What’s My Why?
It has been awhile, now hasn’t it? Six months ago I decided to take a break from sharing my thoughts with you. As I am sure you are aware, the longer you are without, the easier it is to live without. I guess that is why I wander my fingers over the laptop, hoping they will spill out meaningful words.
Instead, I feel as if I am opening up a novel halfway through and reading it to you, hoping you catch on quickly, and all the randomness of the following moments come together into a complete thought arrangement.
Perhaps we begin with the middle of my day yesterday and go out from there?
I ran into a kind, beautiful lady with whom I hardly know in person. We are friends on Facebook. She may not know this, but I traveled with her family to Portugal last year, and have lived vicariously through her pics of her life. Yes, I am that person.
I was walking out of the restroom, she was waiting to enter in. We make eye contact, before the realization of us both, “I know you” .
Bypassing all awkward pleasantries, she says something, catching me off guard, I can’t stop thinking about it. She said my name is in her journal and she prays for me and my girls.
What compels such compassion?
Or yet another, when I came back from my mom’s funeral in January and entered the kitchen to see all sorts of goodies waiting from the kindness of others, so my stomach would not be in want.
Why, when I try to blend into the backdrop, do others remove the curtain of my restraint by their compassion?
Often I title my private journal entries, so to make sense of them after time travels by. The one from the other day I used both words to form a question: What’s my why?
What’s My Why?
It’s the middle of the night. I lay there, fan clicking like it is off balance. I get up. Turn it off. Wait until the blades slow to a stop. Turn back on. Momentary silence. Until the clicking returns. I roll over and reluctantly wander back to my thoughts on drinking, and quitting. Again.
The weight gain, the embarrassment of empty bottles in the recycling bin. The walk down the wine aisle, feeling like a pregnant teenager, eyes darting around hoping no one I know is in the vicinity. I cover it under the broccoli and grain-free chips. This morning though, I get up and think/pray to God.
I need help. I am embarrassed to say this to Him because I don’t want to ask for this at 5:00am, and by 5:00pm reneg on my end because that is the acceptable time for such a beverage. Not 4:50–anything with a four is just too soon.
I feed the dogs.
I pour out the bottle from last night, noticing it is a bit more than halfway gone, and project my future shrug at the likely disappointment I would have had knowing I was already cheated from a full two glasses.
I rinse its residue, and recycle it.
I sit down for coffee.
I open my laptop, check email, and see a post from one of my favorite authors. I settle in for the quick read of toddlers and daily rhythms of a home that is not-at-all like my own, hoping for inspiration, or possibly procrastination from tackling the taxes.
Midway through, she lists books she has finished reading. One jumps out and startles me, knowing this is a moment from God:
The Alcohol Experiment: A 30-day, Alcohol Free Challenge to Interrupt Your Habits and Help You Take Control
Feel the answer to my cry for help is within my grasp. Or in front of my eyes.
I see hope.
The first question of Day One is, “Why?”
My list compiles without much thought:
- I like the warm feeling of calm enter in.
- I can put an end to the day, without missing him.
- I am a creature to liquid habits: Coffee, cappuccino, cabernet.
- When I feel uncomfortable, it makes me comfortable.
- I don’t know what to do with all my time without him.
- I am bored.
- I love the taste.
The next question, “Why do I want to quit?”
- I feel like I am losing control.
- I think about it too often.
- I have gained a lot of weight.
- I am embarrassed by it.
- It is hindering my life, and wasting my evenings.
- I am sick of the internal battling over a stupid beverage.
- I feel it is weighing me down spiritually.
Increments of lasting change, I feel it.
What if we looked at life in small increments, like 30 days, one month out of 12, each day a small part of a tangible end within reach? Like the goal of 30 days without alcoholic beverage; small steps to a grand result in a small amount of time.
I like it.
Today is Day Four.
I had the strangest of dreams, with a snapshot so vivid–
All the doors were opened in my home. Yes, scary in a horror flick to have a door unlocked somewhere for evil to enter in. But it feels different as I remember the overall pic of a home that is my home, but is not my home, a bit grander with a large front porch and shutters on the windows on either side.
All the doors are open.
Doors. Open. All.
I hear the words enter in, from within, as I enter into a long run, “Josie, all the doors are open.”
Doors, God has been guiding me through doors for some time now. Something I cannot explain in a few mere words here, but am assured the words from within are Spirit spoken.
As I ponder while pounding the pavement of new territory, I come inches from head-butting a deer– there she is right in my space, almost grazing my left cheek. (My facial cheek, not of butt variety.)
I bolt, looking behind as I do. She continues to stare at me for the briefest of moments until distance is between us both.
I think of the verse–
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God…
Words, destructive ones, have tried to grab hold and silence me, “You can hurt yourself, just enough for hospitalization.”
The thoughts entered during a 48-hour span of time, exhausted, I cried out, “God, help.” Momentary peace settled me into sleep.
Truth is, these are not my thoughts, I am sure of it. At the beginning of Bill’s absence, the agony within was all my own. An ache so intense it hurt to breathe. The desire to end it all was overwhelming.
But these are different, as if whispered to me, and not within me. A few months ago, something similar, “Do you want to die?”
No, I am just beginning to live.
I realize the words are to silence my voice, by silencing me. Sinister. Real.
The fight is real.
I want Him to come in and rescue me from destruction, as Superman does to Lois Lane, yet realize often He does so through other avenues, like people and email and His Word and Spirit within.
A question surfaces, a similar question actually–
What is my why in the greater scheme of things? Why am I here, writing in this space?
Two answers come without much thought:
- To offer hope to someone who feels life is hopeless.
- To point someone to a God who is never out of reach.