Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Other Shoe

This week:
  • My daughter sustained a second degree burn on the back of her tiny hand
  • My husband was nearly laid off on Monday
  • My husband was clearly laid off on Wednesday
  • We sold the car I custom ordered after receiving my nursing license 10 years ago -- a bright blue, zippy MINI cooper -- in favor of a good work car for husband
  • I'm still pregnant
  • I'm kinda just waiting to see if there are any more of the proverbial "other shoe" left to drop
I started seeing a counselor again in December. I guess depression is something that will wave over me from time to time for the rest of my life. I couldn't stop crying, even with my wonderful daughter and husband, and hope for my future daughter (for what it's worth -- and I think honesty about these kinds of things is worth a LOT -- I also started taking medication for my depression again).

Today, I scheduled a special session with my counselor, just 15 minutes after my MINI drove away for the last time. It saves time if your eyes are already wet and swollen, and your nose red and raw by the time you even get to therapy...

She said something that struck me. She said, "as a person of faith, I imagine this time is particularly hard to understand."

And I had two revelations. One, I can no longer deny I'm a person of faith. This describes me. I'm a person of doubt still, too, but the two sides of me are often found cuddling on the couch, getting fresh and cozy.

Two, my new faith isn't in peril because of my circumstances. I found myself trying to explain that while I am a person of faith, I don't depend on my faith every day. I try to live my faith every day. I'm still working out the finer distinctions between these two, so bear with me (or don't -- they're your eyeballs and you can look away if you want), as I keep working through what I mean.

I told her that I want very much to live like Jesus every day. Every day in connection with divinity. Every day in connection with humanity. Every day in empathy, and passion, and compassion, and service, and mercy, and peace, and justice, and humility. You know, in love.

I don't depend on my faith to give me signs, or pave roads, or open doors, or make good things happen. So, I'm not angry with God, or less interested in my faith because I can't connect it to my circumstances in the same way I used to. The flip side of that is that I also don't have any belief that my faith obligates God to get us back to a comfortable/stable feeling life.

I'm really grateful for this bit of education on myself. I'm still a pregnant woman trying to build a home out of the house in the new town that we've only lived in for 2 months, and a pregnant woman trying to figure out how to make our harried lives work, and a pregnant woman who isn't sure where the resources are going to come from for that instinct to nest and make a fortified den, complete with warmth and food, for my cubs. All of which means, I might be angry with our circumstances, and definitely with players outside our den who brought this moment around. And, I'm ridiculously, embarrassingly sad to say goodbye to that damn car. And, I'm insecure, and desperately craving stability.

But, these insecurities are no longer tied to my concept of God. I'm still carrying my doubts. Clinging fast to my faith in God as discovered through Jesus.

A friend, struggling to define if and what he believes, recently said, "I know I have faith in community." Beautiful, beautiful.

I have faith in us, to do the work needed to provide for our family.

I have faith in our communities (of faith, of family), to carry us, if we can't do the carrying.

I have faith in Jesus, to keep showing me how to live everyday.  
Last pic of MINI and me: FWIW, the smile is fake.

1 comment:

  1. Jess, beautifully written, So well explains you right now. The only thing I can share is that I truly believe God is constantly at work in our lives even through our most difficult times. Even if we can't see it at the moment, we will see it in the future. I won't pretent to understand what I just said but what's certain is this - God enriches our lives through each crises. If you can't see a personal benefit to this, there are two precious individuals that will most benefit - Valentine and Louisa. As they grow and mature and inevitably face their own doubts and fears, they will look to you for strength and wisdom which can only be gained through your own personal life experiences (the good, the bad, the ugly). That, my beautiful daughter, is (as you said) worth a Lot.....

    Mom & Dad