Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Love Wins

In the past year crappy things have happened. I suppose not unlike any other year, but this year they are happening to people I know and people I love, and yes, sometimes even to me. And you know what? They are happening OFTEN. Being a christian, my job is to let God take the wheel. My husband would say, "If you don't stop back seat driving, we're turning around and going back home. Shut up." Harsh, but true. I like to drive. It's freeing. I'm in control. I get to choose the music. I get to pick the route. It's all me baby. The pressure, however, is also on me. I need to keep my eyes on the road and keep us safe. People count on me. That's a scary feeling, and no matter how much I love to drive in the real world, I don't think I want that job in the metaphorical world.

Where are you going with this Mandi? Well, this past year has brought about a lot of garbage. People I love have gotten cancer, and people I know love people who have gotten cancer or died from cancer or kidney failure or pneumonia or insert disease here. Little ones are being left behind without mamas and daddies. Car accidents are claiming lives of babies and mommies and daddies and sisters and brothers. Broken bones ruined summers and falls and winters. Littles are being taken to Jesus far too soon in my humble opinion, bodies don't heal themselves and are forcing loved ones to prepare to say goodbye to family members. Marriages fall apart. Fires claim houses. A 22 year old becomes a widow. I don't even want to continue. It's sad. It sucks. It clouds my head and makes my heart ache and makes me question "Why God? much more than I'm sure he deems appropriate. I have a sneaking suspicion that our cozy little corner of the earth has sent up our fair share of why's lately. Of this I'm certain.

I don't deal well with sadness. I really don't. My experiences in the 27 years of life I've been on this earth have made me resilient and I hate to say it, a little hard. They've done a good job of making me push out the bad and only take in the good. Let me tell you, it's not as awesome as you think. Here's why. I've lost a lot of raw emotion out of this deal. I get sad, sure, but then I get angry, and I let whining and complaining and all of those annoying parts of my being take over, and what you get is a gal you'd really like to beat with a very large stick.

Here's what I've concluded. The people who are the happiest and healthiest in this life are the ones who let raw emotion fly. They break when they need to break. They experience every emotion painfully and beautifully. They let themselves question and reflect and wrestle with their own God, this life and all that happens in it. A blogger I'm fond of over at Momastery says that this life is brutiful. It's brutal and beautiful all at the same time. I like that word. It reminds me that bad things happen, but in the midst of the bad there is ALWAYS good. People come together to rally for those who are hurting. Meals are brought, cards are sent, prayers are lifted up and a community is formed. Whoever started, "It takes a Village" was onto something. Dude, community is powerful. Alone, grief rains down hard. It makes you want to hide under your covers in your feety pajamas with the doors locked, hair uncombed, living on nothing but cinnamon toast crunch and half a can of diet coke. But together....together is way better. Together,  we are mighty freaking Warriors. We carry on, head held high, holding up the person next to us when they are too weak to go on.  It's beautiful. It's brutiful. I'm aware I'm using this twice in a week, but it's totally worth the message.

"This is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen here. Don't be afraid."--Frederick Beuchner

Please don't think I'm oblivious. I know that community doesn't take away pain and frustration and anger and heartache and loss. It doesn't wrap them up with bright shiny paper and deliver them with a satin pink ribbon. No, it doesn't. It does remind us that this life is fleeting. It is short. God's in control. I don't know my expiration date, but I know I have one. I want to be the one who genuinely lives out the pain, but then gets back up. Carries on like a Warrior. I want to find the diamond in the rough. I need to see the good. I want to get the message out of life and suck out all the happiness I can find. I want to experience every emotion boldly and sincerely, without reservations.

So right now I am going to boldy and brutifully give and receive love. Lots of people need it. My job is not an easy one, but it is rewarding. I may not know you, and especially if I do, whatever muddy swamp you are stuck in right now, whatever mountain you are climbing, we're here. I'm here. Carry on Warrior.

"We can do hard things.
Love wins.
We belong to each other."

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