Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cleaning House

I am cleaning house—literally and figuratively. Literally, because I am going through and trying to de-clutter yet again. Figuratively because the ugliness inside me is threatening to take over and this mess has got to be cleaned up. It is necessary, and there is absolutely no way of avoiding it if I want to remain sane.

Back in September I was asked if I would tell my story of healing in the aftermath of tragedy. I needed to hear stories of survival when my life was freshly shattered, so I decided to speak in hopes that it would encourage others. Well, isn't that just the way things work…you spout off about how far you've come only to land flat on your bottom immediately following such a confession. I prayed about it beforehand, and I still believe it was the right thing to do, but I have been challenged in many ways since releasing "my story of healing" for public consumption. Mainly because this story isn't finished, but once part of your story is out there, you can't take it back. You can't invite people in and then change your mind and say "this is off limits." But that is exactly what I find myself wanting to do. It has been an adjustment, particularly when my students have come up to me after reading the article. The reality is that some days I really feel up to sharing my journey, and other days I just want to be separate from the entire world.

More recently, I gave a deposition regarding the events surrounding my husband's murder. I really thought I was fine in the first hours after I gave the deposition, but I have become increasingly angry and sad.  I have been brought to my knees (again, both literally and figuratively speaking) many times during the two weeks since my deposition. There are times I seriously consider is any of this worth the fight? But I find myself getting back up on my feet each time—not really knowing how I got there or how long I will remain solidly upright. It can be days, and then, again, it can only be hours. I have no fuse left, so the time between internal explosions is very unpredictable.

Such silly stuff sets me off. Today I got a pretty big splinter in my finger while I was dusting an old frame on a work award I received many years ago. Coming across the award had already made me focus on Todd for a variety of reasons. I went from okay to pissed off and crying in the span of about 10 minutes. Todd could always get a splinter out, and I have never been able to. I threw the award in the trash. My daughter asked if I was okay (knowing I wasn't, of course). I banged a closet door with my fists and yelled 'NO! I miss your daddy!" Maybe I can get" Drama Queen of the Year" since I know "Mother of the Year" is officially out (and was WAAAAY before this incident).

So my house needs serious cleaning. It is definitely a job that requires outside Help. I waffle back and forth between wanting the job done and slamming the door on anything that smacks of goodness and light--behaving like a person who believes she must clean before the "house cleaner" comes. Thankfully, it doesn't work like that with God. He's knocking, but He's a gentleman. He's not expecting me to clean myself up before He gets to work…but I do have to choose to open the door.


  1. it's been a hard couple of months over there in your corner of the world, hasn't it? big fat hug for you. i can only imagine how sharing something that feels so personal and private creates both a sense of relief and regret. better out than in, as they say (usually about gas, but probably also true about grief and sadness and worry.)

    you are loved by so many people. and we are in awe of you.

  2. The chorus to Sanctus Real's song "Whatever You're Doing" came to mind...

    It's time for healing, time to move on,
    it's time to fix what's been broken too long
    Time to make right what has been wrong;
    it's time to find my way to where I belong

    There's a wave that's crashing over me, and all I can do is surrender
    Whatever You're doing inside of me
    It feels like chaos, but somehow there's peace
    And it's hard to surrender to what I can't see, but I'm giving in to something heavenly

    Time for a milestone, time to begin again, re-evaluate who I really am
    Am I doing everything to follow Your will or just climbing aimlessly over these hills?
    So show me what it is You want from me
    I give everything – I surrender


    Time to face up, clean this old house
    Time to breathe in and let everything out that I've wanted to say for so many years
    Time to release all my held back tears

    Whatever You're doing inside of me
    It feels like chaos, but I believe …
    You're up to something bigger than me
    Larger than life, something heavenly

    Whatever You're doing inside of me
    It feels like chaos, but now I can see
    This is something bigger than me
    Larger than life
    Something heavenly, something heavenly

    Time to face up, clean this old house
    Time to breathe in and let everything out