I closed on my new home a few days ago. Things I'm looking forward to:
- Moving out of a basement
- Windows and sunshine!
- Creating a beautiful, peaceful space
- Taming the rose bushes and raspberries
- Turning neglected areas into beautiful, attractive ones
- Covered parking
- Evenings on the patio
- Space and time to create
I've thought a lot recently about a conversation I had with a friend back in Arizona. She was diagnosed with a chronic condition while in her twenties. As we talked, she told me that she had to mourn the loss of her old self and accept herself as she now is before she could adequately cope with her diagnosis and move forward in life. I feel like I'm doing that, a little. I want to be back to "normal" (in quotes because I don't know that I ever will get there, or if I ever had it to begin with, for that matter), but the reality is that my body is still recovering from some significant trauma, and likely will be for a long time. So I need to be sad about what I've lost, and be grateful for what I've gained, and accept the new me and move forward. Some minutes, that's not hard. Other minutes, it is. But I'm learning.
Part of what this means for me is that some minutes I am excited about having a new home and the opportunity to to create a beautiful space. And other minutes, I am overwhelmed by all that I have to do to get there (partly because my brain still thinks I'm young and healthy and that I can do it all RIGHT NOW) in a 100-year-old home that hasn't been lived in for the better part of a year. It takes some persistent self talk to tell myself it's OK if the yard isn't perfect by next weekend. It's OK if the light fixtures are still dirty. It's OK if I have no furniture and probably won't for a month. There is time.
And More About Rocks:
We had a sacrament meeting talk today about Helaman 5:12, one of my go-to scriptures. You may remember my first cancer post was about rocks - rocks we carry as burdens. Today, we learned about the rock who is our foundation. I thought about how the Salt Lake Temple foundation is made up of giant, precisely cut slabs of rock. When we build on rocks, our world can shake, we can be pounded on from above and below, but we will hold firm. Somehow, yoking ourselves to Christ enables us to bear the rocks that come in the form of burdens, because our lives are built upon the rock of our Redeemer, the foundation upon which if we build, we cannot fall. We weren't placed on earth to have a relaxing and restful break from the growth and progression of eternity - this life is a test. Winds and waves and fiery darts and earthquakes and trials will come, but if our foundation is secure, so will we be. If we have the Spirit with us, we can take the offensive against the adversary and beat him at his own game. If we have faith and press forward with trust, even when we can't see how the Lord will keep the promises He has made to us, we will emerge victorious.
I sat through three hours of church today, wanting to feel connected, to share the feelings of my heart with a friend so I didn't feel alone. Finally, after the meetings, I asked a dear friend for a listening ear, and she gladly gave it. She doesn't have any answers for me, no magic words to solve my problems and heal my soul, but her willingness to listen helped me to feel connected and eased some of the loneliness I felt. It reminded me that I need to ask for help - not just hope someone sees that I need it and offers. It's a lesson I learned many times over the past few years, and apparently keep forgetting. So my goal this week is to ask - and let people serve me. I'm sure that will be easier than trying to do it all myself...