Anyway, in the midst of revisiting all the feelings that I have about not having a husband or children to share my life with, I keep reminding myself that I can't live in what could have been, what my plan was that didn't work out, what I wish were the case, or what I might have done differently to lead to a different outcome. I can only live in what is. That is my story. The could've's, should've's, and would've's were The Plan, and my plan has fallen apart completely. There is no plan left. There is no knowing whether some of those elements will someday be a part of my story or not. They are not right now at this moment, that is all I know.
I can tell you that I held on to The Plan for too long. There was not room for pain and brokenness in The Plan. When those came up, I rejected them, and unfortunately that left me with bitterness and emptiness as The Plan disintegrated. It also led to jealousy as I looked to others and could see in their lives the elements of the Plan that I have desired for so long. Not to mention what it did to my relationship with God. If my Plan wasn't good enough, then He was supposed to have a plan. Only, He seemed to have forgotten me, or not loved me enough, or something.
So, The Plan is dead. The story simply is what is. It is this moment. It is the good and the bad. It is the opportunities that present themselves today. It turns out, that while the pain really sucks, embracing the pain as a part of this life and this moment is not all bad. As a bonus, it doesn't leave much room for the bitterness. I hate to tell you that the emptiness can still be a butt kicker. I don't embrace pain because pain is good. But I embrace it because it can bring good things. I have been broken by the pain. There has been more breaking in the last month or so. But I see things coming out of that that I never expected. When you work out, you are not only okay with muscle soreness, you embrace it, because you know you are getting stronger. Do you know how that process works? When you stress a muscle beyond what it can currently handle, little fibers of the muscles actually tear. When it repairs, it builds back stronger than before! (Also, part of the reason why it is so important to have rest days as part of a healthy work out program, so your muscles have a chance to build back up!)
But, because the focus is more on what is, than on what isn't, living the story also gives me a chance to appreciate and delight in the good things that are in my life. There is a lot of that to focus on this month, and I am enjoying it.
I am starting to see more clearly that this pain, this suffering, the emptiness, all of it are not in my life because they are good things. They're not. But they can become something good, because the story is not determined by the one that brought sin into the world. It is determined by the One that took what is and redeemed it.
At daily Mass today, we were singing "At the Lamb's High Feast". There was one line that really got me: "When the paschal blood is poured, Death's dark angel sheathes his sword." I've always associated that with bodily death, and that is likely what it was referring to the most. But whoever you are and whatever your pain is, it likely feels like death sometimes. I know that's how it feels to me. I can say things like "live the heck out of your story" but that doesn't mean I don't feel like throwing in the towel. Today I was thinking how any of our pain and suffering, joined with His, has the potential to become life. His blood poured out on all of our pain makes it something new.
Let me tell you, in the last couple of weeks, Papa (JPII) and I have been praying for some awesome blessings to be poured out. You know, the kind of blessings that aren't in disguise. I hope to join you all in some awesome stories of joy and praise. But please know that I am also praying for you in the pain, because I know that there are a lot of people dealing with a lot of pain right now.
|I'm going to throw this in again. Because I love it, and because I choose it as a part of my story for this month of May.|