Thursday, March 25, 2010

Guess it's time to get serious again...

I've taken a break from life for the for a while. I talked myself into believing that I *deserved* it, that I've got too much going on in my homelife that requires my attention (which I do) and maybe on the outside it doesn't look like I've checked out, but I know I have. And more importantly, God knows I have.

"Where can I go from Your Spirit, or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there, Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me." Psalms 139:7-10

Yesterday I went to a women's Bible study.. It was my second time there and since the first, I'd been looking forward to returning. There is just something about gathering with other women and discussing the Word of God. But today there was no study, there was a guest speaker. The topic was what various *hats* women wear. The speaker was not at all bold or intense, rather, she had a sweetness about her that drew me in. The kind of softness that only years of experience and supple wrinkles provide. As she talked, she smiled and held up a chef's hat, a gardening hat, a bicycling helmet, a pilgrim's bonnet, and of course, a mourning veil. Each of her hats had a story and I really was hoping to hear about more of each of them individually, but we ran out of time.

She started off by explaining the significance of each hat. I spied the black veil peeking out of the hatbox early on and held my breath; not really sure of what she was going to share about that one. In a way, I've come to get quite annoyed with myself whenever I'm in a setting where death or grief is brought up. No matter what the relation is, I can usually identify with the other person sharing their experience. Some may say empathy is a nice quality to have. But I will tell you that it is a hot and heavy burden at times.

"Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. Now if we are afflicted, [it is] for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, [it is] for your consolation and salvation. And our hope for you [is] steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also [you will partake] of the consolation. For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us ((in Asia:)) that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead... For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you. For we are not writing any other things to you than what you read or understand. Now I trust you will understand, even to the end..." 2 Cor 1:4-13

There are very real parts of me that would like to just move on from the whole Charlotte experience. I so badly want to shrug off this heavy coat I've been wearing. Yesterday seemed like one of those days... at first. I wasn't even thinking about it until I saw the black veil. When the woman put it on I, for a moment, thought "WOW! I wish I'd had one of those!.. That looks so chic and it really gets the point across..." totally selfish, I know. But it was a cute little hat & veil. When I regained my focus, I listened intently to what the speaker was saying. But again, my mind drifted off to *that place*. I was beginning to feel unsettled. Why do I have to drop my tears at the mere mention of grief? Even typing this out.. I'm beginning to cry. WHY!?! It's not something I think about often anymore. It's more like when it comes upon me unexpectedly. So I wiped my face and bent my ear. A little bit later, the speaker was saying how God doesn't want us to wear that veil forever. I get that. I was really glad to hear it. I thought I had moseyed away from the pit already. So then, why the tears?

It's not like it used to be, when I would feel like a rubber-band had snapped me back into that place. It's more of a sorrow, I guess. A longing. I dunno what it is exactly.

When there was discussion time afterwards, my turn came up and the question was "What hats have you worn?" I indignantly said the gardener's hat, the chef's hat, looking forward to the day I could wear the bicycle helmet (representing freedom and recreation). But not once did I say that I too, have worn the mourning veil. I had a huge lump in my throat, like I do now, and I made a concerted effort to not allow my voice to crack. I denied myself. I denied her. I denied God. I only say that I denied God because I feel like I denied His prompting maybe? Or maybe it's unrighteous guilt? There was a part of me that was proud of not blurting it out: "MY BABY DIED!" >>shrug<<. That just makes everyone uncomfortable. Again, I'm not sure of how I felt, I don't want to put that much thought into it. What I have noticed lately is how whenever I am in a somewhat spiritual setting, it seems as though God is meeting me there. Like He has orchestrated the whole event just for me. I went to a retreat a few weeks ago and He was there, wanting to share with me some truths about our relationship. Apparently I am a slacker in reading His word, so he put me where I would sit captivated and listen to Him. That's how I felt yesterday too. I was getting quite annoyed that I was feeling so selfish.. (arrogant, maybe?) about it. I know that sounds so stupid. But I was getting tired of it being all about me. I wanted His attention to be focused on some one else. Put His blazing spotlights on someone who really has problems. Not me. I can handle it (insert a big fat eyeroll at myself). And He did, I'm sure... I'm certian He was speaking to other women there, in just the way they needed to hear it too. I just wanted the heat off me.

"Cretans and Arabs--we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God." Acts 2:11

During the time that I had to pick up Lucas from the nursery and the ride home, I felt a lot of peace. It's almost as though the Lord was saying to me that He knows. He knows that tender spot in me is still bruised and hurting. He's touching it. It makes me want to squirm away from Him, but it's through His touch that the Balm of Gilead will come. He knows what can drop me in an instant. He is keeping me drawn to Him. He's preparing me. I can feel it. I don't know what for, but He is picking me up and dusting me off. Getting ready to ship me out again, maybe this time with a different hat.. .


beth said...

Hey, you blogged!! :)

First, I love going to Bible study together. I always think of a million other things that I "should be" doing. But, I'm always blessed by the experience and it's nice to be around such a loving group of "experienced" women. Uh, I mean, not experienced in a bad way. I guess I just should have said wise.

Second, I thought that you were going to bring up the mourning hat when you talked in the group. I am not denying that you should speak about what God prompts you to talk about, but what you had to say was powerful, too. You are going through a difficult transition as a mom and I thought that what you had to say was good. The women at our table could relate to that and they could help you walk through that transition. So, don't beat yourself up too bad about it.

I hate that I am going to miss this week's bible study! :(

Anonymous said...

Very beautifully said!