its so easy to give up and just become a non existant nothing, that is in your being. we certainly know how easy it is to curl up and become a physical blob. i remember a friend, or so called friend, saying, “i don’t think you know how desperate your situation is, i shure wouldn’t wanna be you”. wow, just wow…. i guess the crisis i was facing i wasn’t acting distressed enough. how do you act distressed enough when youre losing your home, or your vehicle, or you get the call that your child has been arrested. how exactly are you to act. i wasn’t quite sure, i couldn’t go to the bookstore and buy a book, and i had never read a blog about it or heard my friends talk about it. i was all alone, and i would have to sort out my feelings, just me and God, and let me tell you “distressed” is saying it lightly, in the private moments, between just me and God. the conversations between the only man i had loved since my youth were far and few in-between, somehow by not talking about it maybe it was less real, maybe it would all majically turn around, maybe we wouldn’t blame, mayb, maybe, maybe. i really dont have a clear answer. i just know it was isolation. something that had never happened between us before this. so now, not only all these other stressors, but now the one you are to lean on and confide your most intimate thoughts is shut out. as a man i can certainly see, now looking back almost 4 years later, the stress and tremedous burden he had to be under almost more than a man can bear, but in my mind, at the time, i felt rejected, i felt abandoned. i remember going to lunch, as we had done everyday for just about our entire marriage, it was our time (with 4 kids it was so vital that we make the time for each other, and we treasured this time) but anyway, i remember sitting at lunch making small talk thinking, “why don’t you say something about the house? why don’t you say something about my denali and what we’re going to do?” ask me about it, anything, i am dying inside with all the “ifs”. i need to talk about it, talk about it with you. the way we had talked for hours about everything else, the way we had planned to travel and speak about the merices of God and what He had meant in our life, how Kenny would speak and I would tend to our babies and just love the people who came to hear him.. how we would start women’s shelters and the list of books kenny would write, the list goes on and on. but a silence had fallen and it was deafening. deafening for us. as the weeks went on and the work dried up, (we were in commercial construction) it seemed our faith, our convictions, our beliefs, our ideology, our very premis we based our life on slipped away a lil more each day….ever so slowely. i don’t think i would have admitted it then, but it was true! and then there was the silent wedge between us. you can get to a place where your trust in what you know to be true is skewed. mine, at this time in my life, was my faith in what i had been taught to believe, and my faith in our family business, my faith in the people closest to me. these are the times you face many, many things inside yourself. mine was the discovery of finding my true destiny, my calling you might say. with findng my destiny i, also, found many demons. the issues that arosed between us were all normal human emotions brought on by a tremdous life chasm that neither one of us could control. what i had to come to grips with was how i would handle it, and work through it to get to the other side. we never see a tragedy as a crossroad, a path to a new life, somehow we see it as a punishment…a death. and i think it is a death, a death to an old way, but i think it is a pathway to a new beginning and that is what began happening in my life. i recall the bible verse, “surely goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life”, i thought, “God i have so much bitterness in me surely goodness nor mercy can reside in me. the two can’t abide in the same place. i have served you my entire life, loved one man my entire life, never been out front, never wanted to be, yet i found myself feeling estranged, alienated, from the one i loved the most, my husband, and losing the place where i nurtured my itentity, my home. how will i find my place ever again, how will i survive this. that day, as i sat down in the front seat of my Denali knowing what was to come, i heard that small familiar voice, not audible, though it seemed so audible, say, “when you are hemmed in, i have freed you. angie i have a new path for you, nothing can be new unless the old is stripped away”, and i knew at that moment it wasn’t a sweep of a hand that had come to punish, it was His hand to create something new in my life, our life. as we began those years, they were dark, but, goodness and mercy hovered so close over our lives i began see that, yes, bitteress and mercy can reside in the same place, hurt and goodness can reside in one place, because God began to deplay this beautiful work of grace in our lives. it wasn’t about my bittereness or the hurt, it was about his grace covering all those things in my life. no judgement, His grace overshadowing everything and anything we can ever feel or do in our life. and He, of all people, knew how wounded and frail i was. God began a work, a slow process, but a work in me that was so new and contray to what i had, in all my previous life, experienced! it was as though i was acting as another person, like i was above looking in, and slowly the roles began to change in mine and kenny’s lives. everything would be stripped, dismantled, scraped from our lives before it was said and done.
i so vividly remember the day standing in the doorway turning around and taking the last look, the creek of the beautiful hardwood floor, the intricate molding kenny had installed, it was a cottage style home in north florida, i had chosen every color, chosen every light fixture, knew every plant in every space of the yard, envisioned my grandbabies playing in the tree house that kenny had built for the kids, i felt as though my knees would buckle. my mind recalled the hours preparing countless meals for the less fortunate and the excitement of having them in our home, the kids laying our best food and dishware at the table (a sign of servanthood). serving these people who were our extended kindred. i felt a void so massive i thought “i will never recover, i will be of no good to anyone. my usefullness is done. i am done. how can i go on”. as i went to shut the door i saw the stones that surrounded the pavers that led up to our door, and at that moment God began a healing in my heart. when i recall a bible story i don’t claim, by any means, to be a scholar, but, i do claim that when i am at my most vunerable it seems one always touchs my soul. this day, i recall a small boy, a sheep hearder, sent to a battle to bring food to his brothers. and in this moment, with indignation, he said, “who is this you speak of? why are you are afraid, who is your trust really in, he is just a man, this is just one battle. why are you so rattled?” it seems to me this boy had spent his entire life preparing for this moment, a moment that would change his life and the history of a nation. with the skills he had learned far removed from the battlefield he stood on. he certainly wasn’t trained in the traditional way, he was trained in the hills and land with bears and lions, not the conventional warfare attire. a boy would defeat a giant with a mere stone. as i reflected on that story, i saw those stones and i felt that voice deep in my soul speak, your training has been in this house, around that table (a table almost longer than my dining room), because you wanted to fill it with the outcast, your training, is your life and the moments you have lived, now is the time as these hard moments come, to pick up that stone, and with tenacity face these moments one moment at a time with indigantion and without fear and know Who you have believed in. as we drove off i made it thru that moment. i would face many, many more of those moments, kenny and i would begin to share our fears, our hopes and that space of isolation between kenny and i became less and less occupied. i would speak to women, i would have a blog that would have, at one time, 10,000 readers. i would come to find things out about my self i never, in my lifetime, imagined i was capable of. find myself in a place i would never have been had i not shown up to that battle field, stone in hand, completely unaware of what i had been preparing, my whole life, for…stripped down, disrobed, dismantled ready to meet my true destiny. when i sat down and began to share my story on the blog it felt like a glove that had been custom made for me. not that it was easy, or perfect, it just felt like, home, it was right, fimiliar, good. when i spoke to groups of women it was as though our lives where intertwined and our burdens were one. again, i was home, at ease, as though i had prepared my whole life for that moment. it would seem a great sacrifice to gain what, appeared at first, as little, but living a life that is bigger than yorself is a life that brings indescribable joy. how many search for the true meaning of their life though things, or vices, or realationships? we have always tried to teach our children that the only meaning to life is through the person who knows and has a realtionship with God, and i have, even through all the pain and all the ugliness, not been lost to the tragedies of life, but i have found the hidden treasure, the true treasure, “God’s grace is sufficient”, He tells us He gives grace even on top of grace, and my tragedy lead straight to my destiny. search for it as for a hidden treasure. don’t stop, reletlessly look, with tenacity and indigantion, search for it.