A reprise is "the repetition or return of the opening material later in a composition." Over the past several months, I have brought up many issues. This post will serve as a sort of "eclectic mix" reprise, re-visiting various themes and, perhaps, expounding upon them. Or, maybe it will just be a rant. :-)
If I have learned one thing in life, it is that there is always something to be grateful for. No matter how challenging a situation may seem, there is a blessing to be found. I praise God for all of the blessings-- both the large and the small, the hidden and the unhidden ones-- in my life.
Yesterday, I had to pick out a "Mother's Day" card. This was a challenge. I very much dislike having to do this yearly ritual, for it is particularly difficult to find one which states exactly how I feel. I refuse to purchase cards that would make me lie. Lines such as, "You are the best mother" or "We are so close," or "You have always been there for me..." irk me to the core. I wish that I could purchase them, but I cannot. The truth is, I have felt like a mother to my own mother for much of my life. We have not, traditionally, been particularly close. Nor has my mother been there for me when I needed her the most, or otherwise. She actually turned me away when I needed her the most, but that does not make for a good greeting card theme. Eventually, I settled on a card that expressed the essentiality of her place in my life. That, I thought, was fair. I rather hoped that she would get the hint. I do love my mother, of course, but it is a love tainted by regret over what might have been. We are becoming closer, though. The night before my father's heart-attack, we made an uneasy peace in that wonderful three-hour heart-to-heart conversation. Currently, my mother and I are reading a novel by my favourite authoress. The book is entitled, "Her Mother's Heart" by Francine Rivers. I am glad for this, and I hope that it will deepen something in our relationship. However, I know that we are completely and irrevocably two very different people. So, while I have hope, I am also mindful of reality: My relationship with my mother will never be what I need it to be.
The blessing, though, is that she is no longer shunning me. Truly, I am grateful.
And, before I forget... Miracle of all miracles: my horrid English professor has suddenly decided to be kind to me! Two misplaced commas no longer begets a rampage of cruelty as to my competency with the English language. ;-)
I am grateful that less than two weeks remain of university coursework for this term. I am even more grateful that my Husband is making me take the summer off. You must hear my version of doing this, though. It quintessentially describes who I am. How do I "take the summer off?" By moving, settling into a new home, redecorating, working on quilting projects with my mother-in-law, learning how to cook traditional Lebanese food from my Husband's elderly grandmother (who does not speak more than a few words in English), babysitting our one-year-old niece full-time during the day, and studying to "test out" of four university courses for my major! ;-) Motherhood. This seems to be a reoccurring theme in my life. I did a photo shoot last week for a friend's newborn baby son. He was a precious little thing. It was a blessing to be able to capture him at only a few days old. But it hurts, too. All of my friends seem to be having children. My cousin had her baby shower this past weekend. Thankfully, I was too far away to attend. It broke my heart nevertheless.
My dreams of being a mother have been dashed, again. The private adoption fell through. The birth mother has decided to keep her child. I pray, for her child's sake, that she will be able to do so. I wish them every grace and blessing. I will always pray for the little precious soul.
And so, I turn once more to God. Where is the blessing? I may not be a mother, but I am a Godmother of two beautiful girls. One is still an infant, at whose birth I was present. The other is a bit of a paradox. My other Goddaughter is actually older than I am and she has been a practising Catholic for longer. How, then, did I become her Godmother? It is an interesting story. When I flew out last year for a retreat with members of my Christian sorority, I also had the honour of meeting up with her. My friend had shared that her Protestant baptism had been weighing on her heart and mind, and so we talked it over. Eventually, we went to see a priest. She explained the story to him, and after much discussion, it was decided that she would be conditionally baptised. He looked at me and said, "You will be her Godmother." And, so, that is how I became a Godmother for the first time. It happened on the same day my niece was born, when I became an aunt for the first time.
If I were to be honest with you, right now I want to give up. I am tired, bone-weary. I want to run away and hide. I do not feel capable of going forward, with so little support and with an unknown world out there. I question everything I know to be true.
Some days, a good spanking can solve anything, Other days, not so much.
I am scared of the future. I am not happy with who I am. I fear being nothing more. I feel the loss of spiritual help. I am lost and alone, frightened and helpless. But you would never know it. I never show it. If nothing else, I am a strong young woman. The blessing? God has overwhelmed me with miracles. The latest one has been the gift of tears. I hate to be the emotional female. I hate to be "clingy" or to be "needy." I much prefer to be independent, to depend upon no one else for support. That is what I am used to. I am very much the alley cat that my Husband had compassion upon and decided to give a home. I cannot cry. It is nearly impossible. I have probably gone whole years without doing so. And yet, I have cried several times in the past year. Yesterday, I clung to my Husband and sobbed my heart out. It was incredibly beautiful. God provides. The past several months have been difficult for me to bear. I try not to let on, but I have suffered greatly. I am learning, however, to lean on Him. God forbid I bring up another "Casting Crowns" song. I know! But, hear me out! It is so rare that I actually find a group that I like-- I do not actually listen to much "modern" music-- and this group seems to keep coming up with songs that I can relate to!
The one I have been listening to over and over again lately is, "Praise You in This Storm." I don't know how they do it-- but even the music echoes the cry of my heart and the cadence of my emotions. I am listening to it right now, as I type. And so, I will allow a fragment of it to become the closing line.
Truly, it is the cry of my heart: "And though my heart is torn, I will praise You in this storm."