It had been a lonely 4 weeks. Jason took the youth group for a week-long missions trip to New York City. This meant he was missing the last week of his semester, so the week before and the week after the trip included heavy paper-writing. He finally finished everything, and then we had 3 evenings together before he went to Wheaton for his brother's graduation. So between all of that and sitting by myself in my office all day every day, it had been a very lonely 4 weeks. I think I handled it pretty well, all things considered. I am generally pretty bad about being by myself. But it was good to spend some Robin-time, to have some space to myself outside of my office, to repeatedly watch Jane Austen movies, to catch up with my family, to think. It was good, reflective time. But it was also exhausting. Being by myself completely drains me. I am not a very outgoing person, but I am very much an extrovert in that I feed off of other people's energy. It's something I have a hard time creating on my own. When I am alone, simple tasks like eating dinner become daunting. And ambitious plans for crafting fall by the wayside. And the idea of blogging...writing entries that would be littered with loneliness and sadness...it just was not at the top of my to-do list.
A few weeks ago, I had a large personal disappointment. I can't really share it explicitly here at this point. Most of you already know. I was handling it quite well...being very logical and reasonable about it. Bottling my grief and putting on a happy face to share the news with my family and friends and small group. But after the initial shock of the disappointment, and after my prepared speech, I had to deal with the difficult and overwhelming question: "What now?" This is something I was not prepared to face, for all my planning and preparation. How do I move forward? How do I readjust the vision I had thought God had cast for me of this happy little future? How do I reconcile myself to the idea that God gave me a vision that is now not going to be fulfilled? What does that say about God? What does that say about what I should do now? What will my life look like now that I don't have this thing to look forward to? What will happen to my hope, my newly recovered good spirits, my reestablished bounce?
I faced these questions, and I'm still facing them. It has not been easy to continue with life as normal, especially when I have had to spend so much time by myself. I am not completely devastated. I have not lost all hope. But I do feel discouraged, disjointed. I drew this picture as a prayer:
It's based loosely on the style of Emily Martin, one of my favorite etsy artists. (Here is her blog and her shop.) It's not exactly my vision, but my drawings rarely are. Even so, I think it made my point, and it was cathartic in its way.
There have been very few times in my life when a door has been definitively closed. I suppose that makes me lucky. Twice it was my own doing, and twice the decision was made for me. Those four instances have sent my heart wandering down paths that the rest of me does not get to follow. It's an ugly little monster who at best is called, "What if?" and at worst is called "Regret." And as my imagination follows my heart along its own little adventures to undiscovered worlds, I sit in an office. Alone. I don't know when it will all make sense. I don't know how the pieces will come together to reveal a master plan. I fear to be reunited under the current vision of my life, scared that I am doomed to mediocrity. But the fragmentation is painful. It's hard to know who I am with so many unconnected pieces. This most recent disappointment has surely been the least dramatic of my four closed doors. But it has left me raw. It has left me scrambling to recover my carefully guarded survival mode, all the while fearing the zombie as much as the hurt. So I am currently in limbo once again. I am in the waiting. I'm looking forward to a much-needed change one way or another. And in the mean time, I'm up and down. Most of the up has been fueled by the Phoenix Suns sweeping the San Antonio Spurs on their way to the western conference finals. I know it's silly. But I literally cried tears of joy over their victory on May 9th. For all their being beat down by the Spurs over the years, the Suns finally and decidedly defeated their Goliath. And that has given me a strange sort of disembodied hope that good does win over evil, and everything will work out in the end.
There are some exciting things coming including pictures of the long-awaited and now completed granny square blanket, new recipes, a recording, and updates on several UFO's (UnFinished Objects). I hope that today finds you basking in the sunshine or at least heading towards the sun. I'm doing my best to turn my face in that direction.