Texas for the funeral, and an incredible time reconnecting with my cousins, I came home for hip surgery. Not as awful as I anticipated. I was up and scooting myself around my parents’ house in an office chair within a couple of days. The recovery went remarkably smoothly. So smoothly, in fact, that the hardest part was not pushing myself back into normal life at the speed at which I felt I ought to. By the end of 6 weeks, I retired my crutches and felt like a million bucks. It’s been nearly 3 months, and I’m dealing with my first set back this week. Doc wants me back on crutches and steriods to deal with some gnarly inflammation around my hip socket, but it should be manageable. I’m the road full time, so I’ll be on crutches and taking it easy when I’m not speaking in schools. Surgery on the left hip will happen over Thanksgiving break, and I’ll be out of commission until mid-January, just in time to hit the road for RC again for the spring. The hardest part of the hip situation is not being able to be on my mat. I miss yoga more than I can say. I want to be teaching, practicing, and growing but I simply can’t right now. Those of you who know me at all know how central my practice has been to my life and my writing, and being without it these past three months has been a real battle. At worst, I feel completely unhinged. At best, adrift. I’m finding new places to anchor myself, but the summer of the break up, forced immobility, and an inability to work severly limited my options. Movement, fitness, and activity have always helped me remain grounded, and the past few months have been filled with an oppressing stillness that sucked me completely dry. I haven’t felt much like writing.
I began traveling for work again in early August, and I feel more like myself now than I have in months. Because of the seaonal nature of my work and my surgery, I spent 6 months of this year without steady income. Guess what? I survived! I ate my way through my savings, worked an incredibly humbling restaurant job, accepted as many nannying gigs as I could, hosted 4 different roommates over the course of those 6 months, and accepted the gracious help of my family. I must admit, those months were some of the most difficult of my life. I would stare at the diploma on my wall, recall years of doing work that I loved, know that I was strong and capable, but feel completely inadequate. I can’t help but remember a prayer from earlier this year- my prayer to be stripped of any sense of entitlement that I carried. Careful what you wish for.
I weep now thinking of how He carried me. Sweet, sweet Jesus allowed me to live what it is like to be completely broken. Stripped down, empty, unable to meet my own needs. There I was, the girl who wouldn’t ask for help for fear of seeming weak, unable to climb into the shower without help. Unable to use the bathroom without help. Unable to pay my bills without help. Broken, but not abandoned.
To my family, my God, I owe a debt that I can never repay. This summer, I learned to trust. I learned, as Paul writes, “… to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Phillipians 4:11-13 has a depth of meaning for me that only experience can teach. It’s really not until I sat down to write this entry that all of this became clear to me. What I have looked at as the most trying, excrutiating, and humiliating weeks in recent memory actually were an answer to my desperate prayer to be made more like Christ. My Jesus, who had no place to lay His head. Even in my panic and pain, He was there. The only explanation for this summer is God. God math payed my bills. God’s love kept me from falling completely to shambles that night in my closet that I lay curled up in the floor, covering my face with a towel, weeping and broken and tired. He never left.
Now, He’s brought me to the other side. In the moment, I couldn’t see any life or truth. But now, it’s all coming together. He has said to me, “O you afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay your stones with fair colors, and lay your foundations with sapphires.”- Isaiah 54:11. His love is real, and it’s all I want.
If you find yourself broken, take comfort. Soon your stones will be laid with fair colors, once again. Keep your eyes, your ears, and your heart open to what He wants to show you. I promise that His sweet and powerful love will carry you, too.