It was ten crazy months ago.
I sat there and stared at it blankly for a long time. I wasn’t sure how to answer it – the silly question on my piece of paper. “Has anything unusual happened to you today? ” I picked up my pen and started to answer, “Yes – the church we pastored for ten years is closing. “
I erased it. It was too fresh. There would be too many questions that I wouldn’t feel comfortable answering. It had only happened that day.
I started again, “Yes, I have to let something go that was very dear to my heart.”
Again, too personal for a stranger.
But I had to write something. They were doing a sleep study on me and needed to know if anything was going to impede my sleep. I settled for a lie.
I said, “I just found out my brother in law has cancer.” That was all I wrote. It was not a complete lie. My brother in law did have cancer although he is in remission. And I had found out about it a year prior to the sleep study. Not that particular day. I wanted to write down something which would hold the magnitude of what I was going through without actually having said the reality that was too fresh for even me to process at the time.
I was right. She asked lots of questions about my brother in laws cancer. Most of which I was able to answer truthfully. Some of which I didn’t even know.
When I thought about the piece of paper later that week I realized how much it wasn’t like me to lie like that.
But what really was like me anyways?
It’s interesting. All the big guys, who know how to blog well, will tell you that to build a successful blog you to find your niche. Find that one thing that you are and build your blog around it. What if you don’t know who you truly are anymore?. What if you have just lost yourself a bit? Are you out of luck? I am not just that woman who lost a child and was devastated from it. I am not just that woman who had four miscarriages and had to learn how to live when a piece of me was dying inside. I am not just the woman who publishes colouring books. And loves art. In fact, I was writing a memoir about losing a child when I ended up publishing a beautiful colouring book instead. How upside down is that?
I can only describe it as a fragile time – like my heart is walking precariously on a bed of glass. At any moment tears may well up at the slightest emotion – the slightest tug of my heart.
I don’t mind admitting that I am going through a weak time in my life – a fragile season. The problem with that though is that I feel so weak — and I really like to feel strong. I feel broken but I really like to feel put together and whole.
I felt so deeply connected to Mosaic. To the vision; to the community; to the values. Will I ever feel that connected-ness to another community of believers? Or is Mosaic a sacred treasure I hold in the heart – a place I will never revisit? It’s like never being 35 again but accepting the amazing bits of 52.
It’s kind of surreal actually. For years my first thought in the morning had been “How can we make Mosaic better? What should we do for the women of the church? When will my next party be?” And the last thing at night as I lay in bed I prayed about people and situations and my beloved church. Suddenly it’s gone. After nearly ten years it’s gone. The emptiness and the silence feels almost deafening.
When you are used to shepherding and counselling and helping for so many years and all of a sudden you are not that go to person anymore, it feels like someone has stolen a part of who you are. My life has been shaken in ways that I can’t carve out into words. My identity has been questioned at every level. It feels crazy and mixed up.
When it first happened, I found that I looked at my clothes in the morning and I couldn’t figure out what to wear. I looked at the menu and couldn’t decide what to order. I looked at my list of dinner options and couldn’t decide what to make for dinner. For me this is surreal. I have always been a very decisive person – sometimes making decisions too quickly. I have always known deeply who I was and have been very comfortable in my own skin. This is new territory for me. This is scary.
I slumped down on my brown leather couch that day and let the tears tumble down my cheeks as I grieved Mosaic. I wept fiercely as I felt so deeply the loss of a dream I desperately wanted to grow and become healthy. And as I wept I asked God who I was.
He simply said this to me:
You are loved.
You are chosen.
You are valuable.
It’s all I need to know right now. And it’s all you need to know too.