Hi friends. I normally stick with humor on the blog, or at the very least, I keep to a writing theme, but today will be a little different. If this isn’t what you’re looking for, feel free to stop reading at any time.
I have this certain characteristic that really drives me crazy sometimes. I feel other people’s emotions very deeply. If someone I know is happy, I feel their happiness. If someone is depressed, I can’t help but cry for them. And if tragedy strikes, I am utterly crushed.
This is true of most people when it applies to someone close to them, but I feel this way about people I’ve never met. Whenever a celebrity dies, I grieve for their family. I actually mourn for them. For example, one of my favorite singers, Corinne Bailey Rae, lost her husband unexpectedly a couple years ago. I was driving when I heard the news on the radio and I cried for at least an hour. I don’t know Corinne, and I didn’t even know she was married. But in that moment, I felt her pain. Not all of it, but some.
Today I found out that one of my writer friends is a widow. She didn’t tell me, and I haven’t even spoken to her about it, but in a sort of roundabout way I discovered this fact about her. I have never met her face to face, and I guess there’s a chance I never will. I read a few of her blog entries and discovered the details of her husband’s death. And I cried for her. A lot.
I also discovered that, from what I can tell, she is a believer in Christ.
I stay fairly quiet in the public forums about my faith. There are several reasons for this, but the main one is that if I weren’t a Christian, the last thing I would want is for some yahoo to be all up in my face about it. That would really make me mad, and I would probably stop following their blog and ditch them on Twitter. I also know for a fact that Christianity is, on the whole, very misunderstood due to some sections of the church that turn a relationship with God into a list of do’s and don’ts. A list of how to be better than the non-Christians. And that, my friends, is not the Gospel. But I digress.
I am fascinated by this woman’s strength. In my experience with her, she has been very honest, funny, and basically, a superhero. She has lots – and I do mean lots – of kids. How does she support them by herself? How does she find time for her writing?
How does she get out of bed every morning without the love of her life by her side?
I cannot even imagine it.
I know there is no guarantee that we have tomorrow, but I never expect for my husband to disappear suddenly, leaving me alone. What would happen if he did? How would I react? Would I fall into a pit of depression and never recover? Would I be angry at God? Would I quit my job, get on a plane, and vanish?
At some point, I would probably do all of those things (except maybe the last one, but anyone who knows me in real life will understand that hopping on a random plane is totally something I might do).
I’ve had a fairly easy life, as lives go. There’s been tragedy, make no mistake, but compared to so many other people – like my friend – it’s been relatively manageable. I’ve lost people in my family, but never anyone closer than a grandparent. I’ve lost friends, but never a best friend.
This is one of those times where I’m seeing how much life I have to go (as far as I know, anyway) and I am realizing the potential for trials along the way. What does God have in store for me? How will he challenge me, teach me, encourage me, break and rebuild me? I know sanctification is necessary, but does it have to be so difficult sometimes? And how does sovereignty really work, anyway?
I know this post isn’t for everyone, so don’t feel pressured to comment or even read. Maybe you’ve stopped reading already, and that’s fine. I almost disabled comments on this post, but I think I’ll leave them open. If you’ve got something to add, I would love to read it.