Thursday, March 29, 2018

How a city girl, gone country grieves (and raises cows): April Showers

 How a city girl, gone country grieves 
(and raises cows)

I met Kimberly through farming. She, like me, has been dropped into this life and is learning to love it just like me. She is a Christian, however, our pasts are nothing alike. I've asked her to share her story on my Blog over the next weeks or months or however long it takes. It is filled with much grief and loss but will hopefully make you laugh and smile and grow and grieve along with her.

As March draws to a close (what happened to February??) I reflect on what’s ahead. Do you have one of those days or dates that no matter how much time passes, it’s just THAT day or date and you can’t seem to get past, the reminders of events or feelings? Some of us have those days. I have a whole month. April. 
By no fault its’ own, April is riddled with dates that are milestones, most of which are unpleasant in my life. From connections with friends turning to enemies, to the first time I had one of my children arrested, to a completely unplanned and devastating trip to Kaua’I, Hawai’i.  I try to avoid April commitments, yet events like Easter, birthdays, markets, etc. always seem to fall in April. So this season, I’m preparing myself in a different way. I cannot change the calendar or the events or even my memories, but I can change my response. I can embrace that regardless of the painful situations; I have risen from the ashes, have reconnected with family, and established more meaningful friendships with more valuable friends. I have even deliberately planned a brand new event in our business on one of those more painful dates to establish better memories associated with that date. 
Many of us have days like this. Specific dates associated with painful or tragic memories. It’s hard to reach beyond ourselves and our pain to minister to others in that state, but my goal this year to do just that. I’ve said it before and it bears repeating; the tragedies and trials we endure aren’t for us alone. God allows these in our lives to test our faith, protect us (hard to imagine, but I’ll address that later) and build us to help others. If God wanted us to deal with these things alone, He wouldn’t have made so many people! We’re not designed to be alone. Nor are we designed to fight these battles alone. We’re designed with the God-shaped void, for His purpose, for His plan. Our lives don’t belong to us; we didn’t create ourselves. We make choices every day, good, bad or indifferent, and we are either in His will or not. Yet His grace is sufficient. If there are no other lessons in my noisy, messy past that I have learned the most, it’s this one. And HE gives NEW MERCIES every day.
As April approaches and I set my mind toward the straight and narrow, I take deep breaths and pray almost hourly. It’s like a prize fighter defending his championship. It may seem odd, but I have to approach this as a battle. With the painful memories associated with those dates are also the shame and humiliation that accompanied those tragedies. While many would rather hide, I’m out here parading my dirty laundry around and sharing in the stench of my pain and anguish. Why? Because the enemy loves shame. He loves reminding me of the wickedness I was in, reminding me of my sin. Exposing my past to you shows I’m confident that who I was then helped me become who I am now. To be ashamed of my past, in my opinion, proves immaturity. It proves that everything I’ve ever done is subject to human judgment. I’m so much more than the sum of my experiences, my choices. You are so much more than circumstances or opinions. WE are so much more! Divinely designed, passionately purposed, sweetly saved! How liberating to care only what God believes about me. How very liberating to know my purpose is so much greater than the sum of my past.  Can you believe it? I’m PROUD to own my past. It does not define me, it’s only part of me, and it lives there… in the past. 
My guard is up, my armor is on, and this Magna Mama is now ready for the challenges ahead. Bring on the rain, April… I’m ready. 
Until next time, 


No comments: