Monday, June 19, 2006

The 'Supposed To Be' Disease


During my Nevada Years so much joy totally bypassed me because I'd contracted the dreaded 'Supposed To Be' Disease.

Tom's job was 100 miles away out in the middle of the desert (literally) so he and his co-workers would live out there for four days and then be home for four days.

And well, of course, (I thought), things just are not supposed to be that way. As a husband and father Tom was supposed to be home every night for dinner. He was supposed to be home whenever sinks and drains got plugged up or Naomi had a concert or when we had loud lightning storms. He was supposed to be home just like every other husband was home. Right? And while I was at it, people (like us) were supposed to live near their relatives, not in the middle of nowhere... and we were supposed to be able to have more than just one child... and Tom was supposed to get every holiday and Sunday off like my friends' husbands did...

Well, wrong. I mean, I was so self-absorbed in my assumptions that I didn't even consider all the wives living at the nearby Naval Air Station--wives who sometimes lived without their husbands lots longer than just four days. Not to mention the millions of single women 'out there' who no longer even had husbands or any children at all or enough money or... (on and on). But Self is like that-- it blows a thick fog of selfishness somewhere behind our eyes, one which blocks out any view of others in need and we concentrate on our own misery rather than relieve the misery of others. Self rolled in a fog so thick that I too often ignored how blessed I was to have Tom home for four whole days out of eight--I was even blind that, actually, he was home more often than many other husbands we knew.

There is more than one way to live! And amazingly, if we'll let Him, God will give us grace and strength and happiness while we are marching to different beats and different drummers and living differently than we assume everyone else is living... and accepting, making better, those things which cannot be changed.

Except that in Nevada, I did not let Him. No, I just complained and nagged and whined and threw tantrums. And I missed out--terribly. So many secret joys just zipped past my heart because I did not believe they existed if Life was not as it was Supposed To Be. Remember "Be it unto you even as you believe?" Well, for five years I believed Life to be unfair, the power plant industry to be unfair and Tom to be unfair for hauling us out to the God-forgotten Nevada desert in the first place.

And that is sad. It saddens me whenever I recall our years in Nevada--not because of what took place there--but because of how I acted there... How I way too often allowed the Supposed To Be Disease rob me of simple joys and appreciation and the realization of how I was becoming, in some ways, better equipped to handle Life's little emergencies, especially the ones which only seem to happen while your husband is out-of-town.

There are many ways to live. There are many ways to be--even within the confines of the Biblical mandates and examples we follow. God made us all so unique--and even though we hear that constantly and nod in agreement, why do we still use our blogs to tisk tisk when other Christians do things differently than we would?

(Don't get me started.)

How freeing it was for me to finally 'get it'-- to realize it's ok if my life is not like everyone else's. As long as I have God's stamp of approval and His encouragement to get back up when I fall, well, it becomes just one of many, many different and amazing ways in which to live for Him.

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