Hunkered Down

April 27, 2011 at 12:17 am (Ruminations.)

I was standing in my old bedroom on Easter when it really hit me how heavy it had all been. For some reason at that moment the storm I just came out of crystalized very clearly in my mind… and how my little sanctuary on Celinda had been such a God send.

I was thinking about how just a few months before – on Thanksgiving, in fact – this journey we call life started to take a very interesting turn for me, when I was hiding away in that very room. As if it wasn’t interesting enough already… but this was a good interesting… maybe the point where the good started to clearly outweigh the negativity.

I had been living at Elizabeth’s for just barely over a month. At the end of October I had moved everything in after the house sold and basically settled down just long enough to gain energy to take flight a few days later. I flew four states over to my family… to Texas. Before leaving I jokingly called this much needed retreat my ‘weep and sleep’, but in the end it turned out to be just the opposite. Lots of visiting, lots of friends, lots of family and – most of all – lots of love.

I returned ‘home’ to Celinda having no idea what God would have in store for me next, feeling numb… broken… but loved. Somehow I instinctively knew I needed to hunker down for the winter, but I never would have verbalized it that way at the time. I just kept saying I needed to get through the holidays, that 2010 needed to die a quiet death.

In the couple of weeks up to Thanksgiving the discomfort in my life was palpable… trying to figure out what ‘normal’ is, feeling numb and just not knowing what to do with myself half the time. Several pity invites to Thanksgiving meals surfaced, and though I appreciated each and every one of them, when Kristin called to invite me to an intimate meal at her home I could have cried from relief. I just needed family and this was the closest I had after we had been living together for a month and a half earlier in the year.

So Thanksgiving with my German friends it was… and it was lovely. I drove home later feeling the same numbness and discomfort I had been sitting in for awhile, and I walked into a party at Elizabeth’s, right smack in the middle of the ‘what are you thankful for’ moment. Domino, in typical form, made a grand entrance, running in the front door and making a beeline for the pumpkin bread on the coffee table, licking everyone as he passed, interrupting Jesse as he was saying what he was thankful for, me chasing after trying to contain the hound. I retreated to my room for a few minutes feeling totally out of place and then I felt compelled to get back out there and be with people. I walked back in, sat in the back, and held onto the only stable thing in my life – my puppy – for dear life.

They asked me what I was thankful for… for me it was the roof over my head and being surrounded by people who love me. The holiday moment broke into games and chit chat and I decided it would be healthier for myself to stay involved instead of isolating. And over the course of the evening I started to spend time and get to know the people that would within the matter of a few weeks become my family.

Five months later – almost to the day – standing in my old room on Easter I couldn’t help but think about that long, cold winter. The nights getting longer, the days getting shorter. That damn room was FREEZING… windows weren’t sealed well and always leaked in cold air. Many cold nights of just trying to BE, hanging on to the only stable thing in my life… my puppy. Trying to figure out how to take care of myself, but not knowing how. Having no appetite and surviving on bananas and snack bars. Reading my Bible, or trying at least… sometimes just holding it and staring at the words unable to absorb. But always intimately aware and able to absorb the silent love being poured on me from all the beautiful people in my life. My family, my friends that are now my family, God, Jesus, and all the prayers, all the prayers so thick they were palpable even though I didn’t know who they were coming from.

Trying to ride the wave of God’s power in my life as everything fell apart perfectly, as everything broke into pieces, silently shattering… falling through the air in slow motion… hunkering down, riding out the aftermath of the storm, waiting for spring to break on a new and better life.

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