When you take everything in this life that I ever grieve about, it comes down to these:
I grieve about Brianna, and I grieve that I missed it.
I grieve about my family. I am not a part of it. They will tell you it is my fault. The fact is my mother's old. The fact is I don't know what my future holds. The fact is that when you have to fight that hard to fit in, well, you don't fit in. Accept it, move on. I have, but I never said that it did not bother me. Still. I will, as the saying goes, 'I will fight no more forever.'
Sometimes I also wonder about my life. Did I help where I could? Have I made a difference? What will God say when he meets me face to face? Have I lead a Godly life? I think the mark of that would be what I have done for His people, and really, I worry about that. I am self conscious, and sometimes that self-consciousness paralyzes me. I fear hearing 'Just who does she think she is...'
I spend long solitary days on my job thinking about these things, and praying about them.
It will sound like fiction but it is not, and I have the people in my life to prove it. These stories all take place within the time frame of when I first noticed the new lump to the weekend prior to my appointment with the surgeon, July 3rd to July 11th. A woman and I began talking through the internet. In the weeks that we have talked, our lives became more and more clear to each other, and there were a lot of 'hey, me too' moments (at least for me). In a stunning, stunning turn of events, we both learned that our daughters had been sexually abused by their fathers. We both sat at our computers crying. We had never met another mother before. And the words that came were healing, and strengthening and full of Godly wisdom. When someone else's most private pain is your own, you cannot help but be comforted when you try to comfort them. And when I went to bed that night, I do have to say that my prayers were praises for putting this person in my life. What a blessing!
And remember Mr. M? In an astounding twist, his wife is related to me, distantly. Her great grandma is my great grandma's sister. The property that my parents built their house on was originally Aunt 'Lizy's homestead. She sold it to my dad, so this woman had 'growing up' memories of the same place I did. She was also putting together a geneology, and brought out a huge fat looseleaf folder of pictures and newspaper stuff. It is a truly strange thing to see your family photos in someone else's family album. I was able to identify some people that she couldn't. I was able to fill in some blanks. Not a lot. I don't really know much about my family. Turns out she was her own misfit. She looked at me, and she said words to this effect: "Great-great Grandma R (who died in 1957, the year I was born at 100 years old) was sold into marriage at 14 by her father. The husband was 3 times her age and mean, mean, MEAN. At 14, she had no choice but to endure it, and she did. But for 7 years, she stashed away secret money, and when she was 21, in a breathtaking gesture, she marched herself to town and got herself a divorce. Paid for it in cash. The ex-husband dropped over dead two months later. She was really unhappy about that. I looked at the face of the woman before me, and she said, "Great Great Grandma taught her children to fear God, to be strong and to be mean, but she was never able to teach them how to love, and all these generations later, you still see the marks of this. As she told the stories of this person and that, people that I have only the vaguest recollection of, I can see that she is right. For the first time, the burden's of my family troubles are lifted from my shoulders. For the first time, I see this anger and fighting as something that began long before I darkened their world. I was really, really blessed in the meeting of this woman. God was at work that day too.
I was getting my hair cut for my nephew's wedding, so I did not look all tufty. After a bunch of misunderstandings and a very long wait, I was ready to leave without my haircut. But a beautician walked in and I was her first haircut of the day. We talked about cancer, and she talked about her ex-boyfriend, the stress of cancer, etc. She mentioned that she was taking a drug which was prescribed for stress, and that she was beginning to have some strange symptoms from it. I knew. I knew right away. I lifted my head and said, 'Are you taking --------?' She stared and said yes. People, she was taking the same medicine that made me so violently ill after I stopped taking it. The exact same dosage. I was taking it for hot flashes, she for depression. She said, "I don't know how to explain the situation, but it's like, well," and her hands began to move about her head, her fingers opening and closing. "Those are what others are referring to as 'brain zaps'. They are very common." We talked a long time. Tim said, "Well, you know why you had to wait for your haircut, don't you?" Yes. I do. God was at work.
Finally, I met a woman, a stranger to me. She was quite emotional about meeting me. Turns out her husband has bought a book for me.They had just received it in the mail the previous day, and were wondering the best way to approach me. It was in God's hands. He stuck us in the same place at the same time. It was such a hectic time. I had found the lump, and there were all these swirling question marks in my mind, but again, I was reminded that God was at work.
I am about to lose my job due to budget cuts. I was dealing with the uncertainty of another lump. I might have been a little worried, but these 'coincidences' allowed me to go into the uncertainties of this week with a calmness. I knew that where ever God was at work, I need not trouble my head. And so I took a deep breath and stepped out in faith. Thanks, God, for granting that peace.