What others think of me, especially online, used to concern me to the point of scrutinizing every typo and punctuation mark! Tell you what, it just doesn’t matter that much anymore (IJDMTMA).
Keeping in mind the reason for every significant action in my life so I can justify it, rationalize any lapse in judgment, or simply give me another reason to criticize myself occupies less of my mental space these days. It takes too much energy. Any other reasons would go against what I just said! IJDMTMA.
Cataloging significant records that document the divorce I endured, the major court case I lost, the medical conditions that have come my way, too many artifacts and photos of special events, and purchasing new file cabinets to keep track of these events and more (I have 15 packed drawers in various lateral files, desk drawers and file cabinets, plus quite a few plastic bins around!) involves more-purging-than-storing these days. If I need it that badly surely I can find it online somewhere, right? IJDMTMA.
I now live in a town where the cost of living is so affordable that a few people I know have a second home just to store their stuff! Or folks rent storage spaces in addition to their primary residences (and I am not talking about those living in an apartment or condo!). Gratefully my husband, Steve, and I live in a modest home that requires us to purge stuff periodically! We don’t want to keep accumulating stuff! This Christmas I will need to discard numerous Christmas decorations that were up before we remediated our home for mold damage. The most treasured items will be consolidated into one bin. I’m going to have to get tough and proclaim: IJDMTMA.
Similarly, musty memories, painful flashbacks, grief beyond what most must endure, and the drag-me-down burdens that comprise life’s worries have come to the surface with the wretched convulsive episodes of the illness I have been battling. I simply could not stop the process if I tried. Perhaps these came as a consequence of a few illnesses that have affected my brain? No one knows. What I do know is that If there are to be any redeeming benefits to the nightmares of these past 4 years it must include the involuntary healing that came as these demons were set free. Yes, the seizures helped release some bad stuff going on in my head. Carrying this mental baggage has gone down immensely along with the emotional pain. A different kind of healing has occurred as a result. Joyfully, IJDMTMA.
The losses of what I once held so dear (i.e. many relationships, my occupational role of 32 years, more financial freedom, certain activities, physical fitness, and the ability to function normally) has been heartbreaking. But just like learning to let go of other people, places, and things in my life, these intangibles had to be released to the care of my Heavenly Father as well. At this point I do not know if any of them will come back. Amazingly I have discovered that I still can have some good moments, make new friends and memories, have everything that I really need, and experience love like never before even with a total life makeover. To the need for having things be just so I say, IJDMTMA. Life goes better when held more lightly in the wonder of the moment . . .
How do I convey that “IJDMTMA” is a relatively peaceful, not a sad or angry place in which to be? I simply have to be here right now. This attitude has become like a protective coating to keep me from falling apart, from losing what is left, from thinking that my Jesus has abandoned me. He has not! IJDMTMA is the construct into which I must retreat lest the grieving of what is no longer here overtakes me and blinds me to the goodness that still remains. In Ezekiel 3:8, the Lord shows His prophet that He will indeed allow him to become “hardened” so that Ezekiel may not lose heart as he carries out the work of ministering to the nation of Israel still in exile. Wow! A God-ordained rebellion of sorts will help keep Ezekiel from discouragement. A toughening will help him and his gifts to continue to be used for God’s glory. Yes, I want the will and glory of my Lord too. In the cocoon my Lord has woven for me I can say to all that other stuff: IJDMTMA.
It just doesn’t matter that much anymore that things aren’t the way they should be or used to be. I am still here and that matters to me. Much goodness still surrounds me as I look around this room where I am sitting and see the pictures, handiwork, awards, furniture, and records that tell the stories of Steve and Julie. Cool beans. Better yet, just look into our eyes or sit and chat a spell to see more closely what real life looks like in those who are grounded in trusting the Lord for each hour of the day. It isn’t perfect. We don’t want our lives to be perfect anyways. I have a sense that maybe yours isn’t perfect either. It’s going to be o.k. for those who are in Christ Jesus. One day soon we will be in His presence and the real stuff of life will be revealed. And with His glorious light shining all around us we will be with our Lord and Savior for always . . .
Coming to faith in Christ does matter to make this all possible. Dwelling in the presence of the Lord for all time will bring lightness of heart for all of eternity. I will be there. Will I get to see you there too Gentle Reader?