Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Great Loss

I experienced a little bit of a broken heart today. Just when my husband and I were about to notify our realtor that we wanted to make an offer on the small pretty house I fell in love with (and then doubted myself over) he sadly informed us that the house went under contract. It went just "a few hours ago..." he said. Oh, we can make a back up offer in case theirs falls through... but what, really, are the chances? I'm ashamed to admit that at first I got very angry and said a few choice words. I just couldn't believe that once I finally decided it was indeed the house I wanted... the very place I saw myself living, decorating, raising a child or two, planting a garden... it was gone. It reminds me of the words from a popular song during my high school years. "Isn't it ironic... don't you think?"

So I sit here and wonder, could it be God (as everyone is telling me) or could it just be that I am too slow to get over my fears? I remembered just now as I pen these words that "a few hours ago..." before making the decision, a good friend prayed with me over the phone concerning this very thing. After she prayed, I knew things would be okay and work out according to His will. How quickly I forgot that prayer, and how swiftly I abandoned the peace it had settled in my soul, when this difficulty began to invade my space. How shamefully I admit that forgetfulness now, having cried my eyes out and stayed angry at myself, the world, the dog who kept getting under my feet as I attempted to finish preparing dinner through tear-stained glasses, and even my husband who just so lovingly wanted to comfort me.

I feel rather silly getting so emotional over a house. Don't get me wrong. I am still quite attached to it. I still very much want to call it my own and dream of filling it with the happy sounds of a growing family. I am also still quite doubtful that such a beautiful home in such a wonderful location will fall in our laps yet again... but to consider it such a great loss now just seems so... frivolous.

I didn't arrive at this conclusion easily, or even through any effort of my own. It hit me like a lead balloon, pounding on the doors of my mind, relenting not until my own thoughts were drowned out by the sounds of it piercing through my heart until that heart, completely broken, spewed forth the revelation that my "great loss" was really not that great at all.

It was born of the remembrance of an online acquaintance who shared with us the tragic and sudden loss of her dear husband, thought to be taken from this earth just a short week ago by a massive heart attack. It was ripened by the news article read concerning a six year old boy, struck by a vehicle this morning and pronounced dead at the scene.

Three losses. One woman mourning the death of the love of her life, another grieving the loss of a living and breathing piece of her very heart... and a third. This lady staring back at me in the mirror having lost... what? Brick? Tile? Mud-stained grout? Poorly chosen paint? Dirt? A chain link fence and a citrus tree or two?

How can I continue to bemoane the loss of something thought to be so wonderful, yet is so petty? How can I continue in this selfish way, completely forgetting to fall on my knees praising my Lord for the wonderful blessings I do have? How can I consider this a "great loss" when it really is no loss of mine at all? Brick can be rebuilt, tile can be re-layed, grout can be muddied up again, paint will always be available to buy in unbecoming colors, fences can be set yet again, and trees will always be planted and nurtured. Another house can be found... but we only have one chance at life. We only have one short life to share with the ones we love so dearly, and but a brief time on this earth to bring glory to the only One who is worthy of it. Do we have another decade? Another year? Another hour, minute, or just one more breath? Of this we can never be sure... but what I am sure of is that it is time to move on, count my blessings, and be truly thankful for the mercy of our great Redeemer. Move me, Lord... for my flesh saps my strength.

I may have lost the house I compare all others to, but perhaps this "great loss" has... in the grand scheme of things... given me more than could ever be taken away.


Jessica Morris said...

That was really beautifully written. You have a wonderful way with words, and glorifying our God with them.
It was a very interesting and even challenging perspective you put it all into.
When you do find your dream home you will be able to look back at it and claim this verse:
"You shall remember that the Lord your God led you."

Glad said...

It's all about perspective, isn't it?