I was not ready to fall in love with Gumbo. If you will bear with me for a moment, I am going somewhere with this analogy. Gumbo is our current dog, but my first dog…her name was B. I LOVED B, and out of nowhere she died, and before I had a chance to heal, my husband thrust me to SPCA. We adopted Gumbo, and for years, I treated him as though he did not belong in my family. I was not ready to fall in love with Gumbo.
We live in a world where life goes on, even when I need time to compose myself. When I need time to get my thoughts together and to recover, life just keeps going. I do not heal properly so my scars begin to show, and time continues to eat away at life.
Some people think I am so strong. Really, I have no other options but to keep going because life…keeps going. What else can I do? I need those people to understand that I am not strong. I am just living. I am staring at skeletons swept into closets because life went terribly wrong, and before I could get a grip, time refused to stop…and in walked Gumbo…way before I was ready. There he was – a living, breathing symbol of life itself.
Therefore, I refused to love him because I was in no position to offer anything more than the bare minimum he needed to survive. Because, what about B? I had no room left for love so I shut him out before he even had a chance…
How often do we do the same with situations much nearer and dearer to the heart than dogs named Gumbo? How often does life go on when we would prefer to sit and process and marinate? How often do people see strength when all we feel is weakness and all we see are skeletons where there used to be life and love? How often do we need more time to heal and grow and life just continues without our permission…when we could use a moment and life will hear nothing of it?
Thus, I stare at skeletons. I take tests and re-tests. I master no solution situations. Yet, I am no closer to any resolutions…The skeletons are still there…The tests are still there…The emotions are still there…I AM STILL BROKEN!!
After all this time…all these blogs…all these conversations…all this prayer. How can I still be broken?
Then I hear Him, “I just need you to love Gumbo. Per usual, you have this whole thing backwards. You felt like you needed time to heal so that you could move on. Then you could love Gumbo. Instead, you must love Gumbo so that you can move on. Then you will heal.”
Someone, somewhere needs to know that. You do not just wake up one morning completely healed. Sometimes life cuts you a break. Life sends you something…or someone. Sometimes she’s 3. Sometimes he’s 6…Sometimes he’s 5…or maybe 35. Sometimes she’s 35…or 32…or 20. Sometimes she’s 60. Sometimes he’s 64.
When life cuts you that break, you take it. You take it, and you run because that break is everything you need to survive.
I am not strong. I am not, “over it.” I am living life because, unfortunately, life just keeps going. Some days smiles are easy. Other day, smiles take every bit of energy I have.
BUT, thank God for wrong answers. Thank God I got the process backwards. Thank God that one day, I woke up…and I fell in love with Gumbo
What are some ways that you continue to find strength in situations you feel like you should already be “over?”
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