2018. I honestly have no idea how on earth it can be 2018 but it’s an accepted fact around these parts that I am Very Old and on the rare occasion when I write a paper check I still have to consciously tell myself to start the date with a 20 instead of a 19 so obviously the fact that we are almost two full decades into this new century is beyond my ability to comprehend. Nevertheless, I welcome this New Year with open arms, hopeful anticipation, and maybe a smidge of mid-life angst.
It turns out the truth under the pile of diagnoses and drama was Autism – or Aspergers if that makes it easier to picture – and it also turns out that while the word is somewhat scary at first, it’s a lot less scary than the unknown. It’s also a lot less scary when you’ve got the right supports in place, which I think maybe we finally do. Leah is going to a school where she fits and the teachers know her and accept her and even understand (!!!) her which translates to her not hating school for the first time in like ten years and being willing to actually go for the first time in at least four years. It’s a HUGE weight off my shoulders. Writing the word huge in all caps doesn’t even do it justice, but take my word for it, it’s literally life-changing, for both of us.
As a result of this massive answer to prayer, I find myself in a place I’d almost given up finding again. For a few hours each day, I am alone in a quiet house. It is bliss. And it is daunting. Do I fill the day with chores and errands? Spend it chatting on the phone, flipping through FB and exercising? (Answer to both: yes.) Or… do I return, once again, to that void that follows me everywhere, that gaping question that hounds me, taunts me, terrifies me: Am I ever going to be a writer, For Real?
I’m reading this book, Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God by Mark Batterson and he talks about how to know if our desires are God-directed desires. He says we need to lay our desires down because sometimes they become idols and we need to know God is directing us and we’re not just going off on our own. And then he says that often what happens is that God will give them back to us – and it is when a desire does not go away no matter how much we set it down, that we see God working in it. (This is obviously an imperfect science and we’re not talking about unhealthy addictions here.) Given that criteria, I’m realizing that it may actually be disobedience for me not to write. Or at least try to write. So here I am, again. New Year, old resolution. And in case you’d hadn’t guessed by the appearance of this blog post after months of internet silence, this is me taking a tiny baby step.
I want to do this. And I’m afraid.
Biblical Tangent: I’m reading the Bible in a year (she says on the 2nd day of the year) and I was in Genesis chapter 3 today. Check this out, this is right after Eve and Adam ate the forbidden fruit:
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”
… And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.
Genesis 3: 8-9, 21
Key points salient to the topic at hand… Adam and Eve were always naked. Like since ever. It was only after they ate the fruit and put themselves in the place of God that they felt shame and fear. And they hid. And it’s God who calls to them, goes and brings them out of hiding and makes clothes for them to cover their shame. He does that. Time and time again.
I am afraid. I feel worthless, useless and unimportant, apart from what I can contribute in the role of Mom. Without that title, I feel naked. Can I trust Him enough to step out from behind that moniker? Maybe it’s time I find out.