what if

Posted on November 19, 2008

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Ever lie awake at night wondering “what if?”

What if I lose my job?

What if she leaves me?

What if I lose my home?

What if, what if, what if?

A friend seemed to have this in mind as a prayer was offered for a great impending loss. My response sort of surprised me, but sort of didn’t. I responded with the following:

“Also pray for the wisdom life brings through tough times. I’ve found that almost all of the hardship I’ve gone through has been trying to teach me one thing: let go. In the words of Bruce Cockburn, “if I loose my grip, will I take flight?”

“I’ve been blogging about this for two years. Of course, my blogging hasn’t kept up with all of the learning. … Writing is my way of remembering what I’ve learned . . . and making sure I would never forget these gifts of wisdom.

The learning continued as I lost my marriage, my home, and my job…. and turned 50! This all happened this spring . . ..

This was after I thought I had been learning this lesson for two years! After I thought I couldn’t handle anything more. After the depression that had gripped my life convinced me that I would never see age 50. After spending a good share of time under the juniper tree praying for my life to end (remember the story of Elijah? 1 Kings 19:4).

Depression robbed me of my will to live, my sense of reality, my ability to take the next step, to solve problems . . . my bearings, then I lost my health insurance and my life line to the help I so desperately needed. The desperate fight for life continued without medical intervention . . . it was only the reality of friends and family that kept me alive . . .

Then summer came . . . and along with it the hand of God . . . expressed through people . . . very beautiful people . . . unexpected graces . . . coincidental kindnesses in perfect timing . . . quite unbelievable actually . . . mysterious . . . surprising . . . reassuring . . . reaffirming what I had lost . . . faith . . . hope . . . love . . .

“I’ve emerged with such peace . . . at home in my own skin . . . at home on the face of the earth . . . for maybe the first time. Of course, that was after the pain . . . after the listening . . . after the tears . . .

“Hang in there. Pray with (and for) an open heart, open mind, and open hands … as you fall into His open hands.”

It has been a while since I’ve been able to blog. I’ve been overwhelmed with tremendous pain, tremendous sadness, and now tremendous peace. I hope to continue “journaling the journey”.

Life is incredible and weird

. . . beyond my understanding

. . . full of mystery and wonder

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