Friday, October 2, 2009
So here's the new room: a bed, a chair, a lamp and one lonely decoration. I'm almost through with unpacking; some of my things are still in a little storage building thirty minutes away.
I lost a lot when I said goodbye to Freeman House and the bakery. Things you can touch, like furniture, appliances, dishes. Things you can't, like dreams and hopes and pride. But it was a good thing. No, it really was. As my grief and bitterness have slowly bled out these past few months, I've realized: what's left of me is stronger because of this. I am more compassionate because of this. I can now relate to people who've lost a number of things: a marriage, a loved one, a house, a business and possessions they cherished. Because of this year - because of 2009 - I can look someone in the eye who's facing these things and say, quietly, firmly: I know. I know. But you're going to come through this. It IS going to be okay. And then I can hold them as they weep, remembering the puddles I left at Jesus' feet many, many times.
Romans 5 says it this way: But we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
I can't tell you the hundreds of times I've repeated that to myself through tears or clenched teeth this summer... that hard times mean perseverance, perseverance means character, and character means hope.
I think I'm on perseverance. I won't claim character, at this point, and won't lie to you about any earthly hope. But perseverance? I can do that. It's just one day at a time, right?
For now I have a bed, a chair, a lamp, the blanket my Mom made me, and... perseverance. No refrigerator, stove, washer/dryer, or dishwasher, but I do have perseverance. Crockpot cooking, anyone? Washtub laundry? Just watch me make it through this, too, one day at a time.
Or we'll laugh as I try, I guess. Together we can laugh as I try.