You're never to old to learn. Don't get me wrong, I learn things just about everyday, I learn from my kids, my husband and my friends. Sometimes, I learn things and forget them. Then when I learn them again I'm all "oh, I knew that! I just forgot". I love lent. Truly I do. It's when I learn the most about myself. At the beginning of lent, I'm all excited! What's God going to work on me with this lent?! What am I going to learn about myself? What am I going to change? Now don't get me wrong, it's not always 40 days of learning and working on me. In fact, sometimes, He is so subtle, I don't really realize what's going on. It's also the time when the devil likes to attack me most. Sadly, he knows my doubts, my insecurities, my failings, my fears. All the worst parts of me. And, I am sad to say, some days, he plays me like a violin (cue the devil went down to Georgia).
I was reminded this morning of things that I forgot. Important, truthful things. See, I am a part of a group of women and we meet once a month. Sometimes, it's the same few of us, sometimes, it's more. but these women are a constant in my life. These women, we all love and accept each other unconditionally. We know each others weaknesses, failures, and challenges as well as triumphs and joys. We laugh, we cry, we support each other, we love each other all under a blanket of confidentiality. It is freeing to know that I can say anything and it is not going anywhere. I met these women 8 1/2 years ago. And, we have been though it all. Together. Marriage, divorce, pregnancy, kids, school, college, death. There is nothing we haven't talked about or supported each other with. These meetings are what keep me grounded (and my husband of course. There is a string under his rib tethered to mine and keeps me grounded. And, yes, that was a Jayne Eyre reference)
I have been having a bit of a rough time lately. When I sat down to meet with my friends this morning I said "I cannot wait for this lent to be over". At the end of the breakfast, I realized, that I'm not ready for it to be over, He's still working on something in me and it's not done yet. I hadn't been to the breakfast in a few months. So, this morning, I let it all out. All of my fears and doubts. All of my imperfections. I constantly compare myself to others. 'She lost her sister and look how amazing she is doing!'. 'She lost her Dad and look how strong she is!' You, you can't even handle a little arthritis in your knees or your back hurting you and you're complaining! You are a failure. Welcome to the voices in my head. I am at war with myself on most days. One of my (many) faults is that I tend to think that I'm the only one who is going through what I am going through. The other day, part of my tongue was feeling weird. I had to have my loving husband repeat ad nauseum that it was normal and sometimes it happens. He also no longer allows me to go on WebMd because I always have some disease or ailment lol Smart man, that husband of mine. My whole life is like that. See, I'm the only one who has this ache or pain that day. I am convinced of this. Panic and anxiety disorder is simply lovely. I think I'm the only one who feels alone some time in a crowd of people, even if those people are my friends. I think I'm the only one who doesn't want to be a burden and tell people I'm fine, when all I want is for someone to go "I know you're not, quit lying". I think I'm the only one who is dealing with certain aches and pains. And, truly, it is a very scary way to live. However, through my husbands never ending patience and my group of women and friends, I realize that I am not the only one who feels this way, whatever way it is at that particular moment, somewhere, someone I know, even just an acquaintance, has felt this way.
That is absolutely freeing. Now, mind you, I will forget this and sooner rather than later. However, I know that when I see these women again, I will be reminded. This group of women and friends that God has gifted me with teach me something whenever we are together. And, some of the best times I've had are moments in cars parked outside my house. I often look at these women and others that God has placed in my life. They are so strong, so wonderful, very Godly, faith filled women. Then, I look at me and wonder why He gave me to them. Most times, I think it's because they need a project to take their mind of of their own stuff. Others, I think it's because I love them. I love them, each of them, wholeheartedly. And, who doesn't need love?
Until next time,
Pray for peace. We all could use some.