Saturday, March 27, 2004

Any one of us who's been in the church for any significant amount of time has heard people telling us all about how God doesn't promise us smooth sailing. He doesn't promise to shelter us from life's bumps and twists and inconveniences. Apparently, the trials of life are the manner by which He molds us into who He wants us to be, and He uses every single opportunity. These things I know and accept, and they make sense and I usually tell them to myself before anyone else gets the chance.

Today I was watching Finding Nemo with my pint-sized charge. There's that scary scene at the beginning, where the big bad fish eats the clownfish's wife and most of their eggs, a scene which I fast-forward for the little tyke. It's followed by a sad scene, where the clownfish finds the one remaining egg, names it Nemo, and promises that he will never let anything happen to him.

Aw, how sad, how sweet. I relate to that desire to protect, but I all of a sudden realized that it has absolutely no correlation with the Father heart of God. In fact, the sentiment voiced by parents and anyone else who longs to protect their loved ones is in direct opposition to the methods by which God raises His children.

This was an interesting connection in my mind, especially as someone who strives way too much to protect those I love. Not only am I not a saviour, but the Saviour Himself would not shield these people from everything. Instead He uses hardship to hone them. And in the end, all my striving is dust. Hurt comes to everyone, as much as it comes to me, and the age old question is how will we cope?

This plays into my decision-making in this stage of my life, because as I look back, my primary reasoning behind moving to Winnipeg instead of staying in Regina was to help those I love. All my supposed "help" has been nothing more than an ill-placed confidence in my ability to perform what God only is capable of. They told me I was devoted, but I see now that I was arrogant.

God lets us make decisions because He said once upon a time that that's what He would do, and God always keeps His word, and He doesn't shield us from the consequences of our actions. I don't know now whether it was right or wrong to move to Winnipeg.... I think it was right. But my motives were wrong. God taught me and blessed me while here beyond measure, regardless of my decision making prowess.

Now I have more decisions to make, and it feels wrong and selfish to say that I need to base my decision on what's best for me. Mostly, I want to be where God wants me, but I think that when God talks about having plans for our lives, it's not as simple as we make it out to be. I think there's more than one right answer, and I think that God is prepared for any half-baked direction I take. So it's hard to choose. At this point, no option feels right, or fun, or good. Right now, every option breaks my heart. One option hurts a little less than the others, and that one looks the most treacherous.

I know that I'm not alone. But it's hard not to feel that way. I'm glad I only work one job this week. I look forward to going to house group.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Well...... looks like I'll be relocating. I feel so sad. Who ever thought I'd grow to hate this house? I certainly didn't. This was my haven, my cave, my safe place amidst turmoil. This was home. How can I part with it?

But how can I stay? I feel like an inconvenient piece of furniture that's worn out its welcome. Displaced, dismissed. Hurt, if you must know, that with a simple pregnancy announcement I could go from friend to nuisance. I couldn't stay here a day longer. I deserve to be surrounded by supportive friends in a time where I'm losing as much as she is gaining.

I have the right to be sad. A little bit angry.

Lately I've been feeling all these things and so I selected a particularly high and hard drift of snow behind the apartments, and I've been moving it. No particular reason, no particular destination. It feels better to dig. It feels better to hack at the ice, it feels better to lift and throw, lift and throw, feel the strain in my back and know that at the very least, I will sleep tonight.

I could dig holes all day. If only someone would pay me to dig, I would happily dig holes for the rest of my life. It feels so good to dig.

As a kid, when I got stressed out about my family, I used to chop. I walked into the bush with a little hatchet, and chopped down huge trees. Poplar trees I could barely reach around. Once they were down, I chopped them into pieces. Chopping was my saving grace. I think if I didn't chop trees, I might have gotten into fights or spazzed out at my mom. But chopping helped. Chopping felt better.

I can't wait till tomorrow. I can't wait to dig.
At my friend's for night. I feel good.... better. I think I'll sleep tonight.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

I went to church on Sunday night..... I was having a rough night.... an emotionally unstable night..... so I really shouldn't have gone..... or maybe I should have.... I don't know.....

Standing around with some people, talking. One of the ladies pulls out a framed picture of Jesus, and starts gushing about how her friend gave it to her.... "I'm gonna cry!!" she says. So I ask why. "Well because it's just so beautiful" she replies. I come back with "Go ahead and do that then."

Not expecting that she would actually start crying.

Her eyes got red. She's looking at me with these red eyes, and because I'm emotionally unstable, I'm sure my eyes are getting red as well, if they're not already.... so I look away. When I look back at her, she's tearing up. I start tearing up. I look away. When I look back, we're both in tears. She hugs me. I weep on her shoulder as she prays. We part, wipe our eyes. She turns to the person she was supposed to have been talking to and says "Sorry. I think God just accosted me."

It was so weird.

I had a hard day at work today. I realized that I have some grieving to do. So I slipped out a back door and sat on the paved step facing the river and cried. Why is it that for me grief always manifests itself as anger? Wait.... with me, everything manifests first as anger. I guess it's relatively the easiest emotion to feel, because as long as you can be pissed, you don't have to work it out. It can be someone else's fault, and you can tell everyone about it.

But anger is not an appropriate emotion in this case. This is a time of transition, and transition is part of life, just like winter, and death, and TV lineup changes. Transition makes me tired and cranky. But this transition is especially hard.

These last two years, despite the many difficult periods, were possibly the happiest I've ever experienced. This is the first real home I've ever known, a place where I feel safe and happy and a place I love to come home to. I love my roomie and I love this house and I love the dogs and I love the lifestyle we've accomplished. If all of those things were wrapped up in a human form, that human form would be dead. I pass it's corpse on the way to the bathroom, the kitchen, my bedroom. It's propped up in the basement watching TV, so that sometimes I can even pretend that this is still our home, instead of THEIR home.

So behold. The death of my home. Time to move on..... but where? I have nothing saved..... I know no more single people...... As a matter of fact, I don't have a single friend in this city who is anywhere near my age or stage of life. I love all my friends and their families too...... but..... is it any wonder I've been playing with the idea of returning to Regina? The possibility of getting a place with Chimwemwe..... a mutual home with a close friend..... a never-ending supply of possible roommates in the form of naiive fresh faced bible school students.

I just want to be free of this grief so I can get back to being happy for my friends. I hate worrying about things like survival..... money.....

Oh, the tearing. Wake me up when it's over.

Monday, March 22, 2004

I work too hard.

One moment everything's normal...... secure..... safe..... the next it's a terrifying gong show. And all it takes is one boy.

It would be very easy to become resentful. After all, by his very presence he throws into question my evasion of homelessness. He deprives me of the home I've grown to love. He occupies the only person I EVER hang out with and somehow I'm just supposed to be thrilled. I ought to hate him.

But I don't. And I am happy for them. But I'm cranky. So sue me. I don't care. If anyone wants to take in a poor kid and a dog for minimal rent.......
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