My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Thursday, July 28, 2011

plan b = plan blessing

I hijacked this picture from my sister in law's facebook. How precious are these girls?

Today is going to be an "out of sorts" day for me... going to work for a few hours then heading home for an early lunch/meeting the textile restoration people and then back to work. Any time I have a busy lunch instead of being able to decompress for a little while, it makes for a long day. BUT... I'm excited about getting the last of our items returned so I can really know for certain what is gone forever.

Ultimately, its just stuff. I mean, there were some treasured items that I hung onto because of their sentimental value but its not like i was ever going to wear my 9th grade cheerleading uniforms again. There are things that I wouldnt have intentionally parted with but there is nothing lost that I cant live without.

I mentioned earlier in the week, I think, that there is a lady from our church family who is missing. Just... gone. Not a sign of her anywhere. Its been a week now. She's in her early seventies, diabetic... and its been hot as blazes around here. She didnt take her cellphone with her so they cant locate her that way. There hasnt been any activity on her bank cards. No sign of her car. What I suspect is that she ran off the road on one of these mountain roads and the car cant be seen because of the dense vegetation. Shes just... gone.

My past two moves have been sudden... to the extent that I had no idea when I got out of bed that morning that I wouldnt sleep in that bedroom again, ever. Its sort of like ripping off a bandaid - bam! Your life is forever changed. Both of those times have been, mercifully, for my good. I keep thinking, though, of all the times when people, things, animals - whatever - disappear from our lives in that split second, bandaid ripping off style. All of a sudden, life has changed.

Ive adjusted to my losses over the years by loosening my grasp and dependence on things and people. Im not disappointed when things dont happen like I hoped or planned because Ive learned that "plan B" always brings unexpected blessings. I guess I should start calling "plan B" - "plan blessing".

I gave up a lot when I married Michael. I gave up more when I left Michael. And... here again... there are even MORE things that are gone.

Here's the surprising thing: the more material possessions I lose, the less I need. Sure, I was really bummed when it looked as if the scrapbook that I had put together for my kids was lost in between Jacksonville and Helen... yet, it turned up when we moved again! Even if it had never been found, I would still have the memories of those times that were special enough to photograph.

When the rings that Michael gave me on our wedding day turned out to be fake, I grieved for a moment the loss of the one thing of real value that I thought he had given me... but today... I'm no worse for having lost my fake bling. In fact, I'm better because of it because I know that regardless of what I did or didn't do in my marriage, I know that he entered in under false pretenses, taking advantage of my lack of experience with expensive jewelry to deceive me into believing he had given a greater gift than he really had. Even if I had been perfect, the marriage couldn't have survived.

Here over the past year I've learned that the less I can depend on my physical strength, the more I gain in spiritual strength. It's one thing to depend on God for help with your finances (and I still do) but it's something entirely different in knowing that you need His help to be able to get from one room to another... to be able to make it through a work day... your very life is in His hands. The truth is, even when you're completely healthy, it can change in the blink of an eye, in a split second your health can fail you. He holds life and death and QUALITY of life in His hands. I depended on Him before but now I realize it!

The toxic relationships that I let go of, the more room I have in my life for true kinship with people. I believe in extending grace, mercy and forgiveness in all relationships. I also believe that we have to be careful not to give someone more power over our emotional well-being than they deserve. If someone makes you feel bad every time you're around them, you need to evaluate whether you're strong enough to influence them for good... bring them back from the darkside... or if they're going to always keep chains around your ankles, keeping you from living your best life.

Probably the best decision I've made in a long time was the decision to live single without apology. I don't have to be part of a couple to have value in this world. I don't have to be yoked to someone who is going to take more than they can give, who is going to make me someone other than who God intended me to be and steal my joy just for the sake of not being "alone". I don't need a relationship with anyone else to validate who I am. Only God can validate me.

For everything - every person - that has been precious to me at some point in my life - there is an imprint on me even when it's gone - whether in memory or in changed perspective. I think the verse that tells us that "we don't grieve as if we don't have hope" isn't only speaking to grieving someone's death.... it's about grieving our separation from that person. Yet... even when someone leaves my life, my physical presence, it doesn't mean that person's impact on my life has ended.

People may only come into our lives for a season but they always come into our lives for a reason. You have the opportunity to impact the life of everyone you come in contact with, often with something as simple as a smile or a kind word. Approach every encounter as a "divine appointment". You may never know what your kindness has meant to someone.

It's time for me to gather my wits about me and get ready for the day. I've felt good this week... almost no dizziness at all, other than briefly last night. I have had three days in a row free from dizziness and nausea and I am trying to make the most of it! I've worked harder at work over the past few days than I have in weeks, maybe months, just because I feel stronger. Hoping to make it four in a row!

Hope you have a great day and whatever disappointment or loss you face... keep your eye out for that "plan B"! Love and hugs!