July has been a very difficult month for me and I’m sorry that I was not able to be here. I have had a huge stressor removed from my life and my body did what bodies do when they have been pushed past their abilities: it collapsed. I have taken this time to do some contemplation of my life and evaluate where I am now.
Sometimes in life we are required to do things that seem impossible at first glance. Many times these same tasks seem overwhelming and impossible even after serious consideration. Unfortunately, life does not let us pick and choose the trials we face. Life gave me some impossibly huge boulders to move and I have been struggling with them for over three decades. These boulders were not dropped into my path all at once. They were placed there one at a time. Some of these boulders actually grew as time passed. Here is a description of the biggest of my boulders:
- Health: bipolar, post traumatic, depression, anxiety and panic
- Circumstance: ugly divorce, loss of my children, loss of everything I own, minimal financial resources, depletion of financial resources, moving in with my parents, unexpected pregnancy, got my associate degree in paralegal studies and unemployment
- Family: death of multiple family members, deteriorating health of my parents, family discord, all three of my sons in the army, two sons deployed overseas, three children married, one child divorced, grandchildren and nieces and nephews getting married and having children
This is a question I asked God a lot. It didn’t seem fair that I had to struggle and fight for every little scrap in my life when it seemed that so many had so much with less effort. I finally realized that asking that question and feeling jealous of others was sapping my energy while making me angry and bitter. I wasn’t getting an answer anyway and the rocks just grew faster. I decided to change my perspective and came up with a hypothesis to test. Here it is: God is raising the stress tolerance level of certain people so that when the world explodes they won’t notice.
How did I get on this list? I don’t know but it appears that I am and it is too late to get off it. Looking back over my life I found that while it has been (and continues to be) extremely difficult, heartbreaking, exhaustively frustrating and soul wearying I have face all my fears and come out triumphant.
My world has been bombed. It was turned up-side-down and sideways. I have experienced pain and loss beyond words. Death has claimed me and released me. The boulders in my life have become immovable; a permanent part of the landscape. The question is no longer “Why me?” but “Now what?” I have decided to sculpt the boulders into something beautiful and meaningful.
Creating Beauty From Despair
Over the years I have spent countless hours crocheting. It has become my “cheap therapy” as I untangle the stress of my day to create something that brings a smile to someone else. I cannot tell you how many afghans, baby blankets, sweaters, flowers, stuffed animals, doilies and other miscellaneous things I have made and given away to family, friends and complete strangers. I can tell you that most of these things have been used, loved and appreciated.
Now I feel compelled to tell the story of my life with all its challenges, pains, joys, failures and triumphs. Maybe by sharing I can reach out into the chaos of our world and help someone else sculpt their life into something beautiful.
Come join me as I share my story and let me show you the sculptures I am creating. Share your thoughts and experiences.