Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Stepping into the Unknown

Don’t mind me, I’m just sitting here trying to unravel the meaning of life, wondering if there is a god, if there really is purpose in everything or if it’s all just random chaos. In other words, just a typical Tuesday morning for me.
I’m a preacher’s daughter who is struggling with her faith. I guess my heart has been tainted by the ugliness I have seen in the world. I am not unique. Like many of you, I wrestle with questions like: If god creates us all, why are there child murderers and rapists and nazi rallies and priests who abuse children and christian militias and the crusades and witch hunts and people who say they love you and then try to destroy you and on and on…Yeah, I’m jaded. And I’m still hopeful.
Because I have been delivered from life-or-death situations in ways that could be described as nothing less than miraculous. There have been moments that I knew I had an angel on my shoulder. Like the night that my husband, son and I slept in a burning house, drugged by carbon monoxide poisoning. That voice that kept on in my ear “check on the baby, check on the baby”. That voice that wouldn’t stop until I dragged myself out of bed, groggy and weak to his bedside. That voice saved all our lives.
I don’t know what was going on thousands of years ago, but these days, miracles aren’t these big Technicolor Charlton Heston-parting-the-Red-Sea kind of events. They are small and understated, but powerful no less. And they usually happen when you take one baby step over the threshold of your personal fears to venture in a new direction. They happen when you have the courage to walk toward what your heart has always wanted but you were too afraid to admit to yourself, because maybe you wouldn’t get it.
I took one of those scary steps. I dared to write and tell my truth. On my last birthday, I put a little snippet of it out into the world (and then gorged on TUMS all week and gave up sleeping), which started a chain reaction of these little miracles.
One of my writing heroes took me under her wing and championed me.
A random email arrived from a literary agent in New York.
And then there was yesterday.
All week I’ve had a nervous feeling in my stomach that some major change was about to take place. I could feel a trembling of tectonic plates shifting underneath the landscape of my daily life. As I stood washing dishes, folding laundry, driving my son to school, it was brewing just under the surface. I swear I could feel it. I told my husband about it and reminded him that the last time I felt this, I had no idea I was one week away from finding my father and the three brothers I didn’t know existed. The rumbling beneath me was happening then, too.
Yesterday. Wow. This phone call from another of my writing heroes (who I am lucky to call my friend) brought this rush of good energy that came at me like a tidal wave. She, in the role of Charlton Heston, parted the Red Sea of my fear, clearing the way for emails and phone calls from this circle of amazing people who reached out to support me on my new journey. I was…..shell-shocked. My dear friend Cindy reminded me…just last week you said you needed mentors. She’s right. I dared say it out loud even though a part of me said who are you to ask for such things. I said it. And it rushed in at light speed.
There is still that part of me that is always waiting for the other shoe to drop. The part of me that has seen the ugliness and lost faith in god and people. That part that doesn’t want to let me feel deep joy, but instead says….we’ll see.
But I remind myself…there was that voice. Check on the baby. That voice that saved us.
And there were the prayers of 47 friends on facebook last week, holding my father up as he went through this awful series of tests, and I felt it. I felt my worry and fear lift from me.
And there were the many times throughout my life that I walked through terrible danger, unscathed.
And then there was yesterday.

(and by the way, if you wanna read an AWESOME blog, and a GREAT book, check out Amy Ferris at http://marryinggeorgeclooney.com/blog/about/
you will thank me. )

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