Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Toothbrush is Lonely

I've always admired women that live alone. At times, I have even been a little jealous. I mean, they get to be in charge of everything and no one ever argues! If women who take on the world alone are full of moxy and are to be respected, then a woman who lives in her in-laws' basement without a car for escape or a husband to confide in have a truckload of grace and deserve a giant trophy.

This week, PK left me. OK, he didn't abandon his family and run off with a young cocktail waitress (at least, I don't think so). He actually found a job at last. Unfortunately, the job is six hours away from the 70's wood paneling and orange floral sofas that we now call home. The job is only temporary contract position, so it didn't make sense to re-locate the family and spend money on an apartment when we might end up right back here in a matter of weeks. So, here I am hanging with the folks while I try to say sane in the middle of frozen nowhere with no transportation of my own for escape. I'm not saying it's horrible torture to be here and I am extremely grateful for the home that has been offered to us at no charge. It can just be a little awkward finding your place in a household when you aren't quite family and traditions and routines are very rigid. When CT was invited to a friend's for dinner, I was happy that he was fitting in and making connections, but I really wanted to fall to the floor, grab his leg and beg him not to leave me alone with the uncomfortableness of being in someone else's home.

Our financial situation hit like an oncoming semi sliding across black ice on the freeway on Monday. In all our recent travels, we noticed a strange noise coming from the car. After sitting for a year in the barn, that didn't surprise us. We took it for an oil change, which seemed to improve things for a little while, but the noise returned. So, after PK left for his new job, I drove into town to the mechanic expecting to replace the spark plugs as someone had suggested. I left with an estimate of $875 worth of work that was "not optional". When I called PK to give him the bad news, he greeted it with a grim warning. "Please don't use the card. We're $200 overdrawn right now." I tearfully accepted the in-laws' offer to loan us the car money, but I was sure they could see the tail between my legs as I headed down to our basement for a good cry alone. When CT returned from school complaining about being teased because he gets the free lunch at school, my moment of weakness turned into a full-fledged pity party and I spent the rest of the evening wallowing in worry and oppressive sadness. Add in a buried late notice that our health insurance was in jeopardy of being cancelled due to non-payment, a cold coming on and the constant updates from El Sembrador about a new school year beginning...without us. I felt like I was being suffocated. When I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and found my toothbrush standing all alone on the counter, I burst into tears again. I felt utterly alone and scared.

After a few minutes, I did what people at their wit's end tend to do. I found my Bible in the bottom of my suitcase. Then something amazing happened. As I prayed for God to give me the strength to move forward, my mind started to wander mid-prayer. I started thinking about how we got ourselves into this situation with the intent of sinking further into desperation, I tried to scold myself for putting the future of our family at risk like this. I gave myself the "what were we thinking?" speech. But instead of making me feel worse, I started thinking about our time at El Sembrador. I thought about Rommel and the dirt floors of his tiny home. I thought of Reyes and his desperate need for a mother's love. I thought of Jorge singing while he used a machete in the grass...of CT with his Bible open on the front porch preaching to any kid who would listen....of the day we went to town and picked up garbage and of the day I wanted to give up and come home. Suddenly, my prayer changed from one of begging for God's intervention to one of praise for all that he has allowed me to experience in the last 12 months. Everything became focused and I could feel myself giving up the control...and the worry. Of course it is all worth it. My pride got in the way of seeing it for a little while. Being back in my own domain had led me to old habits. But Minnesota belongs to God just as much as Honduras does. So, I did what I did when we started this whole thing....I let go.

Things are starting to look up. I found a notice that my stock plan at my old job was still active and it still had $2000 in it. I sold it and we're awaiting the check. We also expect PK's first paycheck next week. The car repairs actually came in $100 less than we were quoted and now the car runs perfectly. Mom sent us $100 for PK's birthday (and because she took pity on me). And I made a trip to the Cities to see PK. We still have a long road to go for security...or maybe we'll never have it again. But I'm kind of ok with that. And I've come to almost enjoy the lifestyle of never knowing what the next day will hold, much less next week. It feels like we're still on an adventure together. I still miss having some stability and having the family together. Afterall, we've barely been apart in over a year and we're the only ones that can possibly understand how the others are feeling. But I know that I am not alone. My toothbrush may be lonely, but I'm not anymore.

One day I'm going to look back on this time and our time in Honduras as the best time of my life...a time where I was drawn closer to my family and closer to God. And I'll have no regrets.


Michelle said...

Beautifully stated my friend. I love you and will pray for you.

Mom said...

Mom doesn't "pity" you. "just want to help any way I can to show my love!!!