|The cast is off----flying horse art by Shayna, signatures by multiple loved ones :-)|
Last time I wrote, I had just broken my right wrist, a week before the opening day of Grower's Market.
Notice it's taken me quite a while to write again.
Last Saturday at Grower's Market, one faithful reader (and a longtime friend and customer) commented that he hadn't seen anything new recently, and I found myself blurting out "You know, in some ways I think this most recent difficulty has hit me harder than the stroke, somehow. So hard that I didn't even want to write about it. It kinda knocked the stuffing out of me."
He was surprised----"Really? After all you've been through?"
I was surprised myself, saying it. And I wondered why it was so true.
So this morning, as I was praying my way through the opening hour of the day, I brought it up with God to be examined. And even though it would be easy to come up with a whole laundry list of stresses that would explain my exhaustion, I knew that wasn't really it. True, starting Market with a broken right wrist forced me to manage in new and unfamiliar ways. It was already going to be a challenge, and this magnified the challenge exponentially! Add to that equipment issues and repairs, an unexpected car repair, an unexpected dental bill, my Dad in the hospital during this time, and then a couple of weeks ago a dear friend was lost on Mt. Hood for six nights and we weren't sure she would be found. (See, I couldn't resist describing some of it----it still impresses me, how intense and relentless it's all been)
But you know, if I get real with God about it, that's not why I felt exhausted. For one thing, every stress was dealt with and resolved as the weeks went by---things got fixed, I got help paying the bills I couldn't handle, my wrist got better, my friend was rescued, my Dad got better. Somehow, though, the sense of short circuiting persisted.
No, the trouble was (and is) in me. On some level, I don't believe. I don't say that with any self-accusation or judgement-----as I poured out what I could see about myself to God this morning, how I cope with stress by stalling or hiding or sulking or avoiding, I was surprised by his gentleness. There was no pointing finger as I laid it all out before him. Instead, he brought to light on an old subject I hadn't been considering-----grief. I am still processing levels of grief that are hard to reconcile. Indeed, in my human thinking, I can never reconcile them. Sometimes, I don't want to know that. And although my grief has it's own personal twist, I think you might be able to relate. Don't you have a problem or life circumstance that just crosses your eyes? A thorn in the flesh?
I find that being candid with God is very energizing. Candid but also curious about what He thinks. He is good company. The Best, really :-) Is my grief resolved? In him, yes. In my humanity? Nope-----but he keeps bringing me back to himself and his sufficiency. And you know, that's enough. My daily bread :-)
My go-to verse of late is from Philippians these days :
" Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life" Phil. 4:5-7, the Message