But an interesting thing happened as I worked the registration table. A man who had been in my original class walked up and handed me a slightly late (yet very welcome) Christmas card. "Turn it over!" he prompted with a lot of enthusiasm. And when I did, I saw these words: "Merry Christmas and Save the Date!" Seems grief friend is getting married in a few months. I congratulated him and asked him if his adult-children were on board with this idea. "They are getting used to it," he answered honestly, "because they want me to be happy."
Of course, everyone wants us to be happy after the loss of our loved ones. They've walked us through the valley of the shadow, and they'd love for this chapter of our lives to be closed.
I followed a wildly popular blog for a while, as seemingly the entire northern hemisphere was praying for, supporting and encouraging a mom through her child's illness. Child was miraculously healed, but a startling thing happened: mom could not seem to let go of her platform and return to normal life. I eventually quit reading the posts as her now-healthy child was pushed aside for newly manufactured dramas.
I assure you: I want to be totally healed, whole and moved on as soon as possible. And God is in the business of hearing and answering those kinds of prayers.
The bit I am working through right now does have to do with companionship. I have lots of friends, but they have families and responsibilities. I get that. So the days of spontaneity and spur of the moment ideas have their limitations.
That and some of the wildly random things that I want to do occasionally. If I would have told D I wanted to go to a Bach harpsichord concert, followed by author Fannie Flagg's book signing, and then lunch at a new pancake restaurant? He'd have been starting the car. Because, he would have known when he said one day that he wanted to go to a lecture on the use of quartersawn oak held at a furniture museum, followed by lunch at a vegetarian diner, then a quirky movie at the university's indie theater, I'd have been his enthusiastic partner. (And yes, these are real examples.) Those little field trips are a little much to ask of a friend, no?
Today, I just decided to jump in the car and pursue some things I've been wanting to do that would probably not interest anyone else in a three county area. I wanted to drive through a series of very small towns and explore their antique shops (ending at one that has heavily advertised its beautiful mission furniture on Craigslist) and find some good barbeque.
And guess what? I had a wonderful time. All by myself. I've always enjoyed long drives alone, aimless wandering through small towns and looking at antiques. Somewhere today in the quietness of a "praying without ceasing" afternoon, I realized it is okay to embrace this adult singleness/childlessness that gives me freedom I have not experienced before. And that I can do it without feeling sad or guilty.
This is what my life is now. I didn't cause it, I can't change it, but I can certainly learn to enjoy it to the fullest.
As evidenced by the beautiful oak bed table and barbeque chicken I brought home tonight.
"Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him and He will do it."