I think I’m going to legally change my name from Bruce Stephen Elkins to “Baby Steps” Elkins. I’m trying hard to be patient and in that, to wait upon the Lord and do what He wants me to, when He wants me to do it. Like babies learning to walk, sometimes they take a step and fall.
This last week, I asked the Lord about something and did not get an answer. I waited and still no answer. I took it to mean, step out on faith and learn. I did and metaphorically, fell and hit my head on a coffee table. The bump on my head will remind me it is better to wait for a clear yes or no, in lieu of stepping out on my own. The experience made me want to go deep within my “turtle shell” and not do anything like that again for a long, long time. It is a rarity that I mis-read a situation like I did that one.
I have written two more pieces about where I am and how I am trying to process how to walk without a human companion. The first piece was “Am I Denying The Denial?” I looked at the five stages of grief and found them confusing, in that, the slightest variation from normal would have you in one or more of the stages. For me, it was simpler to follow the leadership God was giving me; if I was in denial or not, it was just a label and not an identity.
The second piece was “Have I Lost My Identity?” I tried to show how I was so closely related to who Terrie was that our lives merged together to form a “Steve & Terrie” brand. Now it is a “Steve/heavily influenced by Terrie, but on his own” brand. I heard someone say, after they had read the piece, that I didn’t know who I was anymore. I laughed, because I do know who I am, but they missed the point of the affect she had on my life.
I was discussing A “New” Normal with someone the other day. What I called a new normal, they called a new reality. I accept that name as well, but there is a little difference in perspective in the two words. What I was saying in a new normal, was that things have changed or altered to where I can’t always do something the way I used too. The way things are now is the new normal.
The word ‘reality’ is a little starker, more black and white, unyielding, less merciful. Perhaps more sober. Merriam-Webster defines the word as the state of being real; something that is not dependent but exists necessarily. To paraphrase, “This is the way it is.” And some would add, “deal with it!” I can see how that would apply too many, in a similar situation.
I am still trying to choose to be thankful on my highway of grief (“Choosing A “Thankful” Highway Of Grief”). Truly, I believe it is how the Lord wants me to walk with Him. I could see without it, becoming bitter and mean and miserable. I could see becoming isolated, not wanting others to see me or be seen by others. I would become a “loner” and we know how they act out.
I have learned it is useless to make long term plans or hopes based on how I am now. I can only cope with today. Tomorrow as enough worries on its own.
As I sat down to write this tonight, the Wayne Watson song, “Through It All” was playing. I think it frames where I am now.
“I’ve had many tears and sorrows / I’ve had questions for tomorrow / ther’ve been times I didn’t know right from wrong / but in every situation God gave blessed consolation / that my trials come to only make me strong / oh I’ve been to a lot of places / and I’ve seen a millions of faces / but there are times I still fail all alone / He know lonely hours / Jesus let me know I was His own
Chorus / through it all, through it all / I’ve learned to trust in Jesus / I’ve learned to trust in God / through it all, through it all / I’ve learned to depend upon His word / I thank God for the mountains / I thank Him for the valleys / and I thank Him for the storms He brought me through / for if I’d never had any problems / ’cause I won’t know that He could solve them / I’d never know what faith in God’s word could do.
Oh Lord, please let me appreciate my time with you, to love you with all my heart, to die to my desires and live for your purpose in me, to be testimony of your kindness and grace to me. I pray I don’t fail you, but are faithful and true…and patient. Amen.