Returning to the desert…

And yes, that’s desert, NOT dessert…the sandy kind not the sweet one…

In Old Testament theology, the desert is seen as a proving grounds, a testing place, a place to create a firm commitment, to lose all the chaff of one’s self, to be challenged.  It is never a fun place, it is at times a deadly place, but it is ALWAYS a necessary one for those who are sent there.  Without implying any ability/mission link with those people, I left my desert too soon.

I thought I was past all the hurt and the stress and the angst and the rest of the mess that was going along with letting go.  I thought I was okay with being single and with improving my relationship with my son and myself.  I imagined that I was ready, healed and roarin’ to go.  None of which was really true.

There were moments and lessons that I have learned this past year and a half that I will not soon forget.  And indeed I have traveled farther than ever before on this journey I’ve been put on.  But I got caught at an oasis in the desert.  It wasn’t the oasis’ fault, it is what it is.  But it become the destination, rather than a stop on my journey.  And I’m not done yet.  There is much still to be dealt with, to be learned and to let go.

This December has been the roughest one in several years.  We lost yet another family member (my son lost two more, one on his mom’s side) during this month.  It makes four for me.  My official divorce hearing to finally settle things is in about three weeks and I’m trying to get everything ready for it, myself included.  My oasis and I decided to call ourselves friends rather than push it towards anything more serious…but it still hurt leaving.  Then there’s the holiday stress, making gifts this year, rather than buying them, hosting Christmas for the family, dealing with work, etc etc etc…

But, there is still joy.

Joy in the remembrances of good times had with the family, joy on people’s faces when they tell a good story (or bad depending!), joy in the simple things and good sounds and smells of life.  And yes, I like to cook.

My life is still surrounded by music and love.  My son’s birthday party went off really well this year.  Pics to come I’m sure.  He is doing well, almost a teenager, so any advice on that front would be most welcome.  I have great friends, awesome co-workers, a great job, a loving family and a warm place to stay with food on the table.  I can pay all my bills and have a path to walk.  I have much to  be thankful for this holiday season.  And much I can share.

First thoughts back in the desert…I find it odd that it’s thankfulness…but it’s also comforting.

Cheers.

And Merry Christmas.

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One thought on “Returning to the desert…

  1. Just some thoughts from yesterday in response…and they reflect my own time in the desert during the last few years….

    Deserts aren’t fun! But it’s in the desert that we begin to really experience what it means to be fully dependent on God…to discover that while other people’s opinions / validation are nice, when they are taken away, what are you left with?

    Where is the foundation? Desert times show the foolishness of placing it in things or people that aren’t constant (i.e., shifting sands).

    Deserts also allow us to see more clearly the stars that guide us to where we want to be.

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