I wrote this about three and a half years ago, but it’s been seven-ish since the incident chronicled actually transpired. Do you ever marvel at the work God has done in relatively short amounts of time? Work that you didn’t strive towards or achieve because you are a big deal. It’s just miraculous, inexplicable change – and it is humbling. Every detail of the following is true. I have not felt this level of crazy very many times in my life – but I can still remember each of them vividly, and they are always connected to my tight hold on control…but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Let’s start with what was Real for me at the time:
I sat there staring at the wall lost in thoughts of nothing and everything all at the same time as the women around me chatted excitedly about what they learned in the Bible Study during their previous weeks. While they chatted and I stared, my thought process went something like this: “I really don’t want to be here…but I can’t think of anywhere else in particular that I want to be…that’s kinda sucky. There’s absolutely no where in this world I would like to be…I should probably at least pretend to be engaged in the discussion…Nope, I can’t even pretend…I think a fake bathroom break is in order. I cannot sit here and pretend that everything is okay anymore. I feel like I might be losing my mind…literally. I wonder if anyone would believe me if I told them I thought I was going crazy…like that’s an option. The behind-my-back conversation would probably go something like this, ‘Did you hear the new men’s minister’s wife? Is it a good idea to have a man in a leadership role whose wife thinks she’s crazy and doesn’t care anything about Bible Study?’ Yep. A fake bathroom break is my only option.”
[Exit to the bathroom. Stand and look at myself in the mirror.]
“I’m so sick and tired of this. I’ve given up everything I wanted while his [being my husband’s] dreams are coming true right and left. When will I get one thing I want? Just one flippty floopin’ thing? I’m tired. So tired. And mad. I’m so dang ticked off I want to hit something…long empty thought silence…I guess I should go back in, now.” [Re-enter happy Bible Study group just as prayer request time started.] The facilitator, who happened to be the pastor’s wife, turned to me and said, “Emily, is everything okay?”
She just point blank asked! And she meant it! And I was caught so off guard that all I could do was tell the raw, nasty truth. It went down something like this: “No. [Pause.] I’m so miserable. [Face got all squinched up preparing for the ugly cry.] I feel like all of Josh’s dreams are coming true and none of mine are, [Sucked in all the air in the room with a giant snort because I was working so hard not to explode into the ugly cry.] And I want a baby so bad that it’s killing me! [And then the ugly cry could be denied no longer. Some women cry sweet tears with grace and dignity. I, however, know no cry but the ugliest cry you can imagine. It’s uncontrollable and probably frightening for those who have never experienced it. My entire face gets contorted and weird looking. My eyebrows, lips and nose get very red and splotchy. Snot all over the place and I can barely speak because of the loud, violent sobs that have taken control of my body. It’s quite the show. Ask my husband. Or my mom. They have experienced it NUMEROUS times and I feel certain will receive many jewels in their crowns as a result.]
Then it happened…the last thing I ever expected and the very thing I needed most…the other five or six women in the room practically lept across the table to get an arm around me or touch me in some way. They were so genuinely concerned! Not in an, “Oh my gosh, she really is crazy” sort of way, but in a, “My heart is breaking with hers” sort of way. I continued to ramble on about how unhappy had filled me right up from my head to my toes – so much so that I felt like I was going to lose my mind some days. They just rubbed my shoulder or stroked my hand and nodded their heads, showering me with absolute understanding.
From that day forward they did their best to love the unhappy right out of me. The facilitator [the pastor’s wife, remember?] was loving AND gave it to me straight, “Do you think maybe you’re mad at God?” Huh…yes maybe I was. “Well, don’t you think you should tell Him about it? Because you have got to get past this and you won’t be able to if you’re not honest with God.”
That afternoon I went home and threw a royal, two hour fit at the feet of the Almighty Father…and I believe with my whole heart that He was so sad for my pain and so glad that I was finally telling Him about it! Afterwards I apologized and acknowledged that I couldn’t possibly understand His ways because they are infinitely better than mine. And my life has never been the same since.
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