Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Are You Ready?

I'm one of those people who feels like I have to earn everything.  When it comes to God's blessings I always feel like I have to work for them.  For example, years ago before I started dating my late husband, I remember needing to scrub the kitchen floor and I really didn't want to. But I had this conversation with myself: "How can God send your husband if you won't take care of this floor?"

It seemed to make sense.  How could I expect God to bless me with a husband, if I couldn't even keep my floor clean?  But that isn't how God works.  God doesn't expect us to reach a certain level, or obtain a certain status so that He can bless us.  God doesn't say to us, "Clean up your life so you are worthy of my son.  Then He will save you."  NO! He is exactly the opposite. He sees us as sinners, who don't even recognize His goodness, or even see the reality of Jesus as our Savior.  And in that state, our worst state ever, He sent Jesus to save us.  And all we need to do is believe that Jesus is His Son, and we are saved.  No works involved.  Nothing to earn, nothing to prove.

I'm reminding myself of all of this, because once again I'm struggling with my own need for perfection.  On Christmas Eve, my late husbands step-dad (of 22 years), turned to me and said in seriousness and compassion, "You need to find yourself someone.  That's how your gonna move on. Start a new life."  Tears rolled down my face as he spoke.  I felt such a freedom, and a sincere love from him.  And the truth is I think about finding someone often.  I have started to put myself out there, as much as a single stay at home mom can.  And this is what brings me to my internal struggle of earning God's gifts.

If you've been following me for any amount of time you know what a roller coaster I've been on.  The ups and downs of grief, and the loop the loops of single parenting have me screaming, holding on for dear life, and even ready to barf at times.  How can I even consider bringing a man in on all of that?  I had this thought so often, and heard it from so many, "You can't move on until your healed."

The more and more I think about being healed, and waiting to move on until my healing is complete the less sense it makes.  Is there a certain event that passes, and its your marker stating the grief has ended.  Is there a long enough amount of time that can heal the unexpected loss of your 38 year old husband.  More and more I have come to realize that healing is a process.  And a hurt as deep as becoming a widow, is not one that heals easy as paper cut.  In fact, I'm not sure I will ever be completely healed from what I have been through.  And if God requires me to be completely healed and 100% emotionally repaired, I don't think I will ever have a new relationship.

I believe its not about being healed, but rather being ready.  Its okay to move on and still be walking through grief.  In reality I am sure grief will visit us for the rest of our lives.  On my step daughter's graduation day.  When my son plays his first baseball game.  When our children get married.  And of course the first time I see our grandkids.  Grief will be there.  The question then becomes are you ready to move on? Am I ready?

I personally am not entirely sure if I am ready.  And its something that only I can know.  In the last year I had influential friends and even pastors telling me to move on quickly, and I got in a relationship way too early.  I wasn't ready, I hadn't even grieved.  But I listened to what other's told me.  And it was a mistake. I can see that now.  From that I learned to listen to my heart, and listen to God, not to others.

Sometimes you don't know if your ready to walk until you stand up and try.  And if I take a step and crash to the ground, I'll know to sit back on the couch and rest up a bit more.  But if I take that small step, and I don't fall, then I'll know I'm ready.  The glorious future God has promised me and my son is just up the path.  I don't have to be healed to get on that path, or to even walk down it.  I don't have to have every part of my life functioning in perfect order.  I just have to be ready. Ready to follow God when He says "take my hand Jenn, come and see what I have waiting for you!"

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