I once called my parents from children's camp to come pick me up, two days into the trip. I felt sad and overwhelmed at being apart from them; alone for the first time--it was the first trip my older sister didn't go on, too, since she had graduated to the camp for the next age level. For a long time, looking back, I chalked it up to emotional immaturity--the same kind that led me to spend too many days in my 4th grade year, calling home to be picked up because I "didn't feel good"; calling my parents in the middle of the night from a slumber party to come and get me; having other moments where being away from those closest to me made me feel pressed with unease, deeply longing for a return to the familiar.
The Hubbs is on a business trip. Sounds simple enough; except that it's his first and his new company is, shall we say, far more of a presence and a force than his old. Not a bad thing. But his days have been 12 hours long and his nights have been punctuated by networking and dinners and our talk time has gotten pushed back and I've gotten impatient and down and then the being apart becomes more than just physical.
There are so many facets to this and it is too easy to label and oversimplify the obvious. For example: Yes, absence makes the heart grow fonder but when you bind yourself to someone for a lifetime, sometimes absence stretches that bond to the point of pain. Yes, what doesn't kill me will only make me stronger…that means very little and comforts nothing when you sit on your bed, unable to sleep and just ache to feel his arms around you. Yes, there are deeper issues of trust and control swirled in like unwelcome guests at a party--but how do you practice and learn discipline when sorting laundry feels like running a 5K?
Don't get me wrong, I can admit that there are some things I need to work through. But it's a tangled rat's nest of logic and reason and emotion and all of it seems both justified and unwarranted. God uses the circumstances of my life to teach me what it means to draw my comfort from Him; to know that when I feel weak / am weak, then He is strong. I just wish the lesson would sink in. He keeps holding me to the fire, dross stubbornly clinging to my spirit and I wish it would just burn away so I can rest in His peace and move on.
It's funny how you grow up and one day you're in your thirties--how the hell did that happen? And you still feel like an immature 11-year old at being left alone. I just feel like a weak fool. But it keeps coming back to my heart, this idea of our weakness and God's strength. His strength is perfected in my weakness. I have a weakness. And the remedy is to cling to Him who is strong; who can make me strong because I just need to be real and open about my weakness. He who knows my heart knows anyway. Why do I feel like I need to put on a brave face?
I'm not going to stuff how much I hate being apart from my husband. I'm not going to "try to do better." I will admit that I am weak in this. But I trust that God will make me strong because I just can't do it alone. I cannot make it through the day on my own power. I need just enough strength for each step, Jesus. And You have that in abundance--grace, too. Your grace is abundant for me. It's a good thing, too, because without those, I'm a mess.
None of this is to suggest that I'm just going to curl up in a ball underneath my bedspread and wallow in self-pity until Hubbs is back. I will still take Kiddo to school and therapy and will still do laundry and dishes and cook--well…let's not go too far. :) I will spend time with friends. I won't feed my sadness and succumb to waves of despair that drag me out into a sea of debilitating depression. I will stand in the waves in the strength of my Savior and my God. Because His strength is firm and strong and can withstand those waves.
Having "proper perspective" doesn't always make us FEEL better. Sometimes, it's enough to know that He knows that we feel like crap and will hold us through it.