Sunday, March 1, 2009

Standing outside the fire

There was a time when Dave and I were dating, and he had decided to go to graduate school. I was heartbroken because that meant he'd be 2 1/2 hours away. (At the time, this was the biggest tragedy in my life.)

We were at a campground with his parents, and he and I were sitting outside by the campfire. We were talking about him going off to grad school and how I hurt to think of him going, but that I would be ok. I related it all to standing outside the fire. Here's how I think of it, that dealing with a tragedy, and this is the way I think of it with Lily.

I have no idea what "tomorrow" is going to be like, but when it comes to "tragedies," I dread it. I think the worst of any situation. I think I do it to prepare myself for the hardships that are bound to accompany those tragedies.

Where I stand is here, on this side of the fire (imagine a campfire). I know I'm going to have to walk through those hot coals, and I dread it. It's going to burn and hurt and scar. And even though I don't know when the "coals" will end, I know that they don't last forever. I can make it to the other side where there is relief from the burn and the hurt that I will have to pass through. I may have scars, but they will become that gentle reminder of what I've been able to overcome. They will strengthen my "sole" for the next crossing, because we're never guaranteed in life that the coals are a one-time thing, but they will never be hardened to the point where I've lost feeling.

Still, I dread walking through the coals and not knowing exactly how badly they are going to hurt and when they are going to end. I know the other stuff. But I concentrate on the coals. But I know the other stuff, which reminds me that I can make it through all of this. I just don't know when that will be. So I dread the tragedies before they even get here.

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