Recently, read this quote: “Adulting is like the equivalent of folding a fitted sheet”. It made me laugh and then want to raise my hands up and shout “amen”. I couldn’t have made a better analogy. Right now my life feels a lot like this!
Have you ever tried to fold a stupid fitted sheet (especially alone)? I have watched all those YouTube videos where they show you how to “cleverly” fold things. Yet, when I try, mine turns out looking like some messed up rectangle. It normally ends up with me shoving the sheet as is into the cupboard out of absolute frustration.
There are no neat corners in my life at the moment. Over the course of this year, everything I have ever believed has been shaken, turned upside down and inside out. I have been left with this “crumpled up” version of my life – and for those who know me, planning and order is more my style. So, I have found myself trying to fit my life back into this neat box again. Out of frustration, I have just shoved much of what I have thought, felt and experienced into a “box” and tried to hide it to the deepest part of my heart and mind.
Recently I opened my linen cupboard and a fitted sheet, along with several other items, fell out. It lay all crumpled on the floor. I pretty much cried at the thought of having to deal with the mess on the floor. I slowly picked up each item and thought I might as well fold them right so this doesn’t happen again. After many attempts, I finally folded that dreaded fitted sheet. A few days later, I lay in bed, not having been able to get up in the morning. As I lay there, I realized that what I was experiencing physically was due to the crumpled and hidden feelings I had tried to hide. My emotions, much like that fitted sheet, were spilling out.
I so badly wanted to shove what I felt back to where it was hidden. I knew that if they started to spill out, I’d have to deal with them. I am no where near having dealt with all that I am feeling. But like the many attempts to fold the fitted sheet took time, so will dealing with the past year of thoughts, feelings and experiences.
Everyone I know in my immediate family has been through trials, some that are still a bit too fresh for me to be able to write about. We have been though some life or death moments. I’ve sat for 6 hours at the door of an operating theatre with my mom, waiting to hear my dad is alive. My in laws and I have waited in an ICU to hear that Jeremy’s sats are back up. At one point I thought in a space of two weeks that I’d lose the men I love most in my life, my dad and husband.
So what is my way out? Well, I don’t know. I have heard so many comments, and sometimes all I am able to offer is a generic answer. I have tried to stay away from the well meaning “How are you?’ or ” How is so-and-so?”. Church has been my biggest struggle. I have spent many Sundays just crying in worship. I have felt guilty for “not believing” or not wanting to be in church. I am not angry. I am disappointed.
Slowly I have been laying my heart out before God. Slowly I have been getting back into a good routine and made a conscious effort to be present in each moment. I choose to deal with the emotions that crop of in the moments. The ones that overwhelm me, I have a great support in my husband and a close friend of two who encourage me. I used to thing that my time in God’s presence need to have a protocol and routine. I have found over the last four months, that I have these beautiful moments with Him at the most unexpected times. Here is what I have learned about my relationship with Jesus:
- God isn’t afraid of me asking the hard questions. He doesn’t reject me because I put it all out there before Him.
- God’s presence is not a place for me to bypass my emotions. It’s there in His presence where I am able to process them.
- God is patient. God is loving. God is faithful. God is kind & gentle.
- God doesn’t put the broken pieces back together and then leave the cracks to show. He restores back to the original. He doesn’t do make-shift repairs. All I have to do is give Him all those broken pieces.
- Time doesn’t heal, but God does work in me over time. He is gently restoring my heart, my trust and belief.
- God makes a way, but I must choose to walk through that door. I must take that opportunity when God brings someone into my life to minister to me. This doesn’t mean that I just let every well meaning person speak to me. It does mean that I need to hear God on the people He brings across my path.
I don’t know if life is supposed to be like a neatly folded sheet. I am learning that God loves me, even at my weakest and most imperfect moments. I guess I should learn to work with myself instead of trying to get it all perfectly lined up.
The biggest life lesson I have learned over this year is that experiences make up life. My choice to stay stuck in the moment or move on is all up to me. I don’t have to do it alone though. I need to take a risk every now and then. I need to surround myself with a good support system and not shove everything in a box in the back of my heart and mind. We all need that person who loves us enough to tell us to get up off the floor and then takes our hand helping us up.
I guess that saying is true then!
Sometimes life doesn’t add up and that’s okay.
Be Bold! Be True! And as my siblings would say…”Follow your line…”
From my heart,