1. Well, hello there. It’s been nine months and two days since last we met. Quite a lot has happened in that time.
During my absence, I have:
-left my home in Virginia.
-spent months separated from my beloved WH*.
-spent more than four months in relative homelessness.
-slept in no fewer than 14 different beds.
-laughed and cried, mourned and rejoiced.
-been debilitated by depression, and succumbed to fits of hysterical laughter.
-come to a new understanding of John 16:33, and I Peter 1:5-7.
2. Colorado is my new home, and although I have lived here before (and actually, spent more of my adult (term used loosely) years in this state than in any other), it has taken much adjusting. Because of the prolonged bout of homelessness and the myriad difficult circumstances surrounding this move, I did not even begin to grieve for all I left behind until just recently, when the Aspens began turning and my heart ached for the unrivaled beauty of the Virginia landscape in autumn.
(Aside: the unrivaled beauty of the Virginia landscape in autumn is the steadfast Virginian’s reward for surviving the unrivaled misery of a Virginia summer. That, I do not miss.)
3. Colorado, though. Colorado has an entirely different kind of beauty.
The beauty of this landscape serves to remind me that life is filled with both dark and light, pain and joy, mourning and rejoicing. Life has been hard these last months, so hard that there were times I thought the darkness would swallow me whole. Even in the midst of that, on the dark days when I could clearly hear Job’s wife telling him, “Curse God and die!” there was always light. There were always moments of joy. There was always cause to hope, and therefore, to perservere.
4. When I fell off the face of the planet back in January, I told myself that I just had to get through this.
I thought God would bring me through this, and then I would tell you all about it. You know, like, “Hey! I’ve been through the fire, but now I’m out! Let me tell you what God did!”
Instead, I’ll be telling you what God is doing in the midst of the fire.
5. Yesterday, He did this:
6. I want you to know that I’m still fundamentally Karen. Let me demonstrate.
Molly Sue had an appointment with her new vet today, so I threw on some clothing that might fool her (the vet, not the dog) into thinking I am a functioning member of society, and raced out the door. Then I raced back in, grabbed the dog, and headed to where I was absolutely certain the new vet’s office was. Only it wasn’t. So of course we were late, which is the ridiculous and never-ending story of my life. I apologized profusely, and then apologized profusely again when asked for Molly’s medical records, the one thing I had been told to bring. Things went more or less smoothly after that, with the exception of the scale, which seemed to run about five pounds heavy (much like mine at home) and the glare I received as Molly got the shot I promised her she wouldn’t be getting, and the purse I couldn’t find anywhere when it was time to pay the bill.
I headed for home, thinking that no one, no one understands how hard it is to be me.
And then I realized I was wearing just one largish, dangly earring.
7. I do realize I haven’t actually told you anything. I promise I’m not pulling a high school drama queen move on you. It’s just that while I know I want to bring you with me on this journey, I haven’t exactly figured out the right way to do it. The story isn’t all mine to tell, and discretion is the better part of valor, or something like that. I hope you’ll be patient with me. I hope you’ll come along. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that when God is involved, it’s bound to be EPIC.
John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (NIV)
I Peter 1:5-7 “You are being protected by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials so that the genuineness of your faith—more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (HCSB)
*Separated, as in I moved to CO ahead of him, not separated as in separated.