Sunday, July 21, 2013
Last Sunday wasn't awesome.
It started out with an addiction argument, then my husband was called into work right before we were to leave to church. My calling leaves NO ROOM for tardiness (prelude!) so I bustled all three kiddos and myself out the door. I made it just in time to play about ten minutes of prelude music.
I blogged about this before.
But I didn't blog the whole of it.
I cried a little in my home behind the organ. It felt good. I prayed a lottle in my home behind the organ. It felt at least as good as crying.
I played postlude, and then I nursed the baby during Sunday School. And then I taught Relief Society.
The week leading up to my lesson was wrought with pressure and anxiety. There were disclosures and a sick grandpa. There were three freezers of fresh beef that went out (we had the biggest cookout you've EVER seen with the best steak). There was a sick baby and a doctor visit. There was family stress about family businesses and the uncertainties pertaining to them. There were tears and anxiety and addiction.
My lesson was, "Not My Will But Thine Be Done."
I joked with the sisters in my Relief Society about how I was sure my chaotic week leading up to this lesson was specifically to personally prepare me to teach. I told them I hoped at some point in the future they'd all get a chance to teach the same lesson so they might learn the same lesson... "and I hope you'll all get the opportunity to have a horrible week like I did," I said, jokingly.
They knew I was kidding. They laughed. They know me. They like me. They LOVE me because they're like family. Some of them actually ARE family. Most have helped raise me: taught me in school, babysat me, watched me grow, slowed down as I rode my bike down Main Street...
But one had not. A recent move-in.
After sharing some personal experiences related to my hard week and the answers to prayer I'd received in regards to it, she let me know in no uncertain terms that I was a blessed, ungrateful woman.
That I needed to THANK Heavenly Father for my life instead of telling him how horrible it was.
That I ought to trade shoes with HER.
That I didn't know how good I had it.
She reiterated my ingratitude, my use of the word "horrible"...
I looked down at the lesson and read. I don't know what I read. I have no idea what I read. All I know is that I DID read. I read the words on the manual as my hands shook and my voice betrayed the tears that were begging to be let loose.
I fought the "flight" reaction.
When I was done reading, I simply said, "Does anyone have anything to share about what I just read?"
I think the 'ps: I have no idea what I just read' was implied.
After my lesson was over, I was swarmed with support and validation. My husband had come to church late, and when he saw me, his shoulder was icy... as shoulders often can be after arguments. As he stood by me, a sister walked by and simply said, "I'm sorry about what that woman said to you. It was a good lesson."
The ice on his shoulder instantly melted and was replaced by his unmistakable Italian Mama persona.
"WHAT. HAPPENED?! WHO?! WHERE?!"
"Let's just make it to the car," I said, "Let's just make it to the car."
The car was my goal.
Just make it to the car...
Once the kids were safely buckled in, I let loose. I let the tears cascade down my cheeks and I bawled a good bawl for thirty minutes.
And then? I was fine. I enjoyed the cookout mentioned above without thinking much about the incident.
A few years ago, and incident like that would have completely festered in me. I would have hashed and rehashed it. I would have felt HATE along with my anger. I would have sought support and validation for other women. I would NOT have gotten over it, let alone gotten over it within two short hours (or long, if you count the time spent at the teaching podium). I would have shoved the tears down and told myself I was too strong to let someone GET to me. I didn't need to cry. The emotions would have never escaped, never washed out.
And I realized two things: The Lord KNOWS me.
And: Recovery is changing me.
In the small hours of yesterday morning, I was at my husband's side. He was in the throws of horrible food poisoning. No amount of ANYTHING was even touching his awful state.
I was helpless and dealing with a restless baby who woke up every time the toilet was flushed (which was a lot). As soon as the sun came up and I could leave the baby, I was at the convenience store.
It was 6:30 am.
I was in dirty yoga pants and a dirty t-shirt. I was holding gatorade, sprite and saltines when who should show up in line in front of me but the newly called Relief Society president!
She told me she was headed out for a family outing, and how was I?
I mumbled something about food poisoning and my husband, and she told me to follow her home... she had some powerful probiotics she'd used when she had been down with food poisoning (from the same restaurant, ew).
What are the odds of that happening?
Later that afternoon when I was sure my husband was well enough to be left alone, I loaded up my baby and started on down the highway to go grocery shopping.
And of course my water pump went out.
And of course a storm was coming.
But I was calm. I knew it would be okay. I knew how to get a tow truck. I knew how to turn my hazards on. I was worried about being alone (plus baby) on the side of a very busy highway, and before I could get TOO worried, a car pulled up behind me.
It was a cop car... not the scary kind with lights blazing , but the protective, wonderful kind that are full of air conditioning and guns and badges and "you okay, miss? would you like me to stay with you, miss?" and then "are you LDS, miss?"
I later realized my fly had been down through the entire ordeal. Perhaps the very special view of my garments was his first clue? *head slap*
I had never met this particular cop before (I've met most all of the cops in these parts), and we ended up having a few mutual friends. He talked about his family, about his wife and how she was broken down as well... how she drove the same vehicle I was driving.
Wonder if her fly was down as well?
I came home from my thwarted shopping trip with a smile on my face. It was okay. I knew it was okay. I knew everything would be okay.
It's okay if things don't go according to MY plans.
I didn't used to know that... not really. I knew it theory, but I didn't understand it. I do now.
The RS lesson? The car breaking down? The awful night of tending a fussy baby and puking husband? In the past, they would have each given me a one-way ticket to VictimLand. But not now.
Now I can roll with it.
And as I roll with it, the Lord has poured his obvious, unmistakable Little Wonders out galore. He plunked a RS president at the convenience store at 6:30 in the morning. He plunked a cop on the side of the road... an LDS cop (it helped, not that I'm biased, but it brought an added amount of comfort in an otherwise uncomfortable situation). He plunked a fresh loaf of bread in my hands after an unpleasant experience. He plunked a nine year old girl with eager helping hands that changed diapers and fed babies in my living room.
This week, I'm alone. My husband is gone on training with his work crew, and though I struggle with some very real concerns as to the company he's keeping, I lean on what the Lord has given me.
His Little Wonders are FIRM reminders to me that HE IS IN CHARGE. Everything will work out as it should.
And really: there's nothing Little about his Little Wonders.