Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Most Unexpected Consequence of Surrender

I still can't believe how much my life has changed in just 3 years.  I still can't believe I left a job I thought I would stay with forever, or the absolute most wonderful friends ever, or my family, or the state that I grew up in (and I can't believe how much I still miss them all).  I can't believe how much my new job has challenged me to new levels as a physical therapist.  I can't believe I do the things I do out here. It's strange to realize that only 2 years ago, I was the newest and shakiest of rock climbers, and refused to agree with the statement that I was a climber.  I would tell people that just because I climbed a couple of routes a couple of times did not make me a climber (and I was dead right).  Now I say "I'm a climber" with the conviction of someone that knows it's true.  I still can't believe that I get to look at my mountains every day and breathe the pine scent every day and stare up at the awesome blue sky every most days.  I'm coming up on three years at my job, but I'm also coming up on about a year of another important anniversary.

I don't remember the exact date, but I do know it was about this same time last year.  I distinctly remember going to church and finally being so tired of everything to do with being single and not being the wife and mother that I have felt so called to be, and tired of the pain that would never go away.  I had prayed and prayed for God to either send the right one for me to be married to or to take away the pain of being single so that I would be okay with it.  I finally realized neither was going to happen, so I prayed a prayer that was not planned or beautiful or anything.  It just was.  And that prayer was something like, "Okay, God. Fine. Whatever." Fine, you want me to be single and in pain, so be it.  Whatever.

The pain did not go away then.  Not at all.  But surrendering to the pain was okay.  The weight was lifted.  Perhaps it didn't have to be fixed and I wasn't doing something wrong by not being fully okay with my state in life and the lack of what I still believe to be my primary vocation.  I didn't have to know how or when or if it would change.  I didn't have to be okay.  I just had to be, and to be in this moment.

However, over a couple of months the pain started to lift.  It was kind of like a cloudy day that finally started breaking away.  First there were patches without the constant ache, and soon those were only a few, until I rarely notice that anymore.  It happens occasionally, and I still remember one particularly bad night a few months ago.  But mostly?  Not so much. (Though when those moments happen, I am sure to regale you with all the whining and moaning about it on ye olde blog here.)

The strangest thing is that- and clearly something is wrong with this- I kind of miss the pain.  Okay, let me explain before you start calling to make reservations for me in a padded room somewhere.  It's not that I wanted to hurt.  It's that I wondered if not hurting meant that I cared less, or that I wanted to share my life less, or that I really was okay with being single. That and pain was familiar and I kind of knew what to do with it.  Suddenly I didn't have to steel myself every time I opened fb, or talked with my friends about their kids.  Okay, I don't always have to steel myself.  Sometimes I do, and sometimes going to baptisms of friends' kids is tough, or whatever other event you care to mention.  But it's a whole helluva lot easier than it was.

I have come to this.  I'm still not "okay" with being single on a certain level.  Somewhere, deep down, it still doesn't feel quite right.  I'm still not okay with the fact that another birthday is approaching and that each year single is a further decrease in the potential for children, and particularly for the big family I'd always hoped for. But letting go of all of it, including the pain, does not mean that having a husband and children matter less.  All it means is that I am letting go of control, and am focusing on living my story as it is now rather than worrying about what will be or may be or may not be.  It is freedom not to compare my story with anyone else's. It is freedom to live my story and all that it is, with all of the things in it that I still can't believe.  It's the freedom to write sappy blog posts for the whole internet to read, though you all also have the freedom to skip it.

I know for a fact that there will still be painful moments, and it wouldn't surprise me if the pain comes back to stay for a while.  It might or it might not.

Whatever.

13 comments:

  1. Amen to everything you wrote here! It all resonated with me - the prayer (fine God, whatever!), the pain of lacking something your heart desires, the difficulty of surrendering, and the peace that comes from just living your life as it is now! All of this spoke to my heart and I think it's beautiful that you notice the growth in your soul.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Amen to everything you wrote here! It all resonated with me - the prayer (fine God, whatever!), the pain of lacking something your heart desires, the difficulty of surrendering, and the peace that comes from just living your life as it is now! All of this spoke to my heart and I think it's beautiful that you notice the growth in your soul.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry - clearly my fingers are too fat to comment via phone ha ha!

      Delete
  4. I've been wondering about you (I've been skimming through blogs these days) and I love this reflection.

    Surrender is a funny thing, and you've described that "whatever" feeling so well.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think your prayer was perfect "ok God, whatever" because it meant that you were saying to him that whatever his plan was, you were accepting it and to help you with that.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi, I stumbled across your blog last week. None of us have the answer to life's big questions but I think as long as you have faith in God's plan you can't go wrong. I also believe God helps those who help themselves...so are you getting out? Are you meeting new people? Are you putting yourself in situations where you can meet like-minded people? Sometimes we have to keep moving to increase the momentum in our lives. Are you doing that? God bless...xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  7. This was a refreshing post to read...the whatever prayer is so hard. One I've probably rarely done. I rejoice that it was answered for you but, I would be lying if I said its not the ending I want. I guess that was just proof positive I'm bad at praying that prayer. Whoops. Has it really been two years since your move? That means it was 2 years since mine. Wow.

    ReplyDelete
  8. And are you relaxing?! I hear that's a great way to meet people. Only it might make you end up pregnant ;)

    ReplyDelete
  9. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Amen, sister. I'm right there with you.

    P.S. LOL to "Random Thoughts" tongue-in-cheek comment.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This post really resonated with me (as do most of your posts!). I was almost afraid to be happy about being single... like it would somehow... I don't know... fundamentally change me? Or mean marriage mattered less or something? I can't really put it into words, but letting go of the pain was so unexpectedly hard for me. But wow... it's so nice when you hit that point where the pain really can be offered to God along with everything else. Btw, you have a great, inspirational story right here, right now. Praying for you!

    ReplyDelete