The past 5 years have been rocky. The last year has definitely been the most positive of the 5 simply because nothing terrible has happened. I hate to say that because I know it sounds negative. But what I have come to realize in this past year is that my constant fear of "what bad is going to happen next" has kept me from experiencing the joy that I could have experienced. And the guilt of that has rocked me for awhile.
A few weeks ago though, our amazing pastor preached a sermon that I really thought was just for Stephen and I. It was like he was sitting at our kitchen table talking just to us. He explained that when bad things happen, it is okay to hurt. It's okay to question. It's okay to "just be" when it is all said and done. God doesn't expect us to instantly come through crisis with the strongest faith he has ever seen, he is happy if we just show up.
Just show up? Just be? That's it?! Tears filled my eyes as he spoke.
I can do that, I have done that. I've shown up, I never said "God I hate you why did you allow all of this to happen?! Why did Stephen have to perform CPR on his Mom? Why did you let him see that? Why did Dad go from perfectly healthy to heaven in six months? Why did we have to stand there and watch him die? Why did you take a baby from us? Why? Why? Why?"
Instead, I just showed up, not excitedly, not full of faith, but I showed up and usually with a smile on my face! But, I have felt terrible about it because I had in my mind that God wanted more and expected more from me. It was like Rusty was granting me permission to "just be" and since that is what I have been doing for so long, it was like a burden being lifted from my shoulders. The guilt left and a sense of peace came over me.
"Just be"On the front of Dad's funeral program, the verse we chose was "Be still and know that I am God" -Psalm 46:10. JUST BE. My new mantra. JUST BE. So if you are a person who is rocking and rolling and totally on fire with what God is doing in your life, Great! More power to you! I respect and love that for you! But if you are a person who is struggling like me, join me and JUST BE! I will stand next to you and we can just be together! Expecting nothing from the other person except for them to just show up.
For the first several years after Stephen's Mom was murdered, I tried to continue to do it all and be "normal" in all of my roles. But that was hard and exhausting. In the last year I have lost the capacity to be anything other than a wife, mom, teacher, daughter and sister. And I can't do any of those things 100%, but guess what?! I now know that that's okay. It's okay to "just be". So to my friends who I have disconnected from, I'm sorry. But for now this is who and what I am. I am grateful to "just be" where I am. And I know that one day friend will make the list again of things I can be, but not really for now. I ask for patience and understanding from you until I can do more than "just be" again.
With the anticipation and excitement of Nora Kate's impending arrival, I feel a sense of calm because I know that all God wants of me is to "just be". And if just being is good enough for him, then I have absolutely no reason to feel guilty because of it! Thank you Lord for taking me where I am and allowing me to "Just Be".