It forces me to face the things in my life that rub my hope raw.
Nearly a decade and a half of supervising care for parents served as a distraction, and reason, for never quite getting to the things in the pile named “undone”.
Now the excuses (real and imagined) are gone. Facing that heap fills me with dread.
“If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of mine; and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
I know this, intellectually. My life is peppered with seasons when I have done the work of continuing in His word–instinctively.
But that day is not today.
My Bible is open. My current study right here. There are sticky notes and highlighter pens of various colors, yet there is nothing that compels me to connect one to the other. I know myself well enough to know this won’t last forever. The grief numbs for now, but it won’t numb forever.
I miss my parents.
I miss having my Mom to watch my daughter for a few hours or overnight; one who loved to buy a ridiculous number of Christmas presents for everyone. It turns out there is no one to fill her shoes.
I miss playing bridge with my Dad, and not having to even think about “the estate” or “the trust” or (heavy sigh) having to talk about it with family.
There is an undeniable movement toward ease in the normal pressure of life, and I am certain it will be appreciated…eventually.
I don’t panic if my phone is forgotten or the battery is dead.
Homeschool can meander because there are no appointments that must be gotten to.
I’d rather be at the appointments–I wasn’t ready for my Dad to pass away yet–but I also recognize the potential of simplicity, and I do trust the Lord’s timing.
Even when I don’t understand it.
I love to sit out front and drink my coffee in the morning.
The blue sky and fresh air seem like good ideas.
And, of course, the green–the green of the grass, that actually isn’t. Grass, that is.
The blade of Fescue to weed ratio isn’t good. I justify myself by remembering that unless you look closely, the green is what is most noticable. Except, without interference, the weeds will survive and thrive and overwhelm the grass. I cannot avoid that reality.
(This is my life. I feel like the weeds are overwhelming the grass of my life.)
I have some bags of grass seed waiting.
I have so many
good excuses for not using the seed. I tell myself:
It might not work. If you actually pull the weeds it will look worse. My husband isn’t particularly supportive of doing anything to make it better.
And the other reason, which is actually true, to do the job REALLY well would cost around ten thousand dollars. This is ten thousand dollars that I do not have and would not actually spend on THIS if I did have it.
I am setting all that aside to wrestle with two questions:
- Am I ready to let go of the hope that the lawn can be any better than it is RIGHT. THIS. MINUTE.?
- Do I believe the bags of grass seed, sitting against the house in the rain and wind and sun, might become unusable if I wait?
No. And, yes.
Today, my grass has been attended to.
I took the first of several steps. Hundred of weeds have been pulled and thousands of seeds spread. Surprisingly, it doesn’t look worse for the wear.
The bags of grass seed were already starting to turn. They had molded into a pile of dirt at the bottom of the bag, with a wall of sod up the side. A large portion of it, however, was still just seed and now it is in the ground. The only option if an improved lawn is my real hope.
I expect it will take four more bags of seed; four more times pulling weeds, raking dirt, and sprinkling wishes. If that is done with any measure of success, once spring arrives I might be able to “weed and seed” my lawn.
When you “weed and seed” grass that is mostly not grass, the results aren’t great.
Grief is hard.
Life is hard.
One of the most difficult, painful, grueling realities is there are lessons in life that can only be learned in the going through of the hard things.
I get to the end of the road almost desperate to go back to the beginning with the knowledge I acquired traveling, but that is not an available option. Letting go of that control is often heartbreaking for me. Being convinced you could make things better for people you love (and for yourself) if you had another chance is agonizing.
I’m not good at it. Opening my hands and leaving the stones of regret at the foot of the cross does. not. come. naturally. But it’s my only hope.
I bow my head, take a deep breath and ask, “How do I use this in obedience to YOU going forward?”
Then I sit back down on the same couch. The one that has welcomed me dozens and dozens of times, with the trusted counselor in his chair. He’ll smile, and nod, in total agreement that going forward is the singular option that is actually available.