Monday, March 27, 2017

When Life Gives You Lemons...

I haven't written much the past two years.

There's a wealth of emotions tied to that one sentence, and even now I'm still dealing with the fallout of the wreck that has become my life. I've lost so much in two years. Some days when I reflect back on what's happened I can get a handle on everything, but other times I just cry.

A lot of circumstances when added together can become a tidal wave from which there is no escape. Our tidal wave started in 2009. They say God doesn't give more than we can handle, but obviously he has a higher opinion of my abilities than I do. Six close deaths in eight years were just the tip of the iceberg, and things only got harder when my darling hubby broke his back, for the third time.

So now the business is closed, the assets sold, and our unemployment is running out. I make $10 per hour and we are attempting to get the hubby on disability. My daughter is working two jobs to help with the expenses, and every penny is debated twice before spent. In the darkness that has been our reality, I've learned a few lessons I probably already knew but didn't adhere to.

1) Without money, you have time to work on the problems you've ignored. Every little resentment we've developed in the thirty years of our marriage has to be dealt with. No longer do we have the luxury of moving in separate areas in order to keep from facing each other.

2) When I'm stressed about finances and bills, the first thing that disappears are the voices in my head. I have three stories in various stages of development, and none of them are close enough to submission to be worth talking about. They have great story lines, but right now, every single character decided to head out on vacation.

3) People may ask how you are doing, but they really don't want to know. Everyone has issues and problems, they don't want to constantly be surrounded by yours.

4) Joy can be found in the most unexpected places. Take time to appreciate the small things you see around you. It's amazing how much you can get when you slow down and enjoy the ride. This life is all we have, don't spend so much time chasing money that you lose sight of what is truly important, and that is the relationships you have with the people around you.

I'm trying to live with these lessons and others, but I confess it's been hard. Hard putting myself aside and letting God take control. Hard realizing I am not in control of my fate anymore. Hard giving up things that I'd taken for granted, like movies and new clothes.

Each person's life is a journey, and though we we think the train has become derailed, that's all part of our journey as well.  The Apostle Paul once said, :"I must decrease so that He may increase." I'm still decreasing, and I need to let Him increase instead of stomping my foot and demanding things of which I have not proven myself ready or worthy.

So I'll embrace the lemons, and learn to make not just lemonade, but lemon pie, lemon curd, lemon jelly, everything that can be made from those lemons, because no matter what my situation, I need to be grateful for them. Those lemons came about because God sent them, and I want to master the lemon, so I can move onto the next challenge.

And somewhere along the line, the lemons will become sweeter, and the journey will continue, winding down a path made for me leading to where I do not know. But I do know I will be stronger once it is complete.