When I sat finishing up the Pathway manual in early December, 2011 I had no idea what waited for me around the corner in 2012…
I had left a job with a treatment center in October, 2011; took a job in a women’s shelter and left there four weeks later. I hit the wall one too many times with agencies, which seemed to be heading in a direction I could not follow.
God gave me acceptance of the facts and opened the doors to another path; one I could not see while banging my head against that old familiar wall.
I was invigorated when I hit the crisp air that November after my final hour at the women’s shelter. I did not even look back or wonder what the hell I was going to do; something deep inside of me understood that no matter how hard things might get, God had it all under control.
The old pang of fear tried to creep up my spine and nestle into the back of my brain, so I lowered my head and prayed. After a few minutes, a smile replaced the anxiety and I drove off. That was over twelve months ago now and life has evolved into something I could never have dreamt…taking one small step after another in the dark and completely trusting for the first time in my life.
I suppose it was fitting that 2011 ended with me falling in love…
It was a shot out of the dark, a bullet in the head, and a serious kick to my nervous system because I had slowly started to believe that I could not feel that way about someone again. It seemed, prior to that first kiss with Selina, that all of my passion had been redirected and that part of me had ceased to be.
Late in the summer of 2011 I made my peace with the potential life without a significant other. I was not sad; in fact there was a serenity which came in that understanding. There was acceptance and it was felt throughout my entire being. When I thought of it, I simply shrugged my shoulders and gave way to whatever God wanted from me in this life.
Even though the circumstances with Selina were slightly mired in controversy, as they sometimes can be, the fact remains solid like a memory etched in a cave wall. I felt the overpowering sensation of loving someone and of being loved by them as well.
Some people think and others will say that it was not love because we are no longer together or that it was far too brief or maybe because of our individual defects of character; to those people I simply smile and understand that they may not have ever felt anything quite like it. And then I bow my head and pray that one day they will be blessed in such a way.
I had never seen it between us before that moment when we sat across the breakfast table, staring into each other’s eyes. We had known each other for over seven years, but that morning I felt all systems shut down, restart, and then sing like a hummingbird every time she looked into me.
And for the next two and half months her kiss, the scent of her, the touch of her whisper, and the feel of her skin sustained me… for something to burn so intensely, I imagined the breakup would be bloody. However, we did not end horribly at all; we sat down and talked like two adults for about ten minutes and then we walked away.
It was the most mature split I had ever been a part of. The strangest things start to happen when you treat the person you loved as though you did in fact love them, despite knowing it is over. I am grateful for that moment just as I am for my time with her leading up to it.
I regret nothing of the time we had or of the time thereafter when it felt as though a heavy cloud had settled into my brain and heart. When other people happened to be around, the edges had been dulled and I somehow remained free of their prying words and jabs.
She was a true gift; I could not see how dark the spot in my heart had gotten until some light was shed upon it. I did not realize how far away from giving myself to another person I truly came. She was a light then and she still is; not in the sense of waiting for our time to come again for I cannot imagine that being the case.
No, she awoke something in me; desire, free of fear and darkness while being full of liberated independence and faith. Even though, I have walked in a slight fog since our breakup, the light has not faded out. I can feel it running through my veins and there is hope in a part of me that felt hopeless for a long time.
I have been blessed to encounter some incredible women, who remind me simply by their presence that all is not lost. This is not sexual or physical in any way, but of a spiritual matter altogether. It occurs to me now, as I write, that when I can muster the courage for surrender, this flickering light might one day turn into something else. Until then however, I find comfort in acceptance; that it is what it is and no matter how difficult or confusing it may get…
…it is ok because God has everything under control.
This past year has brought so many blessings that I am certain to leave something out. It is not because I do not value each one nor is it because I fancy these blessings are rewards for some perceived good work on my behalf. God performs miracles with His grace; if I got what I deserved, I would not be here. It is more a matter of the sheer volume of blessings on my ever extending gratitude list, which I have not fully caught up with yet.
I am blessed for the wonderful family God has placed me in. I watch them all in wondered amazement and continually am reminded of what I have been given. I am grateful beyond a few simple words. That may take more time and a few pages to try and sort through, but suffice to say, they are indeed the blood which courses through me.
It is much the same when I think of my friends; the true friends who are always here, those who God placed in my life for all matter and purpose, who keep me alive and living in hope. I have no doubt that without the few close friends and supporters I have, my life would look completely different today and I am certain it would not be pretty.
I can only hope that I enhance the lives of both family and friends in some manner reflective of how deeply I love and appreciate them.
I have to mention and it is no small placement in the list of gratitude to be sure, but there are moments when I still do not believe it… the day in late winter 2012 when I rounded a corner and walked head first into a long lost love, once thought dead.
This was one of those days when the universe shook and things never quite settled down the same again.
Her face caught in the fading light and my mind went silent and numb instantly upon recognition. She had died. I had grieved years ago and her death had become a part of my history yet there she was; smiling, crying, and staring into me just as she used to do.
Wow, I will have to sort through that one in a different way, at a different place and time; I simply do not have the energy for that tonight. The witching hour approaches and I promised myself I would have this short recount of 2012 done by 1201 AM January 1, 2013.
There are some intangible blessings which have come; I say intangible because they continue to evolve.
They are belief, faith and understanding.
A much stronger belief in and idea of God; expanded and blown far past any notion of God I had ever conceived of. It is not of a bitter, aging, far away God but one of patience, understanding, and never ending love.
The process seems to be working.
From the point of belief, faith has solidified through following the new direction as it gets laid out in front of me one day at a time.
When I pray, seek counsel, and provide service an understanding has given way. I am a part of something far beyond me and although I am but a small part of it, I am equally vital as the next man or woman in the whole.
I am eternally grateful to my Creator; for without belief, faith, and understanding I do not see the other blessings as being possible…
It was a leap to be with Selina and it made as much sense logically, as it did for me to walk out those doors at the women’s shelter into the realm of potential unemployment. That is the funny thing when you believe; when you act in faith despite the fear, which brings itself from the depths of your soul…
The gift is a stronger faith in spite of fear not the absence of it.
There is no doubt in my mind or heart that God has a plan and in His plan, all things will be exactly as they should be.
Whether I like it or not.
This walk of faith is the most difficult one I have taken, but in my experience thus far it has been the only walk which creates a lasting effect of light and love on my entire being.
I am far from perfect in any way and I often get caught in behaviors I am not proud of. I turn constantly and completely to prayer trying to surrender more fully each time to God; that through Him I may find myself walking more closely to the path He wishes for me.
God’s transforming power is remarkable and the full extent is impossible for me to know. However, seeing glimpses of what He wants me to see has only served to strengthen my resolve for a life of faith and spiritual deliverance over one of fear and material selfishness.
Despite occasional doubts about my own worth and function, I have no doubt that where God guides, God provides.
Work has become an extension of my dreaming all these years and rarely feels like work.
For the first time in a long while, if ever, I feel as though I am exactly where I am supposed to be. There are moments when I engage in tasks and duties that I am not comfortable doing, but even then a part of me understands they are exactly what I am supposed to do.
If it is of service to my fellows, then it is of service to God.
Therefore I simply do the best that I can when asked.
The understanding of this perhaps is the greatest blessing of all; that I am willing to be willing to do whatever God wants me to do.
By God’s grace I go...
May you all have a blessed 2013.