OK guys, listen....I have been worthless today. Worth-less, less than worthy of oxygen. I have actually used oxygen that someone worthy of life sustaining oxygen might have needed. I have literally wasted hours of today and I kind of feel bad about it. Kind of.... Here's the thing yesterday I spent about three hours cleaning and organizing my garage and that is where I finally have come to get a different view to see if I could come up with something to write. I'm sitting on a chair that is going in a garage sale next month with my garage door open just looking at the fruit of my labor and watching it rain when it occurred to me I could write here.
I'm still just exhausted. A week ago tomorrow I woke up and the prediction was that Irma was heading for us. It had shifted yet again overnight and I was just spent. The ups and downs, the build up was just too much. I'm not sure I've actually completely checked back into my life. I mean, I think I have to an extent because the laundry is getting done, dinner is being served and my bed continues to be made by my own hand but the rest of it? I'm not so sure... I went outside and pulled weeds today for an hour or so, I showered and dressed, and I have had breakfast and lunch. My kids have been working on homework and I have been staring at a blank page and doing crossword puzzles and talking on the phone in my room with no stimulation from the television or Pandora or anything. Just staring at this blank page thinking, "What on earth can I say?" I found the lightbulb moment while sitting in a clean garage watching it rain.
The thing is I feel like I spent an entire week running a marathon that I had not trained for. I feel like I was running and running and running and the finish like just kept moving further back. I was on a treadmill without the emergency shut off and it was run or die and now I've gotten off the track and I don't know where I was. I don't remember what track I was on. It is like everything is either before the hurricane and after the hurricane...as if life has somehow been altered a bit. Are you with me? Have you been here? Maybe some of you have. I feel bad about it actually because we really lucked out here and it weakened before it hit us and as I said before we were locked down in a shelter and didn't actually see any of it. Our home even came through it virtually unscathed and this makes me feel like I'm not worthy of my feelings. As if I am not entitled to them because I still have my home in tact. I don't know. I'm on unchartered territory here.
I am so thankful for all the messages and phone calls from friends and family checking in and wanting us to be ok before the storm. There were so many that it was almost overwhelming and while I appreciated the concern it almost furthered my fears as if people were now talking to me because they didn't think we were going to make it. The weather reports made it seem like we might not make it. It was the largest hurricane to form in the Atlantic...ever. It is a lot to process. The thing about all those phone calls is...they have stopped. The messages have stopped. We're all good now...uncertain death has been averted so no need to check in. Forget about the fact that I don't know what day it is and as I feel like I've lost two weeks out of my life I'll never get back and I still sometimes cry in the shower. We didn't die so we're good.
It reminds me of when my mother was dying. People came out of the woodwork to help and love on us and be there for us and then once she was gone they all went away. A week or two later and everyone is back to their own lives and assume you are business as usual. They don't realize that your entire life has been forever altered and everything is now before your mother died and after and you have no idea how life just goes on. You can't seem to figure out why everyone else can move on but you can't. Why it is so easy for others and not for you. What is wrong with you?
I have always thought there is comfort in being around other people. I don't do alone well. Not that I don't have alone time and enjoy getting custody of the remote or reading without interruptions because I do but I'm a people person. My mother would give me the silent treatment as a punishment because I need someone to talk to and it was effective. I don't know how to handle awkward silences. I can't even go to get a massage without talking which defeats the purpose because I'm incapable of relaxing so I just don't do it. The thing is, I love my people. I love all of them...even when I think they are nuts. Sometimes it just makes me love them more. I try to text and call and keep up with everyone and when I only hear from people because I might you know...go with Dorothy and Toto via hurricane it makes me sad. I don't comprehend it.
I'm over here like...."What. Just. Happened?" Have you been here? Have you had these thoughts? Have you felt this way before? Maybe it wasn't a hurricane, maybe it was something else, maybe it was a tornado, or a flood, or something else entirely. Listen to me on this God is with you in the storm. I think part of the problem is that we forget that He's with us AFTER the storm as well. I can't tell which end is up. I've gone so gray I think I'll blind people if the light hits my head just right. I've gone through ALL the hurricane cookies and I was already ten pounds up from where I want to be weight wise. My shoulders are up to my ears with tension and I'm scared to take a nap. Why? I have no idea but I can't do it. I look on Denis Phillips' Facebook page to check the weather like it's my job. I have forgotten that God is with me through the storm and after the storm. He's with me for the fallout. When the dust settles and you are left to do life again God knows. He's there. He's in for it. He won't leave you. He won't forsake you. He is the God who stops the wind and calms the sea. He is the God who turns day into night and night back into day. Nothing is too hard for him. Are you going through a storm? Have you just endured a storm in life and come out the other side?
Remember when I said I felt kinda bad about how I was feeling? Well I've decided to give myself permission to have my feelings and not feel bad about them. If you need permission I'll give it to you too. Have your feelings. Psalm 107:28-31 "Yet when they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, the Lord brought them out of their distress. He calmed the storm and its waves quieted down. So they rejoiced that the waves became quiet, and he led them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his gracious love and for his awesome deeds on behalf of mankind." " Psalm 89:8-9 Lord God All-Powerful, there is no one like you. You are strong, Lord, and always faithful. You rule the stormy see. You can calm its angry waves."
Deuteronomy 31:8 " It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed". Do not fear of be dismayed. Do you see that? God went before us and He didn't leave us. He had us and still has us. Why do I always forget that part? Do you? Have you? I'm not sure but I think maybe the aftershock of the hurricane is just as bad as the build up. I still wouldn't trade the experience though. A friend told me I was crazy for trading a maybe fifteen minute tornado for a week long hurricane. Maybe that's so. Maybe I am crazy for wanting this life. All I know is that being here is making me stronger...even on days like today when I feel weak. On days when I think I can figure it out on my own and I avoid the blank page because I'm scared of what God will tell me there. I keep waiting for the God who loves me to figure me out, to give up on me and walk away because I'm not worth it. I'm not worthy but then...who is? Yet he waits for me. He finds me in the garage when I've hidden in my room all day. Who does that? God does. So today I've been a mess, tomorrow I might still be a mess to be honest but who knows. His mercies are new every day. I saw there were some more disturbances they are keeping an eye out for but my running days are just about over so I guess I better stock up on cookies...you know....for emergency use only.