I am sitting here this morning, thinking and praying about how amazing it feels to be un-stuck.
Two and a half years ago, I was STUCK. Stuck, in so many ways. In addition to being stuck in the caregiving story I described a few posts ago, I was stuck in my ministry journey, stuck in a house that we did not want to live in- (and couldn’t afford)……and STUCK under a pile of possessions that were strangling me and sucking the life out of our life.
I didn’t want to live where I was living.
I couldn’t handle the caregiving duties that had been left in my lap- my Mother’s dementia was way beyond anything I could cope with anymore.
I desperately wanted a church to sponsor me on my ministry journey- and it seemed like I would never find one where I would fit in.
I needed to write a new story.
And that’s when I got really brave……
It would take pages, and pages to describe it here- But basically- God and I made a new plan. We envisioned my life and how it would look with my Mother in safe, reliable, residential care, the family home cleared out and sold, my MDiv. finished, us with a sponsoring home church, and a lot of the debt we had acquired GONE.
There was a lot that needed to be done to make all of this happen. A LOT.
Lawyers and paperwork and wait lists and phone calls and office visits and emails……And what seemed like endless dead ends.
Hours and hours and hours of this. Sometimes it was like the pathway to writing my New Story was filled with thorny bushes, fallen tree limbs and giant, treacherous holes in the ground.
I was afraid. I was afraid every day.
But I had my Jesus, and He talked to me a lot. He laughed with me at the absurdity of bureaucratic red tape. He cried with me when the powers that be would not answer their emails and phone calls. He danced and cheered with me, every time a milestone was achieved – and I danced around the house, screaming the lyrics to “Eye of the Tiger.”
He held my hand. That is our thing, Jesus and me. We hold hands- and my constant prayer to Him is:
“Jesus???Just don’t let go of my hand.”
And He doesn’t.
“Be strong and courageous”, He tells me. “Do not be afraid, for the Lord, your God, will be with you wherever you go.”
And I believe Him.
Two and a half years later……..
I am here, in the NEW STORY that is my life……
My Mom is in safe care. I see her three or so times a week. I love her and sing to her and bring her chocolate and hold her hand and do her laundry. I do what I can- but I no longer feel like the sadness and overwhelm of dementia is killing me too.
I graduated from Seminary. It took me nine years, going part time and working full-time- but I finished. And Jesus danced with me and my Husband to “Eye of the Tiger” the day that I turned in my final Doctrinal Thesis.
The Family House is gone. Sold. Just about everything in it is gone too. Along with an inherited mortgage and property taxes that we didn’t want and couldn’t afford.
We found a church- or maybe a church found us- I’m still trying to figure that one out. But they loved us, and we loved them, and six months after we got there, they called me to be their new Associate Pastor. Go figure.
I’m still in the middle of writing the New Story. Part of the New Story is that I am a WRITER now. Something I have always wanted to be, but was too afraid to do.
Jesus makes me brave…….
We still need to find a home, my husband and I. That is part of the New Story that is still to come. Hopefully soon. Right now, we are benefiting from the kindness and accommodating spirit of my Mother in Law – while we write the chapter about paying off my student debt.
That too, will be a chapter in the New Story.
“The Hare and the Tortoise” is a story that inspires me. That and “The Little Engine that Could”. Slow and steady wins the race. I think I can. I think. I can. I think I can…….
Just don’t let go of my hand, Jesus.
Just don’t let go of my hand……….