As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. -- Isaiah 55:10-11

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

And Then What Happened? Part 5--The Fifth Point on the Compass

My friend, John Perron, asked me once, "You know there are actually five points on a compass, right? Most folks only think there are four, but until you know the fifth point, the other four don't matter."

The four commonly known points tell a person where she is headed, but without the fifth point, they are useless and can, in fact, lead a person into worse terrain.

The fifth point, to which he refers, is the location of being, where a person is.

We people like to know where we are going. We want the path to where we want to get. What we neglect is the importance of recognizing and accepting where we are.

Too often we want others to believe we are in a high class subdivision with a great media room and nice car when in fact we are living on the edge of the city's favorite garbage heap. It stinks, is piled high with rotting garbage, and is shifted according to the latest thing that gets dumped out way. But we figure out the right words and the right ways to perform because we know what others expect of us. We know who we should be and what we should be, and we try to be that...even when we aren't.

So we fool people.

Sometimes...way too often...we fool ourselves.

And then we wonder why this compass keeps getting us right back Here.

The only way to get out of Here is to be honest about where Here is.

For me personally, I really didn't know where I was, I just knew what it looked like, and it looked dark.

And I didn't want to tell anyone that because I really didn't want to hear how I need to go see a counselor or how I need on meds or how there has to be some "fix". So you know, yes, I am aware my fabulous friends--and they are fabulous--are not trying to do a quick fix or plaster me with bandaids so I look good. They are truly concerned and are trying to help me find my way out either through a tour guide, ability to navigate the terrain better, or rescue ops. They love me. I know that. They wanted me out of my wilderness as much as I wanted out of it.

Sometimes it is hard to accept that the first step to getting out is embracing where you are.

You stop thinking about where you want to be or where you should be or where you hope to be. The other points on the mental/emotional/spiritual compass become mute. All the "should be's" don't matter, and you realize until you understand where you are, you will never have clear direction for where you are going.

I was in the dark.

I felt like I should be okay.
I felt like the holidays should have been the worst of it.
I felt like it had been ten months since Rob died, eighteen months since the split.
I felt like I should be able to pull it all together.
I felt like I should be able to determine big goals, break them into little goals, and identify a strategy to ge there.
I felt like...I shouldn't be sad or feel like something was missing...or much.

But I was sad, and I did feel like something was missing, and there was a lot I missed.

And I didn't know how to tell anyone because all of that was broken, and I didn't want to be broken. I wanted to be healed...and...

I was angry.

I was angry that God expected me to have so much together...anyway.

I was angry that He didn't care if I hurt or was sad. He had these grandiose plans that I needed to fulfill, and He had given these promises that I was supposed to be excited about. He had a hope and a future, and I should be thrilled.

Except no matter how hard I tried, I wasn't excited or thrilled. I was hurt, but I couldn't be hurt. I couldn't be sad. I couldn' honest about where I was...because after all, I knew what I should be, and I was trying so hard to be that.

About ten days after the crater, I decided to give myself a break. Instead of trying to keep it together, I hid in the garage. It has been in disarray for over a year as I added Mom's things and then Rob's things and shuffled things around and out and finally decided I couldn't do anymore. With camping season coming, the disarray needed to be organized, so I headed into the disorganized stuff dungeon.

I can't tell you what set it off. I honestly don't remember. I simply remember throwing the box and letting loose on God.

All the anger about His expectations erupted.

I let Him know how I was trying to be everything He wanted me to be, but I felt like He wasn't helping, and sometimes, it felt like He even went so far as to sabotage things.
I told Him how I was asking for help, and He was letting more hits come.
I told Him how much I hated everything that had happened, that I didn't understand, that I was trying to trust Him anyway, but He made it hard.
I told Him how I was trying to do and be...and I was tired.
I told Him I really didn't know what He wanted anymore...but if He would just tell me, I would do my best to be it just so I could have out of the pain.

I screamed and yelled and unleashed my human heart on a perfect God...

...and waited for Him to squish me like a bug.

Who am I to question or accuse a perfect God? Who is He to take it?

He is a perfect Daddy, and I am the daughter He adores.

Periodically, I hear Him speak with clarity of human voice, something so audible and clear that it fills the room. It was that voice He used when He stood with me in my garage and said gently,
"I just want you to be you. In every moment, I want you to be you and not fight it.
You hurt. Let yourself hurt and don't fight it.
You are angry. Let yourself be angry and don't fight it.
I created you to have all of these emotions. Let yourself be what I created you to be.
I created you to be angry, to be sad, to be lonely.
I created you to feel deeply. Let yourself...even when it hurts."
I sat on a set of low shelves and sobbed.

"I miss him."

I felt the presence of God sit beside me. "What do you miss?"

And I told Him.

I miss his laughter and his smile. I miss the inside jokes. I miss the smell of his cologne. I miss the familiarity of his kiss. I miss the out of the box amazing things he did. I miss the feel of reaching over and his being in bed with me. I miss...Rob.

And He listened. He listened to me tell Him how I missed the beauty of the masterpiece He had loaned me for twenty-three years.

He didn't question.

He didn't ask how I could miss someone who had hurt me so deeply, someone who had walked out and took "until death do we part" promises with him. He didn't think I was absurd for being sad or feeling a loss. He didn't give me reason to be ashamed or embarrassed that I loved someone who made mistakes, someone was broken in heart and did broken things, and I didn't have to explain.

I just had to be...


in that moment...

And for the first time in over a year and a half, I was at peace...not with everything that had happened...but with being Here...even when no one else understood where I was or why...

I understood...and for the first time, I knew He wasn't focused on where I should be...I knew He was okay with my being...



Debra said...

Love. No words. Okay, maybe, simply amazing and awesome. And, yep, love our great, big, awesome Daddy!

mizzbrizz said...

You were right. I loved this! On 12/18, my pastor talked about suffering and how we need to embrace it because it helps us to become. We were studying Acts 26 & 27. He used the "Velveteen Rabbit" (which is my very favorite book) and what the Skin Horse tells the Velveteen Rabbit about becoming real. How it hurts, but it's worth it because when you're real with yourself you can weather the storms. He went on to say that not receiving suffering "right" can ruin your life. It's important to understand the promise and truth that we are saved by God's grace and mercy and remember that sometimes we have to be refined in a fire like silver and gold--because we are precious to him.

Jan said...

So good! So true! I've found myself in that meltdown place crying and yelling at God "how am I suppose to DO this - alone ... with no one to help ... with all this pain??????" many times. And you're so right - you can't follow a direction to "someplace else" until you know where you ARE! What is wonderful is this: it doesn't matter where we ARE ... He is always THERE waiting to talk to us! You inspire me, girl! I need to start writing ... "living out loud" (that's what the Lord told me some time ago)!

Jerri Kelley said...

Deabra, thank you. :-)Isn't Daddy crazy good?

MizzBrizz, if your church posts their sermons so they can be heard online, I'd love to hear that one. Sounds fabulous!

Jan, I got chill bumps--"Wherever you are, He is right there with you." This daughter who feels "found" by Him only to realize again He never lost me breathes in the love the King has for me that He would be so faithful. Bless you!

Ladies, you bless me deep. So thankful for you.

mizzbrizz said...

This is that particular sermon. I hope you enjoy it. I love that he teaches and really shares his knowledge. Our other pastor, Matt Guertin (Chooch) is also very good. Last Sunday he was speaking DEEP truth and just broke down after it. Some of the young men went up and gathered around him in prayer. It was beautiful and glorious! Love seeing our church really become Spirit filled and not just doing a series on it. We're into Corinthians now because that's what we're living and that's the message we need.