My last blog post was called “Meant to Be” and it has occurred to me lately that this title had an ironic double meaning which I was not aware of. At the time, the title signified that my meditation room was meant to be. Little did I know that life would soon be asking me just to “be” as well.
It has been one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make, but I’m taking some time off work. Recent months and weeks have been filled with headaches, insomnia, what I now see were anxiety attacks and increasing difficulty in coping with the day’s work. When my wise and compassionate administrator noticed, I knew I couldn’t ignore things anymore. My loving husband and friends spoke in one voice and agreed that a break was in order.
I have been the last to see it all and thought I could tough things out. It was when my friend Marilyn asked the question, “Why are you trying to be so strong?” that I had to admit I am broken and don’t have the strength to continue for now. It has been humbling to admit, and the thought of letting go left me extremely agitated at first.
God has been in this situation in providing me with sign after sign to confirm this decision. Seemingly at random, poems, devotional readings, dreams and songs (not to mention conversations with friends) came my way that sent the same message – let go, let yourself be broken. It’s been like God has been like a loving parent, pushing the child to start walking, saying, “It’s all ok, you’ll be fine, you’re ready.” But in my case, I guess the metaphor is more like a wise parent encouraging me to rest when I’ve been way too wired.
I can’t say enough how grateful I’ve been for people’s understanding and encouragement. Lyle endured more than one day of me asking, “Do you really think this is the right thing?…” even after the decision had been made! (I’ve stopped asking now.)
So what does a gal who is “meant to be” do? Nothing! I’ve been in such a disoriented space that it has been a relief just to “be”. All that life is asking of me right now is to sit in the meditation room, reading, writing and praying – all activities that help the room live up to its name! I’ve also just been sleeping. Gratefully, I’m sleeping better at night, though the headaches are still with me.
I have been shown the inadequacy of my own efforts on the spiritual journey. There’s a story in the New Testament of a Canaanite woman who comes to Jesus asking for help. Friends Paul and Bev sent me a meditation on this passage which they synchronistically read the day I made my decision and had a dream where I was pleading “Help me!” Jesus doesn’t think he can help the Canaanite woman and yet she insists. “She pleaded again, ‘Lord, help me!’” (Matthew 15:25)
“Help me!” are words that can only be cried when a person has experienced the complete destruction and loss of all his or her personal resources and who turns to God utterly. “This total surrender is the purpose and goal of the crisis of faith,” said the meditation sent by my friends.
I’m know there is more surrender that needs to happen. Marilyn’s question still rings in my ear, “Why do you have to be so strong?” How did I even get to this place? When these lessons are learned, I hope to share them on this blog, but for now, I’m with the Canaanite woman in having come to the place of crying out, from the bottom of my heart, “Help me!” I know God’s good hands will guide me in the coming weeks and months. How could they not, when I’ve seen such an abundance of provision so far on the journey.