Yes, Even This One

In the midst of celebration and elation and preparation, there is lament. A grieving sorrow at the realization that things are not what they seemed. Not what you thought. Not what you hoped.

On Saturday, I hit the 50,000 word mark, the goal of every participant of #NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). When I contemplated the idea of writing 50,000 words in 30 days, I wasn’t quite sure I’d be able to do it. But I decided that this year I would attempt it. Even with two little girls, only 3.5 and 5.75, who still need so much of my time, energy and attention. So, needless to say, I was elated when I crossed the 50k mark on Saturday. In that moment, it was sheer joy. And I eagerly shared that news and that joy with my husband.

Looking back at that moment now, sitting here in the midst of a repeated betrayal, that moment feels tainted. Because while I was celebrating with the only person in my life with whom I felt completely comfortable sharing such a raw rough draft, his heart, his mind, his attentions were divided. And not between me and our girls, with whom he was at home. But with Emily.

Emily lives across the pond. But the betrayal is no less real than if she were our next door neighbor. And the pain of betrayal pierces deeply, even as I set my heart on God and thanksgiving. And Thanksgiving. All of the conversations we’ve shared this in the last week now have this shadow over them. The shadow of someone else who crept into the quiet moments. Into the laughter. Into the celebration of words written, dreams being refined and shared. A dream that felt silly to speak out loud, but were being told to the one person I knew thought I could trust with it.

All of that changed this morning when for whatever reason, I decided to check my husband’s computer.

You see, seven month ago, we hit this same moment, but with Connie in Canada. At the time, I was devastated. I was seething angry and I was incredibly hurt and the sense of betrayal was not even something I could put into words. Today, I am numb. Angry, yes. Hurt, absolutely. Betrayed, definitely.

But I am numb to what I think or feel beyond this moment of discovery and reality.

In two days we will celebrate Thanksgiving with family, an event I was already dreading at least a little bit. But I felt an intimate connection to my husband, knowing that we would be together and that we had weathered the storm of betrayal with counseling and prayer and Jesus. I pictured us exchanging looks across the room, the kind of looks that only couples can share.

It’s strange. When my actions or my choices are less than what I want in my life, God is good and shows me in my mind’s eye the person I am striving to be: the woman, the writer, the wife, the mama. In those moments I see clearly this person I long to be.

And even today, especially today, God is still good. He is still the Creator of the universe. He is still my mighty fortress and my refuge. He is still my Comforter, whispering in my ear who I am and who I will be, so that I don’t lose sight of that in the midst of this storm and this loneliness. He reminds me that today, just like every day, I have a choice. I can choose my response. I can choose my attitude: will I focus on me or will I focus on Him. And no matter how difficult it is, I choose to focus on Him.

Because if I focus on me, I know that misery will surround me. I know that anger will fill me to overflowing and bring its own hurts and anguish.

But, if I focus on Him, I know that I will find truth. I will find peace, even in the midst of something that has spun the world around and off its axis. God will be the axis that keeps me from losing my way. I cannot move forward from this moment in my strength. But, then, we can never truly move forward in our own strength because whenever we build our worlds on sinking sand, in other words through  our own efforts and based on our own plans, that world will always fall away.

So, right now, I choose Jesus. I keep my eyes on him. I listen to favorite hymns like The Wonderful Cross sung by Matthew West and Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing sung by Mark Schultz and It Is Well sung by Sara Groves and I focus on the healing and redemption and life that only comes through Jesus. I cleave to that today.

I will pray ceaselessly. I will give thanks in all circumstances, even this one. I will seek his kingdom, his righteousness, his love before anything else today.

And for today, those are the only choices I will make. Until God speaks to my heart, I will simply let him cradle it, all of its pieces, for me.

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