Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Roller Coaster Ride

Up.  Down.  Laughing with glee.  Bracing with terror.  Twisting 'round and 'round.  Waiting for sure ground.
This well describes my past few weeks.
Mark was gone for the last 2 weeks on a trip to Australia with his dad - lucky bum.  He's had a rough year, work-wise (who hasn't?), needed the break, and who could pass up a fully paid trip of a lifetime?!  I was glad for him to be able to take a respite.
I was not glad for me to be alone for two weeks....with our new Christmas time. Thus the beginning of my 'roller coaster ride'.  It started off with some intense family issues right before I had planned to run away and stay with them while Mark was gone.  After much prayer and shedding of my pride, I decided to go anyway and, praise the Lord, found healing when I thought it wasn't possible.
After a few days, Vienne and I returned to our lonely home back out here at the beach.  I appreciate my alone time, though I do not like to be alone at night.  Sheepishly, I admit...I am afraid of the dark.  It is a fear, I discovered through all this, that grips me tightly.  I started to notice strange things happening around my home with my lights.  My fears manifesting?  My imagination?  I dunno.  Lights were turning on after I had intentionally turned them off.  One light, in particular, really freaked me out.  I leave the hallway light on during the nights so that I can see when I go to feed Vienne.  At midnight it was on.  At 3am it was not.  The bulb had not burned out.  It was turned off.  Freaky.  Don't ya think?
The next night, I covered our home with prayers and pleaded God's angels to stand guard at our four corners.  I slept well.  A rise on the roller coaster ride.
The next morning, the ride took a deep dip down.  A loud bang erupted at my front door at 9:30 on Sunday morning, as I was getting ready for church.  V was asleep.  As I walked to the door, a man stepped in front of my living room window and peered in.  Foolishly, I opened the door anyway.  He said that he was from Charter cable and tried to make a sales pitch to me. No work order.  No badge.  No appointment.  Telling me I could pay $5 more a month to get more channels.  !!!??!!!  His eyes were constantly on me.  I sensed something strange and managed to turn him away quickly and shut the door.  He had told me that my TV would be off for the next half hour as he worked on things.  Right.  I immediately heard an engine rev up and ran to the window just in time to glimpse a dingy white truck speed out of our neighborhood.  I just knew it was a scam.  9:30 on a Sunday morning??!!  I started to worry.  I called Charter to report it.  They didn't have much info to give me since they couldn't contact my local office. I reported it to the police, as well.  Of course, now I was worried about staying in my home alone.  Was he casing the place?  Would he come back?  How did he know I was alone?  Had he followed me home from my walk earlier that morning?  Why my house and no other?  Why didn't he force himself in?  All questions that could not get answered.  A new dear friend of mine insisted that I come and stay with them until Mark returned home.  I obliged.  
Amidst the flurry of my emotions and fear, the first snow began to fall that day.  Vienne and I managed to make it to Betsy and Mike's before the storm really took over.  The ride of my roller coaster began to take a turn as I realized the blessing I had in the people around me. In a small town like this, word gets around fast.  Soon enough, I was receiving phone calls to check in on me and let me know that all were watching out for this mysterious white truck in town.  Friends dropped by my house, while I was gone, to check on the door and window locks.  And, I found joy and peace in the realization that I was caught in a snow storm with a friend.  I was thankful that the Lord took my fear and a potentially scary situation and wrapped His arms around me and my baby with the love of friends that I have in this town.  

My Mark returned home yesterday afternoon.  A new wave of emotions has pummeled through my core.  Excitement and relief at his return.  The comfort of safety and peace in his presence.  An odd numbness from the long days of doing it all by myself and trying to keep it together for my daughter.  Interest and joy for the stories he had to share.  Anger for leaving me alone to endure the mess that transpired in his leave.  Disappointment in my attitude and selfishness.  Frustration at my inner turmoil.  Up.  Down.  Smiling. Withdrawing. Twisting 'round and 'round.  Praying for sure ground.

I am still in the midst of my storm.  My tumultuous ride.  We leave in just a few short days for Christmas in Boston.  I dread the long flight with a baby, the time change on her little system, and her tendency to not sleep in a new place.  I just want to stay home and start fresh without any new changes.  But, the Lord seems to want to take me on this ride.  And, I realize He won't bring me down until I lean on Him no matter what...until I trust in Him and not myself.
While I learn this lesson (for the 179th time in my life!), I take comfort in this verse, always:

"But now, this is what the Lord says -
He who created you, O Jenny,
He who formed you, dear daughter:
'Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name;
you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
...Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you.' "
~Isaiah 43: 1-4a


Pink Dogwood said...

You do realize the man in the white truck was all a ploy to get me a buddy for the snow days, right? I had lots of fun! Thanks for staying with us.

Julie Kohl said...

Thank you for sharing your story and your heart, Jen...tho I already knew it. But not the end, really, after we prayed this morn. I have been praying you will see that all has first passed through the Father's hand and that He holds you tightly in that same hand. He allows each thing for our growth in Him and uses it unto Himself. To Him be the glory! Such has been my prayer for my children for many a'year...that He would allow those things in my children's lives that would bring them the most growth in Him, the deepest intimacy in their walk with Jesus...and to keep them safe through it! I cannot be sorry for such a prayer, trusting Him completely! I love you, my Dot. You inspire me, you know.
Yo Mama

Julie Kohl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Julie Kohl said...

Why did mine post twice? Hmmmm...