As I got ready for church this morning, I knew the current level of overwhelm was about to pour out. Church does that to me. Something about being in the midst of His body, coming before Him together in worship and praise, hearing a message that speaks right to my heart in words that I have heard before, but which at the time weren't meant for the deep places that time, that really pulls away my mask and empties the deep, hurty places within me. I watched "Crazy, Stupid Love" this morning and it left me wondering why no one ever fights for me. Most specifically, it left me wondering why Pepe hadn't. Knowing that the flood was about to breech the walls, I put on my waterproof mascara before heading out.
All weekend I have been thinking about this big deal we're working on at work and about having a heart attack. Ever since my dad had his in 2010, I find myself wondering if I, too, will have one sooner rather than later. This week, one of the folks I had worked with previously talked about how in May he had a heart attack; the one they call the widow-maker (left anterior descending coronary artery blockage). Only he lived to tell his story. My dad's was a right coronary artery kind caused by a calcium seed buildup in the artery. As I was finishing my make-up, I picked up my phone to check to see if the price matrix had come in yet from my guy who was working it. Instead, I got an email telling me that he had a heart attack yesterday. It started Thursday night, but he thought it was indigestion. Yesterday, though, it became evident that he needed to go to the hospital. He was having a heart attack. Earlier that morning I had heard from him with an update on the model he was working for this deal, later he was getting a stent and learning that he had two additional blocked arteries which would require a bypass later this week.
As I sit down with my cup of coffee in hand beside my mom, I ask her to hand me the Kleenex. Church hasn't started yet, but I know the waters are ready for spilling. She knows about the work stuff and the heart attack of my guy and how I am feeling in over my head and up against huge challenges in the areas for which I am responsible. She asks me if it's the holidays and I tell her it's just the being alone part that is getting to me. That I am for the first time starting a new job and I am no longer married and lacking all that support that came with making such a huge change and it is getting to me.
Then I think again about Brian, my older sister's husband, who told us last week that when her daughter asks about her mom, he tells her she's away getting well so she can be with her again some day. I wonder if she will ever be well. I wonder if my niece will grow up without a mother and with no memory of her because she will forget all that she knew of her. Gone shortly after she'd turned three. Still among the living, but not present. My heart aches for each of them. It aches for me, too, because all I want to do is protect and save her. God reminds me that's not for me to do. My sister said she's going back to California on Wednesday. If it's true and she does go, she's got nothing to go to there. No home. No family. No car. No job. No money. She doesn't care, though. It's where she's always gravitated. It is what she considers home.
As the tears stream quickly and quietly down my face, my pain and sadness are evident. First, the woman in front of me turns around and says, "I don't know what is hurting you and it's none of my business, but I want to hug you." And she does. A few minutes later, a man walks up to me and tells me that my sadness drew him to me. He hugs me and kisses my cheek gently while handing me a note written on an envelope from the pew. It tells me that he's an elder and will be praying for me this week. God sends me His love through His people--His hands and feet fill me with His loving care. In the message, I hear the things I have said to my sister and know that I have planted seeds. It is not for me to harvest them or even to grow them. It is of Him and it is her choice. I realize that God has always fought for me. He may not be able to put His arms around me, but He has given me--once again--all I need.