This week was going to be my productive week. Both kids are in camps. I was motivated. I had a plan. Then reality hit.
- There are two hours from when I drop one kid off to when I pick up the other. That’s not as much time as I like to pretend, although I did manage to exercise and run three whole errands without children yesterday.
- I got an email last night that absolutely kicked me in the gut. One of my dearest friends in the whole.wide.world is in trouble. Her marriage is struggling. They’ve separated as of three weeks ago. I had no idea. (Yes, you are now allowed to question why I had no idea if she’s one of my best friends. I’m ok with that. I know that we’re dear, dear friends.) I was her maid of honor, she was in my wedding, and the memories of us, of them, of togetherness flood my soul.
So here I am, at a coffee shop (with a latte without sugar, folks. What has become of me???????), barely holding it together. My red-rimmed eyes from last night have faded, but I can’t go on with life as usual. Life is NOT usual. A mutual friend said he felt “troubled in [his] soul” with the news, and I think that’s an apt description. I can’t exactly put words to it, but I’m very disturbed, and deeply in mourning. I get that women are able to multi-task, and maybe I “should”, but I don’t want to. I don’t want to absorb this piece of information as if it’s a tidbit that I can add to the data collecting in my brain.
It feels really similar to the Sandy Hook shooting for me. (Please, please, please don’t over think that comparison. It’s not the same. I get it. I’m only saying that it causes a similar reaction in me.) The day after the shootings I obsessively read article after article, desperately trying to make sense of it all. I wanted to change the outcome, I wanted to have it not be so terribly awful. Clearly, that didn’t happen. Today, I find myself wanting the same. What can I do? How can I best support my friends? How can I change it? I know that it isn’t up to me, I know that it’s not all about me, I.know.that. But I also know that my friend is heartbroken and in the pit, and by golly, I’m willing to get in the pit with her. Part of me is already there.
I’m trying to pray; it’s the only lifeline I can find now. But my prayers feel utterly stilted. I’m trying to read, and I only want songs of lament, of tears. I’m seeking out the Psalms that cry out to God in pain, in fear. I want to claim the hope at the end of said Psalms, but it’s hard to see. At the same time, I know no other way to hold on to hope.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me. Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.