Sunday Night Burn

I’m scared. Tonight I’ve been wandering Little House, ticking off the things I can take, what must be culled, the things that matter, and the things that will find their way to the front yard for the mother of all moving sales. This doesn’t bother me- it’s only stuff, and I got rid of so much when the big house floated away into foreclosure (It’s still empty, by the way- I drove by the other day on the way to a friends, and was caught off-guard by the raw tenderness under the scar I like to imagine has healed.)

Looking in the garage of Little House, I see the roof has been leaking all winter. There are boxes of sodden books and who knows what. I roll the door back down, unable to deal with it in the snowy mess, and quietly bid goodbye to more things that are ‘just stuff”. I’ll deal with it when the weather warms up a bit, and my Home Teacher can help me toss what will surely be a dump-run worth of life-remnants.

Earlier today, I missed sacrament meeting, so I went back to my old ward, big house ward, where I saw my lawyer, my dentist, my landlord, my stake president- all reminders again of a life that isn’t mine anymore. I don’t know why it bothered me, but I found myself escaping right after the first hour. Some of the women didn’t even recognize me. It was surreal. It’s an old ward, and there is so much stability; I look at the women who’ve lived in the same neighborhood forever, who have mothers and sisters and high-school friends down the street, and I feel so removed. So transitory. So outside of time. It’s been so long since I had anything stable, I feel like an urchin with my face pressed to the glass, looking in and shivering.

The last two weeks have given me my lowest low and then some of the highest grace I’ve ever imagined. I am beyond thrilled about my acceptance to GWU, and having a place to move now is so wonderful. I know I can do it, and I’m even excited to jump in and get busy. And yet…

I’m scared.

I’m scared because over the last five years, I haven’t been able to trust “good” things- and honestly, I’m terrified this is all going to be ripped away from me. One thing after another has been torn from me, and my eyes have become so used to the dark, the light hurts. It makes me shake and tears sting my eyes. I don’t want to sound like I’m feeling sorry for myself— I’m just so fearful of trusting happiness. I’m waiting for the other shoe to fall. Waiting for the next horrible thing to happen. And I hate that. I don’t want to be like that, I don’t want my spirit calloused and scarred. I want to walk fearlessly in the light.

Even as I write this, I can feel the tiniest whisperings that I have to trust the process, to give it time. I was truly and genuinely harmed over a period of years, and the healing and scars are not going to go away overnight simply because I want them to. Eventually, I can learn to believe in good things, in stability, and I can learn to trust the light.

Please God, let that be true.

11 thoughts on “Sunday Night Burn

  1. Your honesty is beautiful. And hard.
    And you have every right (though that is not the correct word, but I can’t think of a better one) to be scared. You have lived through scary things and have managed to come out standing, despite the rug being pulled out from under you and stumbling, falling, but you have managed to come out standing each and every time.
    You have every right to be so very proud of that.
    Be proud my dear friend, hang in there, and keep heading towards to the light.
    Love and prayers.

  2. I’ve talked to you about this before – but I am very conditioned to expect the horrid crap to come. Life is cyclical that way; at least mine is. (On top of the things I’ve already told you my aunt was diagnosed with a metastasized breast cancer this week. We’re waiting to hear stage 4 or 5.) The fact of the matter is that crap comes. You never quite reach the end of the string of it in this life. But there are beautiful merciful experiences in between, and it’s okay to be fully appreciative of them. I don’t think that having the blessings you’ve experienced in the past week fall out from under you is going to be your next trial. Your next trial, will surely come – but this isn’t it. So breath a little and do your gratitude dance you do so well.

  3. “please God let that be true” I believe that it is. I really do. But your skepticism is understandable. As another one of your long-time lurkers (since the Abby pregnancy days) let me just say that I have felt privileged to read the glimpses into your heart as you’ve undergone the trials of these last few years. You have embraced grace despite very real hardships and losses, and it makes me think I can do the same. Thank you. :) Sending prayers your way. Can’t wait to see what good things will come of these next few years.

  4. Boy, does this resonate!

    As someone who has faced her own refiner’s fire and had to re-learn how to trust the light and believe that the new good will stay after the old good has been ripped to shreds… I solemnly swear that if I can truly learn to trust again, then so can you. Even when the new good ends up being temporary, and another new good takes its place, there IS a light at the end of the tunnel. It is not a mirage.

  5. Please bear in mind that your winning this round- getting into a good grad. school program and having a way to pay for it- are wins for EVERYBODY. We need specialists like you who will be able to help children and their families. We all need you. So indeed, please God let it all be true.

  6. I have a hard time trusting too. So much crap has happened. So many hard, bad, or just plain annoying things happen so often. So many people I have trusted have at the least let me down or at worst wounded me deeply. There is so little I trust that it’s hard to cling to those whisperings that everything is going to work out, that you’re making the right decisions, and there will be a ledge under you when you stick your foot out into the abyss in your leap of faith. Trust yourself. Trust God. Everything else will work itself out.

    So excited to have you on the same coast! We need to have an East Coast Segullah retreat. You, me, Heather, Leslie, Heather B, Maralise, and a slumber party…

  7. You just blow my mind, Tracy. I remember being a young widow and realizing how alone I felt without my husband. When I remarried and subsequently quickly divorced, I remember that alone feeling, even though I hated that marriage.

    Bill drives me crazy, but I know I’m lucky to have that “we’re in this together” dynamic.

    I’m going to pray for you. You can do this. In a very real way, I envy you, being young, full of possibility and potential. Washington, DC, has so many wonders. And seriously, contact Marta :).

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