Monday, July 5, 2010

Is It Just You and Me Today?

I wonder, will anyone visit this blog today? Here in my slice of American pie folks will start the day with a pancake breakfast sponsored by the football moms, then line the street for a flag-waving parade. After the parade a sea of people will converge onto a half-mile or so of a blocked-off street to enjoy entertainment, vendors, a car show, and kid's activities. The day tops off at 10 tonite with our famous fireworks set to sychronized music!

Not sure I'll indulge in all of that. I'm thinking more about a quiet little cook-out tonight--BBQ ribs, potato salad, these incredible baked beans I make, and maybe a spinach salad as a gesture to good health. It'll just be me and my husband, a friend from work, and maybe my step-son. We spent the weekend doing odd-jobs around the house and allowing ourselves to relax and do what we wanted. Hassle-free!

It wasn't always like this. Fourth of July used to be an emotional land-mine for me. My wedding anniversary with Bruce was July 1, and honestly? Our anniversary celebrations rarely lived up to my expectations. He wasn't much for traditions or gifts, like I was; and although we loved each other and had a good marriage, I usually got my feelings hurt.

After he died, the first time July rolled around a lot of people remembered my wedding anniversary and included me in their July 4th fun. But the second year was awful. I got a card from my sister-in-law, but no one around me said a word. They all forgot. And then all my past miserable memories rolled up into one big wad of self-pity and depression! Here's a bit from my journal:

"I spent the day doing laundry, studying for the GRE, and a little housecleaning. I thought about going to the parade, but my teenage son certainly didn't want to go with me, nor did my daughter and her girlfriend who was living with us. And my oldest daughter was at work. So I stayed home because usually it's even lonelier to be by yourself in a crowd. By evening all the kids had scattered, the house was empty. I played free-cell, remembering how addicted I was to its mind-numbing power last summer, and I kept checking my email--but of course it was empty as no one except me would be in front of their computer on the 4th of July . . ."

It gets even worse after that, and I'll spare you the drama, but it makes me wonder--is anyone in front of their computer today? If you are, and you're feeling as miserable as I was a few years ago, let me encourage you with how I handled it.

You know those people who look you in the eye, and in all sweetness and sappiness they say--"If there's anything I can do . . .?" Well, here's what I did: the very next morning I called each of them. I said, "Meet me at the park at noon and bring a sandwich."

Four of them were able to show up. When we met, I showed them my journal entry, which, like I said, got a lot worse than what I shared just now. I had scared myself and I scared them, too! After they read it (and cried), I cried and said through blubbering tears, "I'm broken. I'm crippled like that man in the Bible who couldn't walk and needed his friends to carry him to Jesus. I need each of you to pick me up and carry me to Jesus. I need you to pray for me and call me every day for the next two weeks and get me through this."  

They failed to call me everyday. But enough of them called, and they called me enough. They were just ordinary Christian women, the kind that would never say a peep at a Bible study. Two of them were divorced, one had enough struggles of her own, one was a brand new Christian, but they were God's ministers to me. The days passed and I got through it because they helped. Had I not told them I needed help, I don't know what would have happened. 

So if you're with me today, and you're reading this because the silence in your house is deafening and the loneliness is suffocating, I think God wants you to know you're not really alone. He's placed some good people around you, and at this point, that is how He will minister to you. You might not feel especially close to God, you might even wonder if He really does exist. But He does. He loves you. He has good plans for you. And He has some people around you that need to know you need them. Try calling them and let me know what happens.

"Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." Jer. 33:3
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(Flickr photo credit: by Michael @ NW Lens 4th of July Parade in Burien, WA)

2 comments:

  1. Although I came late, I'm here! The boys and I went over to John's Mom & Dad's house for burgers and hot dogs.
    Yesterday was Pajama Day - I never got undressed! John and I would declare "Pajama Day" every now and then on a Saturday. He rarely got to stay home on Saturdays due to work, so Pajama Day was a treat. The boys like it because they weren't made to take a bath or a shower!

    I was sad to read your journal entry, but so happy to read you were brave enough to reach out to your friends and tell them you needed their friendship. I'm glad enough of them were able to take care of you.

    My Christ's Peace be with you.
    Your friend,
    Kelly

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Kelly. It was probably the lowest point ever in my life but a very precious time now as I look back. I wanted to share it because the Lord used His people and His Word to bring me through and I can't thank Him enough.
    I LOVE your Pajama Day idea! I will borrow it one of these days if you don't mind. :)

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