Monday, May 21, 2012


Hope:  This is going to be the best summer of my life.
Fear:  This is going to be one more painful chapter in a very hard year.

I'm not so far away from the hardest thing I've ever been through.  I remember it all in crippling detail.  And there are moments when it comes on me as strong as ever...those inexplicable fears and inner churnings.  Praying to God to get through the day one minute at a time, and fearing that each day would end and I would be forced awake to a new one...usually in the middle of the night.  So many nights...crying for what I gave up, crying for what I would never have again, crying for what I never really had.....  It's not so far away from me.

I see this coming summer as full of potential.  I have a job I love, a church I love, friends and family that I love.  And life is really starting to piece together again.  But here's the scary part, this is how I felt last year at this time.  I didn't know how things would turn out.  Standing there and looking forward, I thought only good things were on the horizon, finally unfolding in front of me and making my otherwise unimportant existence something exiting and interesting.  And for a moment, just a moment, that was true.  Everything seemed to exist in a surreal euphoria.  Everything I had ever wanted, dreamed of, prayed for, was finally within my grasp.  And just as swiftly, and as ugly as the spring was beautiful, the summer ended, and robbed me of everything I had, even my very sanity.

I don't want things to go back to the way they were.  No.  I have nothing to go back for.  But there are days when I'm terrified of moving forward.  Just as sure as there will be a future, it will be accompanied by its own pain and sorrows.  That is a guarantee.  And I wonder if I have the strength to face that pain, that sorrow, that fear of the unknown.

But tomorrow comes without consulting anyone first.  The sun rises without taking a survey about whether or not it should.  And as much as we try to shut it out, pull the blankets up over our heads, the morning brings with it a whole new set of trials.  But it also brings a whole new set of opportunities.  And the potential of those opportunities could be just as good as bad.

Last week was not an easy week.  This week is not starting out any easier.  I feel like I'm on the verge of giving up...but I don't know quite how...and I don't quite know what.  I just have to remind myself that it gets better.  The good days are not so far away from me.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Marriage.  It never fails that I'm confronted with the concept on a near daily basis.  It's not something that I think about all the time though it does play a role in my grander ideas for my life.  But I'm not so unhappy as a single girl. In fact, I've had a few opportunities in my life to marry, but I've never followed through on them.  I suppose that's my fault, or a sign of my good sense.  I prefer to think of it as the latter.

This weekend I sang in a wedding for the first time since October.  I've kind've been avoiding the whole singing up front thing since late last summer...when things got really bad.  But lately, it seems that everyone is determined to have me sing for something.  I was asked to sing The Star Spangled Banner for a banquet a couple of weeks ago, my grandma requested I sing a special in church for Mothers' Day, and last week my worship leader had me sing for him at church because he needs some help with praise band.  And though I'm not unhappy to do these things (I'm actually pleased and flattered to be asked), I do have my moments of uncertainty.

On my way to the rehearsal on Friday, the sun was shinning brilliantly over the freshly plowed fields of my Indiana home.  A long week of work behind me; a long country road in front of me.  The radio was on.  I knew I would be with my cousin and her family.  All signs pointed to happiness.  And yet, there was an achy, hollow feeling down inside me.  That same feeling I experienced six months ago....that same emptiness that's impossible to fill.  Singing in weddings seems to be the hardest.

I'm fairly good at shaking off the bad feelings that sometimes roost in my thoughts and dreams.  I've learned how to focus on the things that are good, wonderful, even perfect about my life.  I think about my cozy little apartment, my adorable nieces and my nephew on the way, my awesome church, my crazy wonderful family.  I am so blessed, and yet....

I suppose there are things in life that most people take for granted.  We just assume that things will happen a certain way, be a certain way, stay a certain way.  But, living teaches us otherwise.  And though this time last year, things were starting to finally fall in place, I could have never guessed that just a few months later, everything would completely fall apart.  ....And I'd be singing at other people's weddings.  But I wouldn't change it.

As the Goodmans' say, I wouldn't take nothing for my journey now.  I really like where I am in my life.  I really like that I've stayed the course on the road less traveled by.  And yet, there's still that feeling that something's missing....