If I have learned anything over the past few months, its that I am a creature of habit. I do not handle those habits being disrupted well. In fact, my husband knows that there are just some habits you dont mess with if you want to keep your wife from acting like a raging three year old who lost her cookie. Its ridiculous really, but I have developed these habits as a coping mechanism, to ensure stability. In doing so, I often miss out on experiencing things as fully as I could, because those things dont fit in my box.
Im an introvert. I love having my space and my time to read, learn, reacharge. Its necessary for my survival. I am very protective of myself and my space. God has been challenging that incessantly lately. Yesterday, I had the stomach flu, not feeling well at all. I didnt shower. The kids had full reign of the house while I layed on the couch. The house and I both look pretty awful. I hear the dog barking and my worst fears come true. “Mom, somebody’s here!!” Oh Lordy..here I am, smelly, looking awful, not even wearing a bra and someone is at the door! I decided to ignore it. I just cant have people here like that. Its silly really…like I need to keep up this image that Im make upped and perfect all the time?! Well the visitor was persistent. I called my husband who should have been nearly home. “Im coming” he said. “Ill deal with it.” But then, he lets the visitor inside!!! “what the hell are you doing???!!!” Im screaming inside, rushing for a blanket to hide under. The visitor was a lady from town whom I really dont know at all other than to smile in passing and from facebook. A total stranger really. That sweet stranger invaded my home. She came in with her heart wide open, telling me her own story of loss and how she survived. She encouraged me and told me I would pull through. She reminded me of how beautiful it is that those lost babys are with Jesus! They will never know the pain of this world. Really, wanting them here is a bit selfish, because where they are now is perfect. They are held and loved. She cried with me, a STRANGER! I dont talk to strangers! Ha! I hardly talk to anyone! She brought our family a meal. That stranger took care of me, my stinky, unkept mess of a self. She saw through it and passed it to my hurting heart and she loved me.
Wow. Sometimes God really does speak with lightning bolts. I needed a lightning bolt. Snap out of it kid!! I am loved. I am worthy of love. I am worth loving! I am someone. That sweet stranger showed that to me yesterday. God laid on her heart to love me and she listened and blessed me in a deep, deep place in my heart. God used her to snap me out of that downward spiral. Now Im not saying im “cured” or wont feel pain anymore. No, grieving, no matter what kind of loss it is, takes time. There will be more hard days. But I do feel a fresh perspective. Because she experienced loss. she was able to use that experience to bless me. I have that same opportunity. An opportunity to use this awful pain to help and hold others.
Helping others is something I am great at and terrible at. Im great at it when its part of my job or after 10 am or when its on my terms. Im terrible at it otherwise. Im feeling challenged. Challenged to pay it forward. To find small ways to bless others. To answer that holy nudge to go out of my comfort zone.
You cant help anyone when you are wallering in your own self pity. That state of being is of no help to anyone. Now, we all will have days where we just need to lay in bed and cry. To get it all out. Its ok to have bad days. They key is, being able to pull out of it and move on. Its easier said than done. You cant just snap your fingers and be better. Man, I wish I could! So, how do you move on? Well, I have no idea. Im working on that. Counseling will help, Im sure. In addition to counseling, Im going to set small obtainable goals. One of those goals is to find someone, each week to bless, either directly or indirectly.
I spend alot of time thinking about my legacy. One of the blessings of having worked in pediatrics and now geriatrics is that you gain a perspective for the full scale of life. Working with the elderly has given me and even stronger perspective for how important the choices I make today are. As I sit with a dying patient, I notice how the family responds. Are they distant? Are they hopeful? Are they taking care of each other? You know alot about who a person really is, by watching who and how people are involved in that dying process. Everyone has a legacy. When I am remembered, I want to be remembered as a woman of Christ, humble, kind, willing to help. Someone who loved her family and those around her with intensity. I have not been living up to that legacy. I have been crumbling under this stress for some time. I put up walls and make routines to hide it. But eventually, the hurt and the ugly come out. Eventually you find yourself to be just a shell of emptiness and inability to really feel. I dont like that person. Im working to shed that layer. I hope you all will hold me accountable. I hope you all will continue to challenge me to be a better version of myself. This will be a process. A process that will force me to tear down those wall and schedules and habits and actually feel and live.