Saturday, July 26, 2014

Finding my footing

Cara is now in Afghanistan. After a rough start, I am pretty much settled in with the new reality. Not exactly comfortable with it. I am not sure how to describe it, but it is what it is. The fact that four days after she got there, the airport she flew into was attacked by militants was a big shock. She blithely reported back that it was 'nothing to worry about', and that five of the militants had been killed. 3 days after that there was a suicide bombing on a military outpost. Once again, upsetting to me, 'nothing to worry about' to her. There have been stories of begging women, and the story of a bedraggled and thin little girl who begged Cara to be allowed to shine her shoes made me cry for days. These things affect Cara, I think, but she also realizes that the best that she can do is to help educate the women who will (hopefully) go into this hard place and begin to change it. 

I have been quietly coming to grips with this, and have had two very amazing God moments that have provided me with great comfort. 

Not so comforting are the people who rally around me and say, "Have faith. He will bring Cara safely home." I just smile and try not to reply because my answer would be, "You know, Christian men and women have died over there. No matter how hard a mother prays, that is not a guarantee that God will bring my girl back to me." It makes it sound as if God exists to do our bidding, or worse yet, if something were to happen, I could take it to heart that it was MY fault for not praying with enough faith. I'm impatient with that thinking. I have not felt that amount of irk since the days of cancer when well meaning people would tell me to have faith and God would heal me. I try very hard to keep still and love the people who care enough to try to comfort me and ease my mind. 

Meet Maki. Now Mack. Picture above is from an NPR report (

Cara adopted him after going to play with some of the animals there. He will be coming home in a week. The story of their meeting is as follows: Adoption is currently pending for Mack (Maki).  We met early this morning, had a chat about potentially becoming a family, and seemed to come to a mutual agreement.  Mack made a bee line for me when I walked in the door, and cried when I walked out of the cattery.  He should be home with his new kitty mom by next Saturday.  After falling in love with the big galug, I was informed that Mack had recently been on an NPR post.  He is the orange cat featured in the slide show.

I am not sure why this news is such a comfort to me, but it is. 

Oh, and PS: I have a new job that offers me a very exciting opportunity to learn a new trade and become nationally certified. On their dime. To have someone see something in you that warrants such an offer is pretty validating and I am more grateful than words can say. 


steviewren said...

I'm glad you are finding your footing and happy to read that you are comforted by Cara's adoption of Mack. And woohoo about your offer of job training!

S. Etole said...

My heart goes out to you in this stressful time.

Coralee said...

Usually people who speak about prayer in that fashion have never prayed for their life or the life of someone they love. My God is a wonder to behold and I interpret his grace in the following way == He never said life would be easy or pain free, all he promises is that He will be with me through whatever comes my way. Prayers for you to be comforted by this thought and prayers for Cara's safety and safe return. Way cool about Mack :) Love is a comfort in so many ways and across so many miles!

Snoskred said...

I'm struggling at the moment with the concept of hearts going out in an attempt to comfort people.

With all the plane crashes in the past week, hearts have been going all over the place.

In the old days when one did not know what to say, one simply said I'm so sorry for your loss, there are no words.

Now we have these words of hearts going out and thoughts going out but what the heck does any of that mean?

I am sure thoughts can travel, but hearts cannot. They should remain in ones chest, doing their job. If I could erase one phrase from the world, our hearts go out to xx would be the one.

If a politician says it, the rest of us ought to strike it from our phrases that are ok to use list.

If Celine Dion could perhaps make it into a song, maybe people would see how cliche it is and quit using it. :(

I came here intending to say this after your comment about the rallying people only to discover hearts going out right here in your comment section. I've typed out my comment anyway but I'll understand if you choose to delete it.

Loving your blog as always. :)

jeanie said...

Hugs to you Debby - and good luck on the new job!!!!

My prayers are about hope, but understanding that there is a bigger picture and my will ain't always what is going to happen - but plenty of hope.

Debby said...

Snoskred- your comment made me wonder and I did some searching around. 'My heart goes out' to you appeared for the first time in print in the 1700's.

In a literal sense, I agree the phrase makes no sense. It attributes emotion to the heart, and not the brain. What it means, figuratively, is that your emotions are no longer contained within you, that you are so moved by a situation that your emotions/sympathy is strong and outwardly evident.

I think the world could be much improved if people were more sympathetic and moved by the plights of the people struggling around them, regardless of how they want to phrase it, hey?

It was good to see you back!

Bob said...

Ok now I'm paranoid about what I want to say. I do pray for you and your family. It's a mystery how that all works but I believe w all my heart that it does.

Kelly said...

I've had some bad experiences with well-meaning Christians and their comments about prayer. I just try and remind myself they truly are "well-meaning".

Am I understanding correctly that Mack will live with Cara there (and I can't remember what her living arrangements are) and will be able to come to the US with her when she returns?

Kelly said...

Oh...and I got so caught up with the cat I forgot to say congratulations on the new job!

Debby said...

Oh, Bob. I hope that I did not make you paranoid. I hope that I did not sound unkind and impatient although, truth be told, I am sometimes impatient in my heart. I covet prayers. What bothers me is when people tell me that I need to have faith that God will protect her, and other comments like that. God does have his own purposes, but his purposes are not always ours. I (in my heart ~ and on my blog, I suppose) just object to people who act as if they personally know what God has in store, or as if all that happens depends entirely on the fervency of our prayers.

Kelly: Yes. Mack will return to the states with her. She has an apartment in a very nice building, and she is permitted to have a cat.

Bob said...

Not at all and I agree with you. I have been on the receiving end of some of those comments myself. Words should be chosen carefully and a simple "I'm praying for you" is plenty and appreciated.

ellie k said...

My heart aches for you and the worry that comes with a child out of the country, I know the feeling being a military mom of a Army Ranger. Prayer helps a lot but an email sure helps too. At least at that moment the email was sent you know everything was ok.

BB said...

I hear you - its so hard for people to know what to say when those they love are in distress... I too have dealt with this issue over past weeks (as you know). All you can do Deb, is to separate what they say (which may or may not work for you) from their intent (which is usually a beautiful thing). Savour the intent and find your own solace where you can. So glad Cara has her Mack - I can understand why that gives you comfort. He looks like a comforting kinda cat. Breathe deep and let your 'village' lift you when you need it.