Finding Strength

When Jesus Takes the Wheel

I’ve had a few days off, thankfully, and had a nice Christmas with both my kids. It was exactly what I needed. It was my perfect Christmas. I haven’t been that content about Christmas ever. When they left I found my familiar spot on my bed and began watching inane movies and thinking. My therapist calls it ruminating. And it’s not a good thing to do ever. But its especially unhealthy when you are already depressed. SO…I’m doing what my therapist told me to do and when I recognize I’m doing something that isn’t helpful, change what I’m doing.

Writing helped me more than anything to get through thoughts instead of having the same ones plague me and so I will write.

This is the time of year for resolutions. I guess because we reflect on the year as it marks time. I usually take the year for what it was and I thank God for the lessons He taught me. I tuck it away and as I say at work over and over again…LIVE AND LEARN…live and learn. It’s become my new mantra because this first year at my new job has been grueling and I have a lot to learn. I forgive myself for getting something wrong and then move on after making note of what I will do differently next year.

But this year was truly different. May 20, 2017 will probably be with me for life. It was life altering. The events God orchestrated to happen on that day didn’t just change the course of my life by a little bit – like taking the scenic route to the same destination. No. It was a huge left turn off the side road and onto the highway heading in a completely different direction. Almost like a corrective Jesus take the wheel moment.

I was stuck and I knew it. I didn’t know how to get out of it myself. I was probably frustrating all the angels up there assigned to help me. Here I was dedicated to a man who had hurt me in ways I didn’t know were possible. He loved me, I loved him. He was hurting me and himself and he truly couldn’t stop and I kept going back for more.

I was also stuck in a job that didn’t make sense anymore. I had all these ideas, and skills, and I was being used for about 10% of what I could do. It was boring, and frustrating.

I was struggling and I made some mistakes and that day everything shifted back into alignment. In a second.

That second has turned into 7 months of grief for me. Of trying to figure out this new planet I’m living on surrounded by loving, fun, great Christian coworkers and family. Without him. Without his influence in my life. Without the worry of where I will find the alcohol stashed this time. Or the numbers on his phone of women I know aren’t his friends. Free of all of it. Including me being able to crawl into his giant lap and be held. I am left only with the sadness of what He was never able to accomplish, which was freedom for himself.

And when God took ahold of that wheel it was shocking. But I was never angry because I know I can trust Him to give me what is best. And I do believe with my whole heart that the best is yet to come…no matter what.

So I’m sitting here on my bed wondering what that will be. Again.

In the year 2000, I had two kids ages 3 and 5, a husband, and a house with fruit trees and a basement full of stuff. And I wondered back then…”God is this all you have for me?” I was bored and I knew teaching wasn’t my calling. As soon as I took steps toward Him the life that I built started to unravel before my eyes. Everything that looked so perfect began to vanish. And I began seeing it for what it really was. Smoke and mirrors.

20 years later I could be judged and I am by my family for making one mistake after another. They have their first husbands, their perfect little life and homes and everything makes sense…and my life has been tragic. Chaotic. Filled with broken relationships and sadness.

But its odd because I am such a better person for all of that tragedy. I’m more understanding, more forgiving, and I have far more empathy for others. My big house is now a little apartment and I’m ok with that. My cool brand new car with all the extras in is now not running and we don’t now why and I’ll probably sell it for scrap and instead I’m driving a beat up (literally) old Prius with 153,000 miles on it. I don’t have a diamond ring on my finger, or anything close to riches or any real retirement plan. I’m just me. And I’m grateful for every day I get. Cause when you die, you just die and you can’t take any of it with you. Yes a little comfort is nice and that is all I want. Gravy on top, would be a nice view.

My goal in life isn’t to become rich either. It’s to be more like Him. That is my resolve this year. I want to say yes to God everyday with discernment and wisdom, and with a grateful heart. I want to take the stress that I know is coming gracefully and let God use it for GOOD. And I want to be a blessing to those around me. That is my resolve.

If He chooses to bless me with a man in my life I hope I won’t be closed off to it. That is something I wonder about. My heart has never hurt this much. I recoil at the thought most of the time. I’ve been on a couple dates just hoping for a good time spent outside of work and my apartment and guys always like me too much. They get clingy and I start pushing them away. I know I’m not ready.

So I’m living the gift of widowhood and singleness right now. It is what He has for me. So I will keep my resolve. Night time is the hardest to accept this new set of circumstances. I don’t like being alone. I am learning to embrace it and I even enjoy it at times. But the few days my kids were here showed me how much I like laughter filling the quiet. And smiles combatting the tears.

I know He didn’t build me to be alone forever. I’m so grateful my daughter is coming to live with me soon. And I guess my hope for the moment is that no matter the feelings of panic I feel because I have a lot to do that I don’t know how it will all get done…I just keep saying two things. Live and Learn and the Best it Yet to Come. No matter what. And if the worst possible thing happens…I’ll be ok because it truly already did. And look at me. I’m still here. And I still have hope.

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