We are now in the house with no stairs and it is absolutely beautiful and I am really still wondering how we got here.
But, something’s missing.
My husband was trying to make me feel better tonight when he said, “You have it all, Misty. The house is wonderful, no stairs! The kids are beautiful, it’s great. Don’t worry.”
But, he was being decidedly man-ish. Decidedly logical and level-headed.
And I am not. I have been a baby this whole last two weeks, and I wanted to write about it, because you will understand and you will pray for me and commiserate with me in a way that a logical, level-headed ninja could never do.
Where do I begin?
Well, it started out as most moves do, where you think, “Okay, we’ve got time. I can do this.”
Which quickly spiraled out of control, and to add to that–CHRISTMAS IS COMING.
So, I was fine, you know, with the moving. Except for every three hours. At every third hour I had some sort of meltdown.
And John (I love John!), tried desperately to be understanding. He took off his ninja suit for a moment and tried to be a psychiatrist.
Is it something buried inside? A feeling, perhaps?”
That’s when I realized I like John being a ninja just fine. He doesn’t do psychiatrist well.
Because it wasn’t buried. I knew exactly what was going on. I was going to do something new yet again without Joy. And I was kicking and screaming. Sometimes literally. I didn’t want to.
This move also drop kicked the reality of me being someone different. Someone who can’t walk right. Someone who gets headaches. Someone who is sometimes temporarily differently abled.
And sometimes I am completely incapacitated by things that never would have incapacitated me before.
So, that was mostly not fun because I kept thinking to myself,
Attitude of gratitude, Misty. What is wrong with you?
Maybe it’s because there was no creepy Elf on a Shelf staring at me making me feel guilty for whining and sometimes sobbing and my heart breaking and everything.
The thing is, I know what we are doing is a good thing. A right thing. Probably, dare I say, a best thing. But I was crying. My heart was in pieces. Everywhere. I was a mess.
Because I do have a lot. I just don’t have her. And I don’t have my body back the way I wanted it.
So, sometimes, I don’t care what I do have. I just want her. And I just want to walk like I used to be able to…
See, I kind of did the pregnancy waddle for so long–I thought that once I was done having babies I would go back to walking like a movie star,
(Okay, so maybe that wasn’t entirely realistic…)
but, here I am. Shuffling. Leaning. Stumbling.
And crying because I miss her.
So, I tried to be brave and good and I ordered a new Christmas tree online because our old one didn’t make it last year, and we got the tree.
It was awful.
There were maybe five branches on all 7 1/2 feet, and it leaned to the side like a drunken sailor (or me after I’ve been walking too long).
And, then the lights wouldn’t work.
But, I persevered. I just told the kids to go get the Christmas decorations and the tree skirt from the garage.
I waited. And waited. And then, they walked in with that look.
The “please don’t shoot the messenger” look.
And then they broke the news.
Every single Christmas box I had was gone. Every single one. Left behind back in Idaho. I never knew because I had been so sick and everything, but the Christmas boxes never got packed.
My crafty things I made in kindergarten. Gone.
My stocking from when I was little. Gone.
The little Santa’s Bag ornament my mom cross-stitched for me. My Santa. My three little wooden and rag trees from Tetonia. Gone.
Tree skirt. Garland. Lights. Memories.
Things Joy Touched.
I would like to say that I had grace and courage and a saintly calm and peace surrounded me as I quoted a prophet or scripture about being content only with food and clothing, but I didn’t.
I somehow felt like everything good in my life (moving to a new house with stairs, for example), has to come with something painful attached to it (losing my Christmas memories).
That is simply untrue, or maybe it is true. But maybe it’s only painful to me because I can’t see what the purpose is.
Sometimes, I just think Heaven is being mean to me because I have flaws.
But, that’s not true, either.
It’s just life.
It goes on.
Even without the Things Joy Touched.
Even without my stocking.
Christmas comes anyway, even when people lose everything they own.
And I want to say that I thought of people who have ever so much less than I, because I did, but I also just thought,
This hurts. Even though I know there is far more pain in the world, this is painful for me.
And I missed her so much and I just wanted it to feel like Christmas.
It’s not like I can look out my window and see what my loved ones in Tetonia are seeing right now.
It’s 80 degrees and sunny here in Orlando.
My husband, the ninja, got me another tree that is full and wide and wintry looking. I love him.
It looked Christmas-y and I needed it.
(And my hand painted glass ornaments of the Tetons were not missing. So that’s something beautiful, too.)
I’ve had a few days to let go of missing my Christmas things. And I wonder if God allowed it to happen to make room for more in my heart. To make room for new things and new experiences. New memories.
I love looking back at beautiful days gone by. In fact, Christmas is the perfect time for that. But, it is also a time to look forward, and I haven’t done that in many Christmases. I have always been looking back, sometimes, without even knowing it. I just yearned for the yesterdays and couldn’t see tomorrows because I wasn’t even facing that direction.
I think I was like Lot’s wife:
Lot’s wife….doubted the Lord’s ability to give her something better than she already had. Apparently she thought—fatally, as it turned out—that nothing that lay ahead could possibly be as good as those moments she was leaving behind.
Is that me? Am I just yearning because I feel like nothing could be better than what I had?
I mean, Lot’s wife may have had something–I don’t know what was so great about Sodom and Gomorrah–maybe the food or the interior design experts or the fabulous fashion–but I had Joy.
How could anything be better than that?
And if I ever feel better–I almost feel like it would be like a betrayal.
But, there it is in scripture. God is “the high priest of good things to come.”
He somehow can make it better for me. He will. He has promised.
I feel like moving here this time to this place is God’s way of turning me around and saying, “The future is here, Misty. Own it. Be excited about it. Take that step into the dark, even if you stumble–there is beauty and adventure and love and life out there. Yes, it may hurt. But, I will be there and it will be glorious.”
And, then I cringe and whimper and I think about my lost things. Whenever I lose Things She Touched, I feel like I am losing her all over again. And I wonder if I will ever not feel that way.
But, I can feel that way and then I can feel the next thing–peace and calm and a submitting. A humility in saying, “I loved my way, and I love what I’ve been given, but I can love something different if you want me to. I can love something new.”
Remembering Lot’s wife, Elder Holland said this:
Is there any future for me? What does a new year…hold for me? Will I be safe? Will life be sound? Can I trust in the Lord and in the future? Or would it be better to look back, to go back, to go home?
To all such of every generation, I call out, “Remember Lot’s wife.” Faith is for the future. Faith builds on the past but never longs to stay there. Faith trusts that God has great things in store for each of us and that Christ truly is the “high priest of good things to come.”
And I think that will be my Christmas thought this year. That Christ, born so long ago, is the “high priest of good things to come,” and that He will guide me through a new life with new things, even if I stumble and even if I don’t think I’m ready. Because Christmas is about giving and love, but it is also a time to heal from the wounds of the year and go forward with faith–believing and hoping and trusting in good things to come.