So, if I’m going to be honest (and you know me, I always am. Even if it's brutal and probably not in my best interest. *shrug*) I’ve hit a bit of a rough patch. If Clint is reading this, he is laughing, right now, because that’s the understatement of the year. (Life update: I’ve had a real-life, proud-of-me boyfriend for over two years, now. Miracles and wonders, y’all.)
When I say “I’ve hit a bit of a rough patch”, I mean I have been struggling to keep my head up for quite some time. When I look at what REALLY matters in my life, like my family, and the fact I have a roof (or two) over my head, everything is peachy. I’ve been going to therapy which has helped things IMMENSELY, and being with the above mentioned boy has helped a lot, too. Knowing that I have someone who isn’t just going to up and leave because real life happens has been revolutionary, as you can imagine. (He’s not a boy, he’s a full grown man. A bearded, hunk of a man with thighs like tree trunks who I’ve had a crush on from 2013-2016 and then 2017-present. But that’s another story for another time.)
What’s not been great is just the everyday crap I have to do to keep living.
I’m 34. I’m still working full-time, I still have to have my own health insurance, I push through migraines and crippling depression and anxiety (it’s greatly improved but it still rears its ugly head every now and again). I am living between my apartment and Clint’s house, my old dog is getting older (it’s 2019, how is there NO WAY to stop this?), and there are no babies on the horizon despite my womb yelling at me loud and clear that my ovaries are about to start having a liquidation sale. (You’re not the boss of me, WOMB.)
I promise this isn’t a post full of complaining. I’m getting around to the point.
My life isn’t BAD, it’s just not adhering to the PLAN. It’s not everything I WANT.
I want the husband, I want the babies, I want to stay home and clean and cook and do the laundry. I want to do the volunteer work. I want to write. I want to create. I want to grow the garden and tend the chickens and milk the goats and plow the fields and fell the trees and build the cabin. (Ok, I want to do the first part of that.)
“Good things come to those who wait!”
“God has a plan.”
“It’ll all work out.”
I am so very sorry but if I hear ANY of the above mentioned phrases ONE MORE BLESSED TIME, I am going to LOSE MY MIND. I know they are said in love and sincerity for the most part, but I am done. I am so endlessly tired of hearing these things from my friends or acquaintances with the husbands and the babies and the homes and the volunteering (or whatever other dreams they’ve had that have come to fruition). I'm truly and ridiculously happy for them in their lives but I'm ready for my turn.
So, I try to make the plan happen, myself. I hit walls.
"Ok," I think, "Maybe I didn’t try hard enough or make myself clear the first try." I wind up-- harder, this time. I back up a bit further. I run faster.
I hit another wall.
Guys, I am so tired. I am weary. I am bloodied, broken and bruised from hurling myself into so many walls but I am not content to sit still and wait. At least throwing myself into obstacles counts as TRYING. Sitting still counts as nothing.
I’ve been trying to trust, believe, manifest, put enough money in the offering plate to somehow con God into giving me what I've wanted and waited for since I was a little girl…
I get nothing. Cricket chirps.
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:15-16)
I didn’t know God owned gloves but He must because I sure feel forgotten. I KNOW I’m not, but dang these feelings. Sometimes they’re just so big.
Yesterday morning, I was standing in Clint’s living room as we were both getting ready to leave for work. I was feeling pretty down but I was managing to do a decent job of hiding it. I put my coat on and was telling Clint bye for the day when we heard a loud THUD against the window. We looked at each other, thinking maybe someone was outside or one of the neighbor kids had chucked something at the house. Clint opened the door and peered outside.
“Hmmm”, he said, unsatisfactorily. (Seriously, bruh? I gotta KNOW what just caused that noise!)
I peeked around the door frame and looked down. A robin had flown straight into the window. There were feathers and various bird juices left on the glass.
“OH NOOOOO!!! BABE! NOOOOO!!!!!” I exclaimed.
Clint just looked at me, puzzled
“It was a BIRD!!!”
I looked in horror at the poor thing. The bird just laid on the front patio like a mess of what he once was. His neck HAD to have been broken because of the angle at which it was now resting. His right wing was badly busted up and he was just staring up at me like “Whuuuuuuuuuuutttttt?”.
I looked down at him and I thought “Broooo. I FEEL you, this morning.”
I felt just like that mangled bird-- completely broken, twisted up and just plain confused as to how a flawless plan and vision could go so terribly wrong.
I darted back in the house.
“The poor bird! I think his neck is broken!”
“Do you want me to take care of it? I can make it quick.” Clint asked.
“Mmmhmm... I guess...” I replied, as I felt the tears I had managed to keep at bay ALL MORNING finally fall on my cheeks. I knew it was probably the most humane thing to do, but still.
“I’ll wait until you go to work.” he said, as he wrapped his [toned and beefy] arms around me.
“The…poor…thing. He’s…all…busted…up.” I sobbed.
“It’ll be ok. He won’t be in pain much longer.”
“Do…you think…he could be…alright, somehow?” I asked, hoping against all hope.
“Maybe? He could just be stunned.” he tried to reassure me.
“I don’t…think so….he’s so mangled. DID YOU SEE HIS NECK AND HIS WING?!??!!” more ugly crying and wails came from my mouth. I think I even shocked myself at this display, but as I stated above, I’ve HAD IT.
“You go to work and I’ll take care of it. Don’t worry.” Clint gave me his final reassurance as he guided me ever so gently to the door so I wouldn’t be late to work. “He’ll be ok.”
As I opened the door and looked down, I expected to see the horrible scene, once more. Instead, I saw a robin that was sitting up, partially, and looking very confused as to what had just taken place. How did he get here and who are these people and why is that one so puffy-eyed and weepy?
“BABE!!!! LOOK!!!! He might be ok!!!” I sounded like a hopeful 3 year old.
“See? I told you he was just stunned!” Clint humored me as I gingerly walked around the bird so I wouldn’t scare him. I got in my car and drove to work.
I would love to tell you that I prayed ever so eloquently about the bird while I was driving but in reality, my prayer went more like “Jesus, I know this sounds silly. Well, no prayer is silly, probably, but you know what I’m saying. But please heal that bird so he can fly away. Please help his wing to not be broken and his neck to be ok. I know you care about birds and little things. I’m worried about the bird. Please help me to stop worrying about the bird…”
I got to work and sent Clint a text saying I was sorry for being so emotional so early in the morning (ha) and he responded about 10 minutes later, saying that the bird flew away when he went to leave for work and that he looked just fine.
I got to thinking that if God can care about that mangled bird, seemingly broken beyond repair, how much more must He care for me. He sees my broken neck and wings and stunned looks as I watch my plans and desires seem to float away and out of my reach. And some day, soon, when I’ve shaken off all my burdens and broken bones and placed them in His care…
…He will help me fly.