Three years come and gone and this is what I want to share.
Share the journey, share the path, share a shred of the story.
And it’s not for the feedback and it’s not for the wallowing...it’s for the hope, and the glimpse of the ‘other side’, and giving glory where glory is due.
We run from the hard and we cling to the easy. We avoid mess and we strive for perfection.
We have an unrealistic idea that if things are ‘right’ then they’re easy.
When things get hard..we want an escape route.
A sideways whisper in my direction, more than once...a wondering from a disillusioned voice…
”How hard is it to be on your own?”...
“Tell me the truth...how hard is going through a divorce?”
Well...on my own?... The hard could never be wrapped up neatly in a packaged paragraph.
The truth?...About separating two lives? About walking the path of divorce?
How hard is it to take an 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper, one whole... and split and divide those bonded fibres into two separate entities, functional and unmarred?
And hard can mean many different things…and it doesn't have to mean the end of the story.
I guess the question for any, and all of us is...how hard is it, and what am I going to do with it?
How hard is staying and pounding out the flaws in a marriage, because you chose love a long time ago?
How hard is traversing infertility or the long road of adoption?
How hard is being single when you desperately want a companion to walk with?
How hard is losing a loved one?
How hard is watching a family member fight addiction?
How hard is putting your parent into long term care?
How hard is ….hard?
Here’s what I know:
If you’re really living, if you’re really ‘in’ life - it’s hard.
Doing life and sticking it out with other flawed people, and situations, is hard. And not always the trudging, clawing, can’t see the light, hard, although there are those seasons…
Sometimes it’s the worthy, exhilarating, and purposeful hard. Like running a marathon.
That’s hard and people choose it!
It’s punishing and takes discipline and determination. It takes work and commitment.
But it’s WORTH it, and it’s REWARDING.
We fight and laugh and cry through the hard in life everyday... and when we triumph through the worthy-hard and we reach the mountain peak moments or the smooth sailing moments we can breathe deep, and know true satisfaction, and we understand better the GUTS OF LIFE.
I know the strong squeeze of a 7 year-old bear hug, and the lilting whisper of ‘I love you momma’ from a 5 year-old while saying good nights…
I also remember the grasp of a hand that used to hold mine when we shared a life together...and it’s not a flashing picture, it’s a knowing... like you know something that’s a part of you - the strength of the grip and the warmth of the skin...and now it’s in the past, yet present with me, and perhaps that is mine to carry.
There is no insurance plan that can be bought that will guarantee easy street. If you haven’t come upon the grit of hard yet...you will.
I stared at shoots and sprouts in egg carton cups this afternoon, reaching like a BIG STRETCH towards the sun...and it was very clear to me that each green life just fought a battle, each one had to break out of a shell that was too small to contain its potential, and then push through darkness and dirt and weight...towards the surface...the light...to find the breath, the purpose, the glory of becoming.
This I know - we are all meant to break out of a safe and comfortable shell. We are all required to push through dark, bleak and heavy times. We all have the potential to grow towards our big purpose in life, unabashedly running towards our light, our life source, our Creator, who has plans to see us flourish, and spread our branches wide and full.
It’s all part of the plan to get us to who we are supposed to be.
Hard is in the plan.
And the hard we live out is our choice
So I choose my hard.
I choose radical faith in a God that created me and knows my every breath, even though I may not even know the next step.
I choose to show up everyday in the life, and the mess, and the beauty that surrounds - and to SEE it and FEEL it and BREATHE it, as if it was put there just for me..because it was.
I choose not to edit my authentic and vulnerable responses to those present in my life because of past hurts.
I choose to run away from bitterness that’s like cancer...surrender anger that can consume an entire life ...and wish the past farewell with love in my heart..
And sometimes it’s hard.
But it’s the worthy-hard.
And because I know my purpose and the One who authored it - I can do hard things.