Chasing tales


Sometimes, usually when my hands are busy or I’m driving, I have amazing ideas for blog posts. Sometimes I write the entire post in my head, swearing I will remember it word for word. Sometimes I forget where I live on the way home from WalMart. Let’s just assume that the best posts are the ones that have only been read by the silent mice living in my head. sigh

I’ve been thinking a lot about the man on the roof during a flood, waiting for the Lord to save him. You know the story, he prays and waits. Someone comes along in a boat and offers him a ride but he declines, “I’m waiting for the Lord.” Another person comes by in a bigger boat, “No thanks, I’m waiting for the Lord.” A third person comes by in a helicopter. “Nope, the Lord will save me.” He drowns. When he gets to heaven he asks the Lord why he didn’t save him. “I sent three people…”

I wonder if the number three is significant at all in this story. I hope not. I hope the point is simply that the Lord will use others to help us. I can think of many times when my prayers have been answered through the service of someone else. Usually, someone I never would have expected. Sometimes even a stranger that I never see again.

I’ve been sitting on my flooded house of singleness for several (many) years now. I’ve had boats come by, and even a helicopter. Have I given up to the inevitability of drowning (aka dying alone)? I don’t know. I hope not.

When Brad was still alive, I went on a trip to visit my dad for his birthday. I think it was his 60th? I don’t know. Anyway, I flew across the country from Florida to Arizona all by myself. It was a good trip. I got to visit with family, go to the temple, and get food poisoning. Very well rounded trip. I remember sitting on the plane watching people filter in looking for seats. For some reason, I noticed the men more than the women this trip. I tried to guess what they did for a living and what kind of person they were. I remember sitting next to or near a gentleman that seemed like a really awesome guy. I imagined he was a Stake president with a good job and a great life. The thought ran through my mind that if I ever had to marry again, I would like to marry someone that had a long history in the church. Someone who had been raised in the church and had that lifelong experience. Brad had joined after we got married and was rock solid, but it had always been a bit different, not having the full life history that I had.

I remember being kind of amazed that I was having that kind of thought go through my head. I was happily married to a wonderful man and I would never, ever consider divorce. I shook it off and basically forgot about it.

Less than a month later, Brad was buried. It all happened very quickly. Now it was my dad’s turn to fly across the country and come visit me.

It took a while for me to transition into the role of a single, widowed parent. It wasn’t something I ever wanted to do, but it was part of the path the Lord put in front of me, so that’s what I did.

I remember thinking a lot before starting to date. I felt pressure to do so because Brad never wanted me to be alone. I felt pressure because I thought my kids needed a dad. I felt pressure because I didn’t know how to do this alone. I felt pressure because I was lonely. But there was another kind of pressure. The pressure I felt to basically do an upgrade. Brad was awesome, but here was my chance to get an even better model. I would find someone that didn’t have the same faults that Brad had. I would do even better.

I think this is a common syndrome that singles may fall into. I would assume it would be even harder with divorce. “Don’t want to make THAT mistake again, I’m getting someone who doesn’t do THAT,” etc.  We set those expectations high out of feelings of failure, disappointment, and mostly fear. If something doesn’t turn out the way we want it to the first time, we want the second, or third time to be better.

As I sit on my roof, watching the water rise, I think about these things. I think about the awesome boat I turned away, the yacht, the helicopter, the raft….did I do the right thing? Is the Lord sitting up there with his hands in the air thinking, “What does she expect me to send now?”  Has he given up on me ever being willing to accept anything less than perfection? Is he frustrated because He knows how very far from ‘perfection’ I am and that I really have no right asking for anything? Or is He saying, “Good job. You passed the test. The best is yet to come.”

I don’t know. I guess time will tell. All I know is, I’m getting to be a pretty good swimmer. Cause I said so.


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