Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Squinty Eyes, Still~

Sometimes,
most times, in fact,
even if we aren't even looking -
God is faithful to place right in front of us,
exactly what our heart is needing most.

At least that's the way
it happens most often for me.

Not while on bent knee
(although He does speak to me here),
not while knee deep in scripture,
(although He does speak to me here),
not while sitting on a pew
(although He does speak to me here),
not while crying out in desperation
(although He does speak to me here),
not while I am looking for Him
(although He does speak to me here).

No,
more times than not,
when I'm completely lost in my own little world,
not focused on my Abba Father at all,
love gifts for my heart
that are undeniably from Him,
and all about me,
are placed smack dab in front of me.

And,
maybe,
because these precious gifts come
at a moment when I'm not looking at all,
they bring with them,
each and every time,
an even deeper awareness of our God
who is ever
intimately,
actively,
tenderly,
purposefully,
intentionally,
lovingly
present in our life.

Such was the case one day
while I was mindlessly scrolling
through my Instagram feed.

God showed up in the most beautiful place,
unveiling desperately needed truth
in the most precious of words:

"Like Lazarus,
we've all had our brush with death,
a moment or two when
the light was eclipsed
by a terrible dark.
We know what it's like to
feel the breath squeezed out of us
by hard relationships,
tough circumstances,
unexpected events.
And although we might push through
to the other side,
it often takes us more than a minute
to adjust our eyes from dark
to the light."
~Michele Cushatt

As my heart reached out
to grab hold of each and every word,
I realized I was doing so
through squinty eyes -
eyes that have not yet
fully adjusted to the light
of this new season
where I now find myself.

Like this morning -
with news of the pandemic
making its way
from video of far away places
to the next state over,
and now indeed,
the next city over,
new, never-before felt
feelings of grief
sprung up from deep inside.

And what was most
surprising of all,
beyond the fact
that - here -
four years later,
grief still washes over me,
sometimes with the intensity
of the waves of grief
I experienced early on -
was the emotion
this wave stirred up:
anger.

I've heard it said
anger is one of the
"normal" stages of grief,
but honestly,
before today,
I haven't really come
face to face with it.

But today,
the anger was strong.
And the face of the one
I saw in my anger,
the face of the one
my heart was mad at,
was that of my husband.

Only instantly -
as soon as the anger came,
as soon as I realized my man
was the one my anger was directed at and to,
I tried to squelch the emotion
before it came full blown out and out -
anger.

Not that the anger didn't seemed justified,
because my broken heart
certainly thought it was,
not that the anger wasn't a "normal" grief emotion
because like I said,
I've read enough
and been told enough
to know that it is,
but simply because
if I let this emotion run free,
if I let myself get mad at my man,
how would I ever be able
to apologize to him
and make it right again?

The conversation
I heard myself
having with myself
went something like this:

ME:
How could you, Handsome?
How could you leave me alone
after promising to be here
to take care of me?

Also Me:
Take it easy.  Don't be angry.
Yes, He promised,
AND he kept that promise.
The promise was only until
death do you part.

ME:
Yes, but Handsome -
you always said you would be here
when things got crazy.
That's why I married you.
(Well, ok - that's not the only reason,
but it was on the list!)
You know how to hunt and gather.
You know how to survive in the woods.
You know these mountains
better than our city streets.

Also ME:
Really, Stac?! C'mon, girl.
Yes, yes, yes to all of that,
but if he was here
you know what he would say.
"Look to the mountain maker, Beautiful.
That's where your help comes from."
C'mon, don't get angry.
Keep the peace between you.

(Honestly, that line there -
I have no doubt
was the Holy Spirit speaking.
Over the 25 years of being
with my man,
I had heard that very line
spoken to my heart
time and time again
in the heat of a "disagreement".)

ME:
You're right.
I know you're right.
I don't want to be angry.
I don't want to be mad.
I think I'm simply feeling fear
and that vulnerable feeling of being just one
after so many years
of being a mighty, unstoppable force of two.

Also ME:
I get that.
But again,
you know what he would say.
"Look to the mountain maker, Beautiful.
That's where your help comes from."
It's where he got
his strength,
his wisdom,
his peace.
It's where you get yours, too.
With God, you are
never, ever just one.
Don't be angry.
Look to God.

And the treasure of this moment -
this moment when God spoke
and I wasn't even looking,
was this:

It was more than ok
that I was
fighting the waves,
the unexpected,
don't see them coming
until they hit you
waves of grief -
still.

It was more than ok
that I was
feeling a sense
of fear and vulnerability
trying to transition
back to one
after so long having been
a mighty, unstoppable force of two -
still.

It was ok,
if the light
from this new season,
had me looking out at life
with squinty eyes,
trying to adjust
and see clearly -
still.

It was all ok,
as long as -
(and this is HUGE)
as long as my eyes
never lost sight of my God
in the midst of it all.

As long as
my eyes were fixed on my God -
still.

Yes,
more times than not,
when I'm completely lost in my own little world,
not focused on my Abba Father at all,
love gifts for my heart
that are undeniably from Him,
and all about me,
are placed smack dab in front of me.

This -
a precious gift, indeed.



~Stacy




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