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January 20, 2005 - Thursday, 4:17 p.m.
I was rapidly being torn apart internally. Every concern I ever voiced in my marriage was bounced back as my problem or issue, or something I obviously needed to work on. I went to counseling, I got a job, I did the things that I thought would make things better, but my life continued to spiral down, until I knew that my marriage probably wasn’t going to make it. One thing I was sure of was that I needed to step away from the marriage. We need to be separated. The trust had to be rebuilt and wasn’t going to happen any other way. Always when the discussion got to this point, my ex-husbands response was, “I’ll never leave the house.” This had always given me pause and I would again go off and try to fix things as best I could.
In 1990, that day came. I knew I was truly in a place where I was at the end of things. This time we had to separate. I had gotten to a place where I no longer knew what to do, or what was best. The tried and true response was given and I told him, “Then I will go. However, I want you to think about it. I get paid next week. I need to know where my money will go. Will I pay the house payment or use it to get an apartment. Think about it, I’d hate to have the kids lose their home.” That was it. I didn’t talk to him for a week about it. I didn’t try to assist him in making up his mind. I didn’t give him pros and cons. I didn’t tell him why I should keep the house and why he should leave. I said nothing. My friends, my family all were aghast… what about the kids? What if the house is lost? My sister, who lived with me, was beside herself. She kept telling me. “ I’ll pray for you to keep the house.” I stopped her. “Pray for us, but pray for the RIGHT thing to happen. I don’t know what that is. Maybe it’s keeping the house and maybe it isn’t.” The week ticked by. The kids were silent. We waited. That day dawned and I went to him. “What do you want to do?” He said, “I’ll move out.”
When Justin got home from school that day he met me at the top of the stairs to the basement. He was 8 years old. I don’t think he even spoke the words, but he was there to find out whether we would stay in the house or leave. It was bigger then that. If my X stayed in the house the boys would stay with him and I would leave and get an apartment on my own. Whoever stayed with the house would most likely get the kids, and the boys knew that if they listened at all, and Justin listened. This was a huge thing for the kids. Either Mom was going to move away or Dad was, either an awful prospect. He looked up at me, apprehensive. He wanted to know and yet, he didn’t. I looked him in the eye and said, “We are staying.” His arms when out and around my waist and he hugged me and hugged me. I hugged him back and kissed him. “Is this what you wanted?” He nodded and very quietly said ‘Yes.” I was surprised. “You never said a word.” His response? “I know.”
This was my first A-Ha moment. It was something even my eight year old knew, you have to let go and know that you don’t know, and that somehow it’ll work out. All the talking, pleading and convincing you might muster up will never really result in the best solution. It was the first moment in my life that I recall knowing some how that it would work out and that I needed to let go and not try to MAKE it happen, or make happen whatever I thought would be best. I truly realized that I don’t always know the best, and that perhaps God did.
There was a major shift in my life, mostly just a conscious realization of events in my life. I started to realize when something struck me as a good thing or something I wanted to pursue, one of two things would happen. Either the universe would align and everything would fall in place, or the struggle to keep something from happening or make it happen would be impossible to execute.
Let’s jump ahead five years to another pivotal event. I was sitting at a picnic table at a family camp talking to my sister’s nephew, Robin. He was an amazing young man. He’d gone to high school in India and graduated at 16. He’d loved India and the third world. He moved to the states and took care of his grandma until he was 17 and able to start college. He finished a double major in 4 years with one semester in China. He never bothered to learn how to drive, after all his dream was to return to the third world and who needed a car there? He was preparing to work on his masters’ degree, but wanted to give something back to his school in India. He felt it had given him so much and he wanted to go back and teach there for a year. His younger brother was going to attend that fall and he wondered if my nephew wanted to go too. I knew immediately that this would be a wonderful opportunity. My nephew didn’t have any interest, but I asked Robin if perhaps Justin might be able to do that and he was very positive about the possibility. I immediately went to Justin and asked him if he might be interested in going. His response was immediate, “Yes.”
Now as with most things in your life you think, “WOW, what a great opportunity and the wheels begin to turn and then you think. GAH!! What about all this other stuff, how will I pay for it? And, what am I thinking, he’s 13 years old and I’m thinking about sending him halfway around the world? What about tuition costs, how will he travel, will he get homesick… and let me see… he needs to leave in TWO months, and he needs shots and a passport and… HOW will I ever make this happen?” I thought about it and the tuition cost was the first road block, couldn’t be more then about $2500. That was my number. Robin promised to contact the school, get information and put in a good word for Justin. I was starting to think about all the consequences, the money, the distance, what would his Dad say? Would he give permission…? The fax came from the school. Tuition was under $2500. Oh no… okay… what about shots and passports? Could they be gotten in time? We started that process. No problem. Okay… how about a 13 year old traveling alone, suddenly there was a college kid leaving Denver the same time with the same destination. This decision took on a life of it’s own. I knew it was the right decision, no matter how scary it felt. No matter how much I might second-guess myself, I knew that it was what should happen. It was the right decision.
With each event like this in my life, I began to recognize decisions that were right, even if they made me uncomfortable. I knew that if I thought something was a good idea, but it felt impossible or scary that all I needed to do was walk into it, and that if it were meant to be in my life it would begin to flow, if not it would feel an impossible battle whether I was trying to stop it or make it happen. More then that, I knew that if it was clicking that I would not even try to stop it, realizing I always had the power to stop it, but then would be thinking I knew best what should happen, and I know that isn’t true.
When I decided to start graduate school it happened again. I thought, “Hey, I want to do this, but…” and I stopped thinking and starting working on it. Everything fell in place. The GRE test was coming up and it was in time, student loans became available, my world aligned and I knew it was the right decision.
It happened again last week. Those classes presented themselves. I thought, “Hmmm… Yes… I’d like to do that, but…” and the world aligned. Things clicked, the time, the money. Part of it was the beliefs that I could rearrange whatever I needed to; but the handwriting was on the wall told me that this was the right thing to do; that call at the right moment, the call back at the right moment, things aligning that I’d never expect. These are the things that tell me. YES!! Go with it. Go with it.