Sunday again. I didn’t dread it quite so much this week. Ben and I agreed that we would go on a bike ride this afternoon. That will give me something to think about when my soul gets sucked into the grief. I woke up to primary music. That is the hardest music for me. So simple, so direct, so unlike the feelings and thoughts inside me. My endless mental pacing is exhausting, and on Sunday it ramps up. I’m desperate to fix it; to make me whole again.
The truth will be paid for with confusion and suffering; searching and withholding judgement; patient waiting on the Lord until I am prepared to receive his truth. Patience. Long-suffering. Charity. Hope. Faith. I have to hold to those things. Tears came to my eyes again as I watched my boys leave the house with Ben dressed for church. I put on my make up and my dress today.
I started a drawing I had been planning for a few weeks. It’s a picture of two dried roses. I wanted to paint it in water colors, but I decided to just do a sketch first. I used my new light board to do the preliminary sketch. It was helpful, especially with roses since they are so complex. They make my artist brain hurt.
I thought about Eve and her decision to take the fruit. She did it because she wanted to have children. She knew what she had to do and that it would have consequences. She knew she would suffer. She knew it would be hard. She also knew there was no other way. As I drove to the church to pick up my sons, I wanted to turn around. I didn’t want to drive through the parking lot and remember who I used to be. But there was no other way.
They were beautiful playing in the sunshine under the battered and bare trees. I smiled and asked them how church was as they loaded into the minivan. They said Daddy spoke and that he was sad. I had forgotten it was fast Sunday. I thought of my tears and his. It’s so sad. I wondered again, as I have a thousand times if I should start going again. Then the words of the Savior came. “If ye are not one, ye are not mine.”
We are not one. We are not his. I am not one. I am not His. Trying to make sense of the schisms that exist right now in my nation and my church I feel a tearing inside. Somehow I have to keep my integrity in the midst of unprecedented pressure. To hold grief and gratitude in equal measure. I bury my weapons of social media war deep within the Earth. The battles of men don’t work the will of God. Nothing I can do will fix the broken outside myself.
God gave me responsibility for one person and that’s me. So I walk my path and submit to his will. I don’t know his design, but I know He hasn’t forgotten me. We walk together and he will give me what I need. My grief is balanced with my gratitude. In equal measure. The church isn’t a safe place for me. Maybe it never was. Maybe there is no safe place for me in this world. Still, my Savior gives me what I need. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!
I have my children and my husband. I have my home and my art. I have so many blessings. Gratitude. Grief. In equal measure.