Monday, April 11, 2011

From Fear to Freedom

My family is often viewed as stable, functioning, and spiritually successful (whatever that even means). And my husband is great. He treats me well, he loves me, he has other men hold him accountable to loving me, and he works hard and feels called to his position at NICS. I also have a very healthy, easy going (overall) son. I have incredible friends who love me unconditionally and one in particular who has loved me since 6th grade--through everything including my being a plain old really bad friend. I have a part-time job that I can do "from home" that brings in extra income and allows me to do something I feel charged to do--stay at home with my son (NOT because I think working moms are wrong--I think they're right too. But that's another post).

But it is not enough. I struggle with fear, anxiety, guilt, resentment, jealousy, bitterness, and many more unbecoming nouns. No matter how "put together" my life looks, it is not. My family has issues, Jed and I disagree, I frustrate my friends and that frustrates me, my son tries my patience, and although I know you'll find this shocking--changing diapers, heating and cutting up food, giving snacks, reading baby books, playing with toys, etc. does not always make me feel sexy or fulfilled. Call me ungrateful. Call me thankless. Call me spoiled. All of the above are true.

Yesterday one of my closest friends, Emily, said she'd found a book that we had agreed to read together years ago and we never had. She'd made it halfway through the book in the last few days, and we agreed to have dinner tomorrow night because we like to eat and because we like each other. She's another that's made it many years with me....mark of a true friend. We will also be talking about this book:

I picked it up this morning and started to read Rose Marie Miller's words:

In my blindness and bitterness, I developed coping strategies. For example, I love order; it seems to promise so much. I believed that if I had outward order, then my heart would be at peace. This strategy worked until my first crisis, when I discovered that I could not control myself or my circumstances....I wanted freedom. Especially freedom from the guilt that stormed into my life when I become embittered with the people who had destabilized my world.

Pierce me through the heart, woman! I just love how you make me feel vulnerable and embarrassed!

But then:

Two seventeenth-century theologians were debating on the nature of grace. One said that grace is like one parent guiding a toddler across the room to the other parent, who has an apple for the child. The nearby parent watches the youngster; if he almost falls, this parent will hold him for a moment so that he can still cross the room under his own power. But the other theologian had a different view. For him grace comes to us only in the discovery of our total helplessness. In his concept, we are like a caterpillar in a ring of fire. Deliverance can only come from above.

Excited to keep reading and excited to embrace deliverance.

Running now. B is yelling in his high chair because he needs attention. Or oatmeal.


Richard said...

I love the progression from the blessings, good stuff of life to, "It is not enough." So true!

Roxanne said...

Love you bestie! And, let me know how you and Emily like the book, I need something to read and that sounds right up my alley!

Emily said...

I'm so excited about our dinner tomorrow. There's lots of work going on right now in me!

Mary Edwards said...

Hmmm, I'm gonna have to look into that book.