At this point in my life I am used to pretty much every other person younger than me getting engaged/married. However, God must be testing me on a new level with the engagement of my nephew. As his aunt, I am extremely happy that he has found someone amazing to share this life with. As a 34 year old single woman… I changed his diapers… So yeah.
Recent Facebook status of a friend.
Back in the earlier half of the year, Jen, one of the teenage girls that my mom has been mentoring for a few years went through a sneaking-out-at-night-and-not-going-to-school-during-the-day phase. And not too long after that, she announced that she was pregnant. Ah well. Such is life. Anyway, fast forward a few weeks to a Tuesday night. It was a beautiful spring evening and everything was fine. I know it was a Tuesday because I was on my way to connect group. I had just picked up some snacks and I was on track to be right on time. All was well. And then I got a text. It was from my mom and it said “Aarg! First Jen and now Ben.” Which said to me that Ben, my teenage cousin, had gotten someone pregnant. And that thought basically ended my life.
Because Ben is actually my second cousin, his mother who is a year younger than me and had him as a teen, is my first cousin. So at that moment in time, I was face to face with the prospect of my younger cousin becoming a grandmother before I was even a mother. And I cannot even describe the soul crushing despair that crashed down on me. And I literally had to stop and sit down.
At some point, if you live in New York, you are going to see someone crying in public. And if you live here long enough, you are going to be that someone. And on that Tuesday night, that very public bell tolled for me. I texted my mom back to ask for clarification that my life of trying to do the right thing was indeed God’s most long standing practical joke, but for whatever reason, it took her eight minutes to get back to me. And seven of those eight minutes were the realest and darkest minutes I’ve had in this single journey thus far.
Because I felt cheated. I felt like God wasn’t faithful. And there was no reward for trying to do the right thing. I felt like God was no different from the rest of the world where “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”, and that good behavior was clearly the best way to be overlooked, passed by and forgotten. I felt tricked. I felt like Jeremiah 20:7** was the verse written over my life. And that not only did God not care about anything that I wanted but that He was actively going out of His way to make it clear how much He could not possibly care less. And I felt stupid. Because I knew there was nothing I could do about it, because I was (and am) basically trapped. Because you don’t get this far down the road and then just turn around. You can’t just throw off everything you have hoped and believed thus far and… what? Just stop hoping? Stop believing? I can’t.
Because make no mistake, that’s what’s happening. This is slaying me. He is slaying me. And I don’t know why. I have all sorts of things I tell myself on the days when I’m really feeling the sting, but honestly – I don’t know. And I don’t really expect to know until the end of the story. So until then… there’s nothing I can do about it. And that’s the realization I “comforted” myself with in minute seven. Because I may be stupid for hoping and believing for this long, but even more than that, I’m stubborn. So if God wants to wrestle and keep on wrestling, well… so be it. I’m in.
So I was already back on my feet and back on my way (with a definite limp on the inside) when my mom finally texted back to clarify that no my younger cousin was not going to be a grandmother. Not just yet. But the possibility does exist. And that’s horrific. But… such is life. And I can’t do anything about anything that I can’t do anything about. So… I’ll just keep on keepin’ on in the things I can do something about. Like this blog. Which I am grateful for because I am grateful for you. And your stories and you sharing them with me, because we really aren’t alone. I’m not alone. And it really helps to know that while I’m navigating those swings from not-even-thinking-about-it to can’t-think-of-anything-else.
And I’m not even sure why I’m telling this story today because I’m currently in one of those phases where it’s all good. My situation is what it is and for whatever reason, it’s not slaying me at the moment. Maybe because George Clooney is getting married this weekend. And he’s marrying one of us. And by all accounts they weren’t even dating yet at this time last year. So if someone had tapped Amal Alamuddin on the shoulder a year ago and told her everything that was about to happen, I don’t know that she would have believed it. And I don’t know that you or I would believe it if we were told what’s in store for us. But my hope is that we wouldn’t. Because it is all so beyond what we imagine is possible. Because it has to be. To make up for all the slaying.
* You deceived me, LORD, and I was deceived; you overpowered me and prevailed.
I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me. Jeremiah 20:7
** Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him… Job 13:15