Thursday, May 14, 2015

Life is Messy and the Puzzle Pieces Don't Fit

E loves puzzles. I love watching her put them together: concentrating and twisting and turning each piece to find a way for them to fit neatly within each other...The pieces are always the right size, right shape. They click. They fit.

Sometimes, I wish life was that way.
But right now, my life puzzle is messy, disorganized, and, quite frankly, my pieces don't fit together. And while I'm making peace with where I am right now, it would be a lie to say this is is easy, or even that I'm enjoying myself.
Because when you're trying to put a puzzle together and your pieces aren't fitting together, things just get complicated and frustrating.

You see, I'm in this weird place of limbo and I'm still figuring out where I fit. So much of who I was early in our marriage was based on my husband's career: that's where we lived, how we met friends, how we found common ground with people. I had a community. I became comfortable in that community.
and then God closed that door.
So now here I am: not a military wife, but also not sure how to fit in or relate to the civilian world. In many ways, I'm in a position of being a single mom, but I'm happily married to a man that is working incredibly hard to support our family. It's almost as though I really don't fit anywhere right now (although that does sound rather dramatic-it's really not). And, if I'm honest, it's been really hard.

(and, let's face it, we need to be honest with each other in this human experience. life isn't always sunshine and roses, but that doesn't mean it's bad)

It's hard because I don't know how to help my two year old when she sits and cries and begs for her daddy when she's sad. Because it breaks my heart every time she asks, "Where daddy?" and answers her own question with "Daddy at work. Far away." It's hard because I'm seeing my two babies growing up and I know how much my husband wishes he could be part of it. It's hard because I have two precious, but busy children who demand so much of me-of which I freely give. It's hard because I'm also (by choice) working, going to school, maintaining our home, and keeping some semblance of order within our lives without my husband being able to be here as a physical presence.
It's hard because I'm lonely.

I'm still finding my niche here. I have friends from before that live here, and I love them dearly, but I haven't found where I fit yet. I know my village is out there, and my heart aches for it.  I remind myself this is a season where I might just be lonely-two kids age two and under makes getting together for quality time hard.
but that doesn't mean I don't miss it.
and I'll bet that most moms of young children often feel similarly.

When life's puzzle pieces just don't fit together well, it's hard. I get tired of explaining over and over again where my husband is because the response is often one of pity (or, "must be good money")
Both are wrong answers.
I don't want pity. I also don't want people talking about our finances. It doesn't matter how much money we're making-money doesn't replace a person's presence.
So if you happen to ask and I share what's going on in our family, here's what your response should be:
"Ok. I'll be praying for you guys."
"Can I give you a hug?"
"Is there anything we can do to help lessen the load for you?" (watch my kids so I can take a nap HA)
"You're doing a great job."
"I'm here for you."

That's it. Don't say you're sorry. God closed the door to our previous assignment for a reason, although I'm still waiting for His purposes to play out in a way I can tangibly understand. But I trust the Lord and his timing and plan, and I'm content in that.
Because I truly believe He's doing BIG things in our family this year.

Don't get me wrong, I have, and will continue to experience every range of emotion possible. I've been angry, sad, excited, hopeful. Even now, 6 months after leaving Texas, I still cry sometimes. The weight still feels overwhelming sometimes.

In the past week, I've really been meditating on the Book and character of Esther in the Bible.  In many ways, I feel like I can relate to her: She was taken from her community and placed somewhere that she didn't likely fit well, she likely experienced loneliness, she didn't want to be there.
and yet, she was reminded, she was there "for such a time as this". God had a purpose in her circumstances. She could have run away from the hard stuff. She could have wallowed in her sadness. But instead, she chose initiative. She chose strength.
and she changed the destiny of a generation and left a legacy that is still honored today.

I'm learning to embrace my circumstances. I'm leaning on Jesus for strength. I'm honest about my feelings and circumstances.
and I am embracing hope and joy in the middle of chaos.
and accepting grace for the moment.

So even though my puzzle pieces aren't fitting together right now in really any area of my life, I know that there is a marvelous picture that is being painted right now. I can't see the final product yet, but I trust the Artist's hands and vision.
and I find my peace in spite of the missing, misshapen, broken pieces that make up this life.

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