I’m coming to the conclusion
that the very best part of divorce
is having absolutely no help.
I don’t have a long list of friends
that I chat with on the phone for hours on end,
invite over for dinner
or join at a movie theater.
On the contrary, I am quite alone.
I had a fabulously wonderful thing happen to me this summer
that left me questioning every relationship from my past, present and future.
It was fabulous ONLY in that it opened my eyes to some
deep-seated Polly-Anna-isms that had been rose-coloring my life
in what I believe is probably an unrealistic and unhealthy way.
It was painful … and surely very needful.
In honesty, it brought me to a list of unanswered questions about
what constitutes a friendship
and whittled life down to a few people who are solidly planted in my inner circle.
Of those, I spend time with only three of those friends
on a consistent basis.
All have walked a path similar to mine in some fashion
and understand my struggles, failures and victories.
None frequent my home.
So truly, in my own home, I am alone.
I don’t have anyone to back me up with my children….
to love them daily, face to face … direct, love or encourage them
or tell me I’m doing the right thing when I find the need to discipline.
I don’t have anyone to help me with running errands
or figuring out how to repair a fallen deck or fix things around the house.
I am on my own.
And the longer I am alone
the more I see this as a gift of divorce.
Because this gift causes me to rely
fully, completely and wholly on God.
When I’m struggling with insecurities, I’m asking God to show me the truth.
When I’m wondering how to repair some-broken-something, I’m asking God for instruction.
And when I’m pondering how to be in two places at once, I call on His cloning methods.
This morning, I found my home without hot water. It’s only been four short years since the hot water heater was replaced. At the time of replacement, I requested that the appliance have a valve for incoming AND outgoing water. As Joy has gotten older she has followed the pattern of her older siblings. She has moved from ten minute showers ….. to twenty and thirty minute sauna experiences. So, I’ve begun to execute the “Ten Minute Hot Water Shut Off Method” to oust her from the bathroom … in the same fashion as her brother and sister received.
Last night, I turned off the water
only to later find that the valve wouldn’t return to the “open” position.
Great. Just great.
I had no other choice than to figure out how to fix it.
First thing this morning, I went to the plumbing store
where I’m getting to know the guys by name.
So far, Grady has been the super helpful!
I took photos to help me explain things.
I always research terminology and phrases so I don’t walk in using dumb words like
“thingy” or “knob” or “whatchamacallit.”
And because I couldn’t find size reference,
I used a seamstress tape to measure the circumference of the pipe leading into the on/off valve.
It was soft and flexible and worked better than a metal tape measure.
I took the tape measure into the store with me so I could confirm the pipe size before buying.
And I’ll be honest.
I was r.e.a.d.y for some man to make fun of me for taking in a seamstress tape for my measuring tool.
I was ready. I was going to look him in the square face and say,
“Ya know what? I don’t know what I’m doing but I’m going to figure it out! You can laugh at me if you want.
But, I’m being brave.”
…. alas … I didn’t get to use my strong retort.
But, I was ready!
I discussed the situation with the guy at the store. I decided I’d try to force the valve handle to turn before replacing it. It is solid brass and only four years old. It shouldn’t be broken. But, I bought a new one, just in case I did break it while I was man-handling it.
James came in and helped me look it over.
With a screw-driver and some extra force, it moved back to the “open” position.
*whew* I was so thankful.
But, ya know what I thought as hot water began to flow back through the pipes
to the kitchen and bathrooms?
All I could think about was how amazing it was that I’d figured out something else …
and how God really, truly, surely will help me
with the tough stuff that I don’t understand.
I don’t have to know how everything will work out, I just have to take the beginning steps.
I don’t have to completely understand what to do next … I just need to do some.thing!
And so, being alone is a blessing.
I have nowhere to turn.
I have no help.
And it’s a really good thing …
because I’m learning more and more
that God really is an ever-present help in times of trouble. Psalm 46:1