Sunday, July 07, 2013

The 'Supposed To Be Disease'

And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart."   ... Ezekiel 26:36


During my Nevada Years, 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 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 at the nearby Naval Air Station--wives who sometimes lived without their husbands lots longer than just four days. And 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). Nor did I even consider God's enormous imagination which make this a huge, creative world.

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 sent fog so thick that I 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 zipped past my heart because I didn't 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, 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 or Facebook 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.


"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free."   ... Galations 5:1

"This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!"   ...  2 Corinthians 5:17


Like Craig's List and Victorian things and humorous blog posts? You'll like this. (Thanks for sharing, Judy! Tom and I both enjoyed it.)

Have mosquito problems? Go here.


Robin in New Jersey said...

I love this, Debra. I think the supposed to disease is very similar to the "let me compare my self to (fill in the blank)" which then causes us to feel inferior and discontent. We each have seasons and we should be occupying ourselves in those seasons. Bloom where you are planted has always been my motto!

You are a very wise woman!

Terra said...

I like your concept of the "supposed to be disease", and will remember it. You are wiser today than then, and I think I am too. That disease robs us of joy and you are right that you had LOTS of blessings that you didn't recognize. That is a common condition and this post will help your readers.

Anonymous said...

Life is for learning, for us all. I think sometimes we have to look at things with an "well, at least I know more than I did, even if it is not 100% yet." Life like you had in NV is not hubby worked terrible hours (and mostly awful bosses too) for most of our married life. We did what we could to deal with it. But I often wonder now if we might have had a happier existence, had he been a farmer...yes, we would have been poorer, but money is not everything either. We often say to each other that we had one or the other but never both at the same time...and you find positives and negatives in both. Well, retirement brings changes too, but we are surely enjoying this part of life so far. Working harder than ever in some ways, but together nearly 24/7 and it is good. Glad you figured out how life would be better, Debra...tis all any of us can do in whatever situation we find ourselves.
Elizabeth in WA

Anonymous said...

OH my...reading your link at the bottom to that hilarious blog entry of this woman who gathers mirrors, etc....we laughed till we cried. Thanks for sharing!!
Elizabeth in WA