Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Knocked Down...but Not Out

Apparently, the baby giraffe is knocked down by his mom just a few minutes after getting up wobbly legged from being born. He gets up again, and mom knocks him down again. This happens several times, but it's not a random cruelty. Mom does it to toughen up baby so he will be able to stand strong.

About 12 years ago, I remember thinking, you know I've never really suffered. And about a month after that, my husband announced he was leaving (the first time). I was devastated, and more so when I discovered he had met his "soul mate" and that she was the love of his life, and so on and so forth. But he didn't leave -- she wasn't available -- and the following couple of years was hell. He was in turns nasty, nice, physically attentive, cold. He declared up and down he wasn't having an affair (I've recently found out that was a lie), and during it all I got pregnant (how's that for cosmic timing).

I was so knocked down, I never thought I'd be able to stand again, and just when I would begin to rise out of this pit, he'd do something else to knock me over again. This went on for a couple of years, and friends said run, or kick him out, but don't put up with this any longer. The bad behaviour ended finally (what wasn't apparent at the time was that the behaviour just went underground). Anyway, that's a very long preamble to say that the three years of being knocked about, really was good for me, just like the baby giraffe. I dug deeper into faith, through scripture, prayer, reading what others have written, and clinging to good friends. The Christian friends did me the most good, because they supported me, prayed for me, listened to me, but wouldn't let me get away with any spiritual or emotional nonsense.

What I didn't realize was that while I was slowly rising out of a pit dug with my past -- both family and misspent youth -- my husband was slowly getting more mired in his.

Being knocked around by the original tsunami, repeated last year with much less wave action, has changed my priorities considerably. It has woken me to some realities -- especially the reality of the Presence of Christ, forever and always the Hound of Heaven. It has shaken me to see that the things I have held on to for security are false lifebuoys. I have even come to recognize and reach for Joy when it presents itself.

Not sure yet what that experience is preparing me for, though!

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