For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

When You are Fine Trusting Him

Dear Fallon,

Today I wrote a hard email. I wrote a friend concerning a book he suggested I read. It had been powerful to him, and he offered it to WonderGirl...and subsequently, to me. I finished it a few nights ago and was hoping for some profound spiritual...something, and instead, one sentence reverberates through my mind.

"...I'd end up disappointing people and they'd leave me."

Kind of a disturbing thing to remember from a book on learning about St. Francis. Well, it isn't really about St. Francis. It's about this man's journey to Italy...well, really to God that happened to go through Italy and down the road of St. Francis.

And of all the things that have stuck in my head, "I'd end up disappointing people, and they'd leave me."

Of course, things only stick that way for two reasons: 1. It is so absolute opposite of who you are and what you think, or 2. It's right where you are and right in the middle of what you think.

Bet you sort of guessed it is #2.

Then I had this great idea to what the Netflix movie I got in the mail today. Not the one I had expected. "Somehow" my cue got mixed up, and I received "Mother's Night Out." GREAT! I need a good laugh.

I did laugh. Until the main character sat down by Bones at the police station and told how she felt like a failure, like she just couldn't get it right. Then I started to cry.

I totally understand.

There is so much I don't know. I don't know how to raise a young man to be a man. I don't know how to deal with the anger that seems to seep from them at times. I don't know how to do algebra mixture problems. I bought a weed eater I can't use because I can't figure out the oil and gas mixture for it. I don't know what kind of life I'm supposed to be "rebuilding". I thought I did, but all evidence seems to say I was hugely wrong. I don't know how to do...this.

And it's pointless to ask for help because I'm not "soft", so I can figure it out, and I'm not the typical female. I'm undaunted. And God knows there is no room to be weak in any way because if I am...I'll end up disappointing people, and they'll leave. They have left.

So I don't say anything. I don't talk about how hard it is to raise two teenagers on my own or the emotional ocean they live in. I don't talk about the doubts. I don't ever mention the struggles. When people ask, I always say I'm fine.

What if my being fine creates a prison, not just for me, but for the people who feel they have to be fine around me?

But, Fallon, what if I'm not fine? What if my heart aches because I'm trying to find joy in a life I didn't exactly choose? What if I'm confused and unsure about how to raise this man-in-the-becoming? What if I'm just tired of listening to two kids work through the grief...especially the anger? What if I absolute dread math each day? What if I feel like I'm a million miles from fine...but I'm okay with that...because it is part of the process? What if not being fine is part of the pilgrimage, and what if my saying, "I'm not fine," let's someone exhale and say, "Oh, thank God, I'm not fine either?

What if, instead of being disappointed, they were set free?
What if, instead of leaving, they found they aren't alone and they belong here...with the rest of the folks who aren't fine but are praying for a way through it? With the folks with the long list of all the things they don't know so they take it all to the One they do know because the one thing they know is God can handle all of it...all of us...all of me.

And somehow instead of being disgusted by the weakness, He is glorified in it.
And instead of being disappointed, He is undone with compassion.
And instead of leaving, He draws us closer.
And instead of silence, He whispers, "I love you. I've got you. We're going to get through this."

Maybe then, we'd find that we don't have to fear all of what we are not but instead be fine because of all He is?

Choosing to trust,

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