How do I live life? Sometimes it does not feel intentional, but I try to only live in the day I am in. For example, today our only vehicle was repossessed. We are now completely car free. The upside? I had already done the much needed milk deposit at the bank this morning, and went to the grocery store last night to purchase enough food to last until we move. Really, I do not need a car anytime soon. How will we move? Well...we will figure that out. More important than the vehicle is coming up with the funds to take possession of that darling house I have begun to imagine my family living!
So, I walk by faith. Faith that if we were homeless for a few weeks, it would be a few weeks full of divine appointments, perhaps for my soul's benefit, or perhaps for someone else's. Who can know, but I trust God.
How do I face each day? It helps to know three men need me each morning, and might tear each other apart if I do not pull myself out of bed to make peace. I, like Summer, try to remember that I am only passing through, and the journey is not without purpose. Despite my alien status, I have enjoyed pretty comfortable lodgings. I try to remember I am here - exactly here, in every physical, emotional, financial, mental, spiritual sense of the word - for a reason. Either as a consequence from which I need to learn, or for the sake of another's life which I need to know, or perhaps for someone else who needs to know God through me, or yet again as a launching pad to the next place. I trust there is logos.
Lately, as finances get tighter and another "great depression" looms larger, I try to close my eyes and remember Ghana. I strain to hear the needs of people whose greatest need is water that will not make them sick or kill their children. I remember meeting women who longed for a safe place to use the bathroom at night without being violated and impregnated by strangers with HIV. I remember meeting people who did not know where their spouses, parents, or children were, nor if they were alive. I wash my face with cold water each night to help me remember these who have no warm water. That trip taken 6 1/2 years ago remains a beacon of perspective for me. Life could always be worse and in so many ways, I do not have a clue what suffering is (which, I do not believe is the same for you, my reader).
I know that the financial struggles are nothing compared to the emotional sufferings. If I have an enemy, I try to imagine how their life has led them to a place where they are trapped in so much unhappiness that they have decided to strike others with cruelty. This opens my heart to have compassion for them, though they try to destroy me (or others I hold dear), and gives me gratitude that God has decided to work on my own would-be-caloused-heart differently.
In my younger days, which were filled with far more emotional pains, I cried many nights to myself, and wrote many, many letters I never sent. Sometimes I find those letters and read them again to myself, ever grateful I let myself feel and that I let myself be raw, even if it was only with myself and God.
If you are younger than me (who is all of 28) can I tell you if it gets better? I want to say yes, but "better" is a strange word. I would not go back, if I could. I like the person whom these five sufferful years has wrought, though I am still adjusting to her reflection.
It is easier because there are closed doors now. It has made my life simpler. From 19-23, I was simply overwhelmed at so many choices and my great fear of not making the very best ones. Now, for good or for bad (as I said, I would never go back, I have no regrets - well, except for financing half my wedding), those doors are closed, and my world is smaller, in one sense, but I have also been met with exceedingly, abundantly more than I expected "domestication" would bring. Sometimes I miss the freedom that comes with the status "single" but only very briefly, as all those open doors still make me nervous.
Does life get more doable? I think so. With age comes defendable, self-chosen routines, and while seemingly boring, are more akin to a metronome setting the pace for inspirational music to flow forward at a tempo one can keep.
Sometimes I think what really holds me together is milk and porridge in the morning, singing to my boys before their bedtime, a cup of tea before my own, and all the habits that are required to make those things happen. There is great value in habit. If not, simply to draw our attention to the worthiness of the things that suspend those habits when we realize we still do not have it all together.