I walked outside just now to feel the cool night air against my skin, to remember the world is big. I remembered something else, a glimpse of long ago. I wonder how long it will be before I forget the details of the life I used to have.
How much longer until I forget what tucking our children in together sounded like?
Until I forget what it felt like to have my hair brushed?
What it felt like to know I was not alone?
The season has changed here in Wisconsin. The air is crisp, the leaves are falling... and I am hurtling forward, faster than ever, to the 1 year mark. Have I come far enough?
How much longer until I forget what song was playing when I read the note X left on the kitchen table that Sunday?
Until I forget the panic that seized every fiber of my being, knowing I alone was left to explain his leaving to my children?
The feeling of suffocation those first days, weeks, that I could not breathe, because I didn't know how to be enough, be me, on my own.
There are moments, snapshots, that I concentrate on tucking away. And there are volumes I pray to burn. But each piece of the complex puzzle of my life, was laid out long before me. So on the advice of a dear friend, I am praying to redeem the date of November 1st.
Very soon after X left, my sister arrived in Minnesota to help. I will never forget the day she bought my children winter hats, boots and diapers. I was clinging to the cart to hold myself up, watching my 3 children meltdown in Target, looked at her with terror in my eyes and said, "I can't do this." And her resounding answer, "yes Carolynn, you can, you have to." She was right.
From this year I pray to remember, always, the safety in honesty.
To remember my family may not look like it did, but we are whole, and gaining ground.
What it feels like to pull my shoulders back and walk with my head up, not looking at my feet.
Most importantly, I will remember that my utter dependence on the Lord, is a daily walk. Sometimes minute by minute, but the time is always redeemed.
This week has brought blessings in such abundance, I cannot hold them. Why am I surprised? Malachi 3:10 ...see if I will not throw open the floodgates of Heaven and pour out so much blessing you will not have room for it. I had the best talk with my parents, received a box from a sister in Christ that took me to my knees... and went shopping for my children's winter gear again, this time with their grandparents. I could not only breathe, I laughed; we all did. Thank you, I praise the Lord for each of you.
Indeed, God has a sense of humor. We were approaching the dead of winter when this started. We survived it. It's coming again, I can feel it in the air, but I know we've already climbed this mountain. Having worn a path in it once, I'm confident we can do it again. What if it had been summer? The rug would be ready to be ripped from under my feet, undermining half the confidence I've built. No my friends, I already know what it takes to get 3 children up, dressed, fed and out the door before 7:00 a.m. I remember how to do it dressing 3 little bodies for the frozen tundra. I daily praise Jesus for the village that helps us. But I do not fear the task.
So yes, yes we have come far enough. The road is hard, but it's not much farther. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:11-13)