So, what was the plan?!
“I think I have asthma,” I said into the phone as I was sitting up in a recliner struggling to breathe and not able to sleep one night many years ago. My dad had asthma. I called him and woke him up. “Dad,” I tried to exhale. “I…can’t breathe.”
“Are you struggling on the inhale or the exhale?”
“On…the in,” I managed to say through my emotion. I had struggled all my life with claustrophobia. Open space would relieve it. But now I was carrying it with me wherever I went. My life had become claustrophobic.
“It’s not asthma then,” the sound of Dad’s voice helped me exhale. Home. I suddenly wanted to be home. I had left home angry. Anger directed at my parents over my own inability to pull my life together.
“Why can’t you ever ask about Me?” I said 34 years ago standing in the kitchen as my parents stood looking at me with fear in their eyes which appeared at the time like judgement. We were having a standoff. “Why do you always have to ask me about my faith? Why don’t you ever ask about ME. Ask me about how I’M doing!” I exploded and cried. I shook my head and wrung my hands in humiliation. I stomped up three flights of stairs to where my husband, one year old son and I were camped out in the attic. “We’re leaving.” I said to my (ex) husband, shaking.
So, in the middle of the night we packed up all the belongings we owned and drove from Milwaukee back to Colorado, back to where we had spent a season performing with a Repertory Company just a year earlier, back in search of a home.
My parents didn’t hear from me again for three years. It never occurred to me at the time the hurt that I was inflicting by robbing them of their grandchild, daughter and son-in-law. I learned of that later. At the time, it was all about ME. My life was going to be lived my way. I was protecting my dignity. I was covering up. I was in trouble and my marriage was in trouble. It wasn’t going according to plan but I wasn’t about to admit it. Not to anyone. I was proud, and I was keeping secrets—a lot of them from a lot of people.
All my young life, I had dealt with disappointment and heartache telling myself and those around me, “I’ll use this on stage one day.” I had planned to be an actress. My life had become the drama. It appeared on the outside that I had possibly arrived at the place I thought I wanted to be: married to an actor and director, working in the theatre, subletting an apartment in New York City as we moved around from job to job in the old Ford Van we named Hamlet.
Fast forward. I spent a lot of time running away from pain.
But this blog isn’t about running away. This blog is about coming home—home in the sense that we find it within ourselves. If, like me, you have experienced any of the above, I understand. Welcome. I’ve been there.
For the record, I began to find my way home when it stopped being about ME. It started to be about a Bigger picture, a Bigger Home, a Home where Love Lives. Not my self-manifested, self-focused, infatuation kind of love but True Love—the real thing.
Finding love is first a journey in. Like the breath I was unable to breathe in, I was unable, for many reasons, to breathe in God’s Love and I was unable to love myself. Slowly, with faith so small it seemed invisible, smaller even than the mustard seed I wear around my neck, Someone was waiting.
One day, with little left in my shriveled heart, I got down on my knees and said a prayer. “I give up. Show me the Way. I will follow.” I wasn’t even sure who I was talking to. I don’t remember saying I was sorry.
But from that point on, the Beloved heart of Jesus began to flow into me. One, often painful step at a time, I began to discover how to love—how to love myself, how to love others, how to love God—how to give love and how to receive it. From there, everything began to flow, like a River. Grace, Peace and Purpose began to flow in only to flow back out.
Want to come along? Please do. I hope you follow, leave your thoughts, maybe we agree to disagree on some things but please come back to visit. I appreciate your friendship. I appreciate you as I settle into this new home for Not According to Plan. Thank you for being here.