The Thing

I have had a thing for 21 years.

And as of this week it is gone.

While it is not a person, pet, or possession, the loss feels as immense and overwhelming as losing a loved one.

Last Sunday I couldn’t bear to go to church. Wild horses couldn’t drag me there. The thought of singing praise (or pain) felt exhausting. It just wasn’t in me. The best I can do is passive morose melody. The thought of interacting with anyone at church turned my stomach. I didn’t even want to talk anymore with God about the matter. In-fact I’m banking on the Holy Spirit to intercede my moans. (Romans 8:26)

So, instead of Sunday church, fellowship, or prayer, I went to my thing. I was alone. And I cried. I walked in a stupor, and openly and bitterly wept.

These have been, were, and continue to be bitter-sweet tears. I knew I needed to do this. Like weeping at the graveside, I knew this was part of the long path to uncertain healing. At this stage in my life, I know my processes, what works and what doesn’t. I know it’s uncomfortable for some, and it’s not their way. But I’ve come to completely accept me and the ways I find closure. I’ve been perfectly made this way.

So my thing. I do not want it anyone. I have come to hate my thing. I have hated it for a while now. It is the ball and chain of my life. It has been the cage I should have left years and years ago when the door suddenly flung open.

Instead I embraced my thing. The cage I chose. Because I was very v.e.r.y. good at sitting on the perch. I was the expert of this cage, my perch, the thing. While the world looked so pretty outside my cage, I stayed. I was as loyal as a bird with unclipped wings…staying. Keeping my thing. For many years I convinced myself that this was the right and loyal thing to do. But truth be told—it was the coward’s thing to do. I should have let the thing go away long before.

There are very scary events about to happen because my thing is gone. Those circumstances are private, and they overwhelm me. Maybe God will make some miracles and prevent the terrible aftermath, but I’m not counting on it. (Because regardless of my prayers for relief, the pain has not been removed, the trials have not ceased). So, I am happy when I go for five minutes without thinking about those pending abysmal happenings. Maybe you could see why, I’m tired of talking to God about the thing—I’m tired of thinking about it. Praying, begging, worrying, stewing, churning.

But I have hope. It’s like I get Romans 5:3-4 more than ever–“…we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

It’ s a fragile type of hope. And here’s what I’m buying into (and trust me I NEVER say that phrase lightly). I have this inkling, the nudge, this stir of hope that God put all this into motion a couple years ago…there are too many puzzle pieces that fit together for it to be coincidence. While the death of my thing is upon me, there is an egg I have carried for years inside my cage.

Oddly I can see that my old thing possibly fertilized and helped produce the zygote that played part in the existence of this NEW egg. Like a mother bird, I have kept it safe and warm. I have hidden it from the snakes and vultures. Unbeknownst to me, through my passions-hobbies-and servant heart—I have been nourishing it. And suddenly, as if God actually timed this, it began to wobble last summer. Something was inside wanting to get out.

Recently the egg has cracked open, whatever inside is okay—alive. It is a NEW thing. And I have not sped along the process of removing the shell from the new thing. Just like baby chicks, removing the shell when they start to hatch can possibly kill them. They need to exercise their strength in the slow and painful and ever-long removal process. Butterflies and their chrysalis have the same process.

So I’m not letting others tempt me to pull off the shell (or chrysalis )—and “boy-howdy!” are some trying to tempt me—and bend my ear—and tell me they know about the contents of my egg and that I should hurry the process along. But I know that is wrong. Dead wrong. And not because I’m afraid of the new thing in my egg—but because this is clearly God orchestrated, and I really don’t want to screw this up. Next to my salvation, it feels more important than anything else. Ever.

As I mourn the old thing, I have fragile hope of the new thing.

Therefore if any (wo)man be in Christ, (s)he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)

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17 thoughts on “The Thing

  1. Paul says it better than I ever could…

    Philippians 4:11-15 (MSG)
    11 Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. 12 I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. 13 Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.

    Philippians 4:4 (MSG)
    4 Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him!

    I’m sorry…

    • Over a year ago I learned to be happy with little… Actually I didn’t need to learn – losing certain things was a HUGE blessing. But now, after this major thing is gone this week, I grieve the ripple effect on many lives – those who are as close as blood to me, those I have respected and honored, and even those who I’ve deemed enemies. I grieve and wonder about guilt and shame and sorrow. And even though I’ve been slowly venturing away from my thing (on my terms) – all at once a tidal wave arrives and destroys it. Gone. My crutch, my cage is gone, and now I learn the secret of doing all things through Christ which strengthens me (carrying my precious egg and hatching it into something I know cannot fully conceive). God’s been waiting long enough, this was just His way of being crystal clear about it.

  2. I, too, lost something I held very close for many years, the thing that I thought meant so much to me, my identity. I, for some strange reason, thought who I was, was what I did everyday to earn a living. And then, poof! One day, by my own choosing, it was gone; no identity, no money, no purpose. I mourned every day for several years until I found a small scripture card laying on a bed in a strange place in the desert in New Mexico.
    It read, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Is 43:18-19
    How peculiar, I thought, but that verse changed the way I looked at my life. I am now “content” with my life. I am not always happy, but I am content. I now see the bigger plan. I see God at work and I am so thankful that my past is just that . . . my past. I, too, have hope in the new thing. And, while I am so sorry that you are mourning your old thing, my heart is glad that you do have hope for your new thing, even if it is fragile hope. 🙂

  3. Oh honey, I just want to put my arms around you, pull you close and make it all away. I love the scripture Doug shares. I so know and feel your pain.and I totally get the grieving which you’ve been doing for some time. The one thing I know is that out of suffering and pain somehow the strongest souls emerge. And you, precious daughter, are a very stong soul.
    I love you, Mom

  4. Oh my dear friend you are so wise and so strong. I am so sorry I am not there this week though I have been thinking of you, praying for you and hurting for you. I know the months ahead will be difficult but I thank God that He stirred this gift in you – take it at your God directed pace and you’ll soar on angels wings! Love you!

    • It’s all so well planned…. I have always pulled through better when alone… My most growing periods come through solitude, but I have always cherished prayers. ps: love your twist on scripture with “angel wings” 🙂

  5. What if the things we go thur in this life are just blessings in disguised? These are not my words, but from the beautiful song ” BLESSINGS ” written and sung by Laura Story. It goes deep into my heart and stirs my very soul with pain and joy all at the same time! I have kept things and lost things, I like the most of giving up things…Keep writting, dear friend in the box ( computer friend ), for your words touch my heart like a song.

  6. Ohhh Sherry I have no idea exactly what you are going though, all I know is I have been crying, deep heart wrenching tears since I read your blog two hours ago and I can’t stop the water works, you have touched something deep within me…DAMN IT :*}
    I send the Angels to comfort you through this time.

    • Ohhhhh Kimberly – no no nononooooo. Me so sorry, I don’t want anyone to cry. BUT, based on you and what I know – those tears are about your “thing” and it is soooo good to cry it out. That’s fresh stuff baby girl. Xs and Os friend. May God take your achy-breaky and settle a peace over your soul that makes no sense at all. Thank you for being a kindred soul with me today.

  7. Seems like it’s the week for dealing with ‘things’. You are very brave. Always remember you are a new creation. 1 Peter 1:3 may help, if not today then someday. I hope it encourages you. Sending thoughts and prayers to you.

  8. Like always I’m a bit late on my email readings. I could have saved myself much worry, but at the same time it was that worry that kept me on a GOD FOCUSED HIGH ALERT! So, there you go, that’s the good in my negative thinking. Reading how you have learned to handle your moments of disappointment resonate with me. Solitude is the only thing I can count on for relief and guidance. It’s not that I don’t appreciate those concerned around me, but I have been troubleshooting for years and this is the best way for me to reach the path to redemption. I have and continue to possibly loose my thing. For whatever reason the message that I continue to receive is “don’t worry be happy”. Literally! As difficult as that is, I for the most part have been doing just that. I pray that you continue your fight in whichever manner you have been led to do so. Love ya Sister

    • Glenda you are so right about the solitude – while I need support of friends-fellowship-prayer, there is something in solitude that is required for my soul to heal. Thank you for being a kindred soul in the quiet suffereings. XO

  9. Ah…Sherry…I get it. I’m so sorry you all have had to experience the losing, but excited with you about your “egg”. I, too, have found the Isaiah passage about a “new thing” so helpful. I’d love to see your “arting” of these verses. Love and prayers to you and yours.
    Your Aunt Berta

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