Sunday, September 9, 2012

What now?

I've been busy. Shuttling kids to the (few) things they do besides school, painting, rearranging, you get it. I'm a mess. So is my life.

I'm sad again, which you guessed by all of the stuff I've been doing. It's no secret that I change stuff when I'm sad. Its may sound crazy but this week is the first time I've felt some emotions-I think that the Lord protected me from a zillion things these last almost 9 months and some of them, well, He thinks I'm ready for. There's no other explanation for why certain things are just now registering, just now affecting me.

One small example is this: I don't have a husband to offer. Let me explain: meeting new people, reconnecting with old friends even, you make plans. Let's get together, let the kids play. Let's meet for lunch, for dinner. Let's go somewhere. Or come to our house.

Now listen, I've been blessed beyond what I can write here by good solid friends coming with me into this new life without Sean. Friends who loved him and loved our family have gone beyond what they did before he died-they have extended every offering to me. It was life-saving, truly. Knowing the people who knew us as a couple have my back and nothing has changed-except that they miss him too of course. He was very loved and constantly missed. Those aren't the people I'm talking about...

The new people, or new-ish I guess, those people who never knew Sean or me with him. Meeting those people and telling them our story, (Lord knows I tell it quickly after meeting you,) has been a visible reminder that life goes on. New life, new friendships forming, it all shows that God has carefully laid plans for me here. But today it hit me that I am short of a full family. Before I had the football-loving, hunting, goofy, pilot husband to stand with when meeting people. A man's man is that what you call it? He wanted to talk sports all day, especially if by sports that meant football. He was shy at first but a jokester the minute he felt comfortable with you. My friends' husbands liked him. He was part of this deal, this package deal.

Except now he's not here.

While that thought is always here it upset me today. I wonder what people think when they meet me. Just me. Well, me and the kids. That's the new package-me and the kids. We don't talk about football, (like EVER,) we aren't good at practical jokes, and we are over-sharers from the get-go. I mean y'all we are a lot to deal with I think! He was sort of the calm in the storm. The steady one of the circus. Without him, we still aren't sure of who we are.

How is it that this never occurred to me before? Is this one of the thoughts people have when they look into my eyes and ask how I'm doing now? It's as if a whole new level of grief is showing itself. The "what now" part, where I can tell you all about who Sean was and how much we miss him, but the permanence is no longer in question. It's permanent. He's never gonna be here beside me as part of the deal again. He will never meet new people with me. He's part of our past now but not part of the future.


Even writing that took me back.

You know what I mean, right? Of course he lives on in our kids but the here and now kind of future's done. I make decisions for us now, not me and him. I figure out the bills, the schedule, (God help us,) the vacation, the plans. It's just me. Me, who never made a plan a day in her life before December 19th. Me. Without him. I'm having an identity crisis. Not a real crisis, I don't feel overwhelmed with it, I just feel kind of vulnerable. So who am I?

A momma and a daughter. A sister. A widow. Is that it? What now?

Aren't you glad I have an answer. I sure am.

God says that I am also His daughter, part of a plan that is totally under control. He says that I am His, I belong to Him. That I'm still loved, that I'm His choice. He says He will lead me to a restful place. He will be with me forever, and I'll never be alone. He says that I am perfectly made to carry out His purposes. He believes in me and what I (still) have to offer because He made me. He carried me up from the pit because He said it's not totally over for me, even when I don't see anything left.

What now?

He says just buckle up and hold on. He has a plan for this mess, this brokenness. He's not giving up on me, and He says I have value, even now. Especially now, because I'm done with my own strength and charm. (ha!) He's the best part of me and He has put me back together in a different way. Kind of like how your body changes after having a baby. You may weigh the same but things are totally different. I'm the same but completely different.

"You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you." Matthew 5:4 (MSG)


Aaron C said...

Never written here before. Not sure I will again, but reading this post just made me thankful for you and those three kiddos. Lord knows I can't really understand what you have gone through and still go through every day. And so do the kids. I just don't know.

But I will say this: the things you talk about here in your post are some of the things we love most about your family. The oversharing (whatever that is), the so-called circus, the dynamic and the feel of your beautiful family, the life I see in your kids and the hope I see in you, and the friendship and sisterhood you have brought to my wife in some difficult things -- all of those make me thankful for you.

And I'm really thankful that you are so honest with so much grace. Just for the record, the Claytons like the Wilborns.

Allison said...

I get it. I feel you. I love you and wish I was there. The plans He has for you are still yet to come, in the works, gonna work out for good, and be more than you can imagine or hope for. I'm happy to pray for you everyday. Even in this situation that leads you to that punching bag, God is still good and He's still bringing you joy. I'm so glad your kids have you. When you look up "the bomb" in the dictionary, your picture is there, b/c you ARE the bomb.

beeeword said...

Yes, I lost my daughter. My now daughter who was my grandchild, lost her mother. My middle child is now the first born. The baby is no longer the baby. Avigail was an only child and firstborn and now she is the last born and has two older siblings. We all have such a connection so the person we literally have to redefine who we are. I would fart scripture at you, I am reading the bible for the 11th time, so nothing against scripture. Just hate it personally when someone has to fart scripture at me because they don't know what to say to me. Just use words people, your words, or say you don't know what to say. Anyhoo, all I can say is I hear you. I feel you.

Mary said...

I feel like I've know Charity forever. She was my first "new" friend back here, and y'all have continually been encouraging to me the kids. Thank you!!

Mary said...

Thank you cuz! Your words are very joy-giving! Hugs

Mary said...

I know that you do get it Brenda. And I'm sorry for your pain. Thankful that we know the same God and that He loves us both!

Bonnie said...

So, this made me (literally) bawl! It's been over 6 years (which is mind-boggling & gut wrenching in itself) since I lost my football-loving, jokester, pilot husband, and just this morning in the shower I was thinking about (and grieving) how none of my "now" friends even KNEW Jacob...they hear about him, but none knew him...I got sooo sad, because they would have all liked him...and then it made me feel like they don't even know me really...even though they do, just now the me I was. May not make sense, anyway, thanks for sharing. For me, my grief comes in layers and thing that comforts me when I think I am crazy for still grieving is something I heard about the amount we grieve correlates with the depth we loved...still praying for you! And, I often cling to Matthew 5:4..a key verse for me!!

beeeword said...

Yes Bonnie, I heard the same thing and it brought me comfort as well!

Mary said...

Oh Bonnie I'm sorry. Truly sorry. Your story gives me such hope that I won't always feel so alone.