Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Unintended Consequences

I have been spending a lot of time grieving lately. This is expected. However, I'm surprised by the amount of confusion I have been having over who I am. It's not just that I'm no longer Ron's wife. I'm also no longer his caregiver, a role I had for some time. I am a single mom. I am a single woman. I am the head of my household. What else am I?

I don't exactly need a detailed user guide for who I am right now. It's not that important. However, I have wanted to start my new life out by making good decisions. I am doing my best to do that, but I've had a couple of bad decisions really smack me upside the head lately.

Ben and I are in Montreal. I took Ben swimming in the outdoor, heated swimming pool. He was hesitant, but I convinced him to go. I made a quick decision to put Ben on my back and started to swim. Well, Ben has really grown since I last swam with him on my back. I nearly drowned in 6 feet of water. The lifeguard came in a grabbed me. Someone grabbed Ben. Ben never went under, in fact his hair never got wet, but if I wouldn't have been helped, we both would have been in a lot of trouble. I still don't know exactly what happened, except I went under and couldn't get a full stroke to swim. I got stuck and started taking in water. By time I got back inside, a few people from hotel management were there to care for me. I was extremely embarrassed. Everyone was so kind and gracious. I felt like the worst mom ever. I was hoping to help Ben be less afraid of swimming. I failed...miserably.

My other bad decision is that I did something recently in an effort to protect my heart. I told the truth. (I'm being intentionally vague here.) I took my time making this decision. I thought out what I was going to do. What I did was certainly unusual, but it was well thought out. Well, I thought it was. The truth did not set me free. Instead of protecting my heart, my efforts only ended up smashing my self-esteem to bits. Instead of feeling confident, I ended up feeling undesirable, repulsive, and even freakish. Repulsive is probably the word that's been in my head most. Obviously, I've left a few details out here, but even if I put the whole story into words, it wouldn't be clear. I was there, and I still don't know what happened. I was hoping to protect my heart. I failed...miserably.

This week, I have come to understand just how much I need grace. I've learned how stupid I can be in a quick moment. I've learned how stupid I can be even after having taken time to think things through. I will continue to strive to follow God by praying, studying His Word, and seeking His will. When I screw up, and I will screw up, I will find His grace.

Maybe I can also learn from my mistakes and make a few less of them. That certainly would be a lot less painful than this past week has been.

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