I was once given $20 in quarters which disappeared into a slot machine in less than 10 minutes. I don’t consider myself much of a gambler in the truest sense of the word. I hate wasting money. Not my kind of fun. But gambling is life in a sense. You have to take risks to experience gain which of course opens you up for losses as well.
I’ve been down before. You, who have been reading, as I’ve lived the past three years, have been with me each step. But if I take stock in it all, the ups and the downs, I’m always better off, and have more in the end. So the gambles for me have been worth it.
There is a new feel-good movie coming out about older people going on a kind of spiritual adventure to India called “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” in it is this quote,
“Nothing here has worked out quite as I expected.”
“Most things don’t. But sometimes what happens instead is the good stuff.”
Having my daughter poke me in the shoulder while I’m worshipping at church to let me know Harry is standing by my side…
Surprise visits in unexpected places…
A kiss on the cheek from my adult son who writes in his mother’s day card that he’s glad he’s living at home for college instead of leaving…
Finding out that alone I’ve been able to manage my money better than when married…
Knowing I’m in the best shape of my life…
All of this is really good stuff.
Sometimes expectations get in the way of the good stuff. We paint ourselves in a corner, give ourselves too strict a script to follow, and we sometimes allow fear to hold us back. I’m not condoning recklessness but in this period of my life I’m embracing living in the moment more than plans for the future.
I’m taking each day as it comes with gratitude in my heart for what I have instead of bitterness and anger at what I’ve lost. And maybe I’m able to do that simply because I’ve been able to recognize that often times the good stuff comes when you least expect it.
I did not expect to fall in love with Harry. I did not expect him and I to share our hearts so deeply.
And I have no idea what lies ahead. In 9 days my son will graduate high school. One year from now so will my daughter and after that? I’m on my own.
And I can’t help thinking the best is yet to come. Why? Well I have the assurance of my faith for one. No matter what happens to me in this life I have the promise of heaven and eternal life with Christ. I have the peace that suppresses understanding in this life because of it.
When Martin and I were going through the tumult of worry and wondering about jobs and moving…he would often be in awe of my ability to take things in stride. I was not pretending when I told him I was relying and trusting in God with my life. There was only so much we could do and after that you just had to trust. So I did. And when things fell through I trusted that it happened for a reason.
And thank you Lord for the failures. Thank you for your divine intervention if that was the case to take the jobs away. I remember asking Martin after the second job was snatched if there was any unresolved coveting on his part that needed to be sorted out. I asked him if there was anything he was doing that he knew he needed to make right because God was not going to honor the desires and wishes of a man who was seeking something in a dishonorable way. He swore to me there was nothing.
So fine. He was a liar. And fine I’m alone now. And crap like that happens sometimes. But that doesn’t mean life is evil or bad or that somehow I didn’t get something that was entitled to me.
I’m facing the next year with hope and excitement. I’m laying down my expectations I had and learning that sometimes they get in the way of the good stuff, which I want desperately.
And what is the good stuff?
It is whole-hearted, honest and true love. It is friendship that will be giving more than taking. It is that moment in a touch when your fingertips speak more than your words ever could…saying, “this is real and I love you.” and knowing beyond a shadow of doubt by the tears in his eyes that somehow your souls connected and he understands. And it is that deep understanding that will last decades. THAT is the good stuff I want.
And whatever muck and mire I have to get through to find it I will. Because I know it’s out there and I know it’s real and incredibly I’m finding it in a friend with sweet eyes and a kind smile who is as different to me as the sun is to the moon. But who sees in me the same hope and tenderness as I see in him. And for some crazy reason has decided to open his heart to me.
That my friends is the good stuff. GOOD STUFF. Worth every tear.
I am in love with Harry. ME. Crazy. But I sooooo am. And he will come to understand in time that what did it for me was not his looks, power, prestige, or finesse. What did it for me was his vulnerability – that he let me see his heart, his weaknesses, his mistakes, his foibles and follies.
I thank God for my failures. I thank God for my entire life. Every minute of it. Because it’s brought me to the good stuff I get to soak in now.