I didn’t want to start another post with drama and madness. Alas, my life is madness. And, honestly, this is probably not news to you. But, if it is, welcome.
I am writing this from a Ramada Inn in Waco, Texas. And I am on my way to West Texas for our Marine Baby’s wedding on Saturday. I was supposed to be there on Sunday, but I have been too sick to travel, with either a sinus infection or a brain tumor.
Annnnnd, here comes the drama…
While packing my car to finally leave, our beloved cat, Rain, was hit by a car right in front of our driveway.
Rattled and very sad, my husband, Justin, took care of the remains of Rain, helped me finish loading my car and left to get our daughter from school. He had the unfortunate job of breaking the news to her.
I had to get on the road.
So I sobbed and listened to loud music for the first two hours of my five hour trip. And then, I stopped for a diet coke to help ease my pounding head. I pulled out of the McDonald’s drive thru and stopped at a red light at a highway intersection. The light turned green and I advanced to go.
In my bones, I heard or felt, STOP.
And an 18-wheeler blew threw the red light at full speed. The driver was traveling so fast, so close to me, that the vibration from his truck knocked my purse and phone off the passenger seat.
Me and Rain the kitty, nearly had the same story.
The driver behind me was furious with me for slamming on my breaks… and then he saw what stopped me.
This isn’t my best composition.
But I am rattled. I am tired. And I am jammied up in a hotel 3 hours from my destination, entirely done.
And the thing is, I know, that is not really true.
Right now, at this moment, I feel done.
It feels like enough is enough.
So, I took a hot bath. I washed my hair with crappy hotel shampoo. And, I talked to two friends in the throes of doneness. Then, I ate some raspberries for dinner and decided to write down what it means to be done, and keep going, the opposite of being done.
I don’t like to give lofty advice in blog posts. This is in part because, who am I to be telling you how to live?
I can’t make a five hour trip in a one stint without getting a hotel room.
So this is me talking/typing out loud to me, and maybe we will both be a little less done in the end.
Recently, a fellow blogger and author lost a son to a long battle with mental illness,
A few days ago she posted on her social media accounts, something that left me thinking about being done. Perhaps, done should be reserved for those who have lived through the nightmare of burying a child. But Jamie, The Very Worst Missionary wrote this:
“Despite the depth of its (your heart’s) wounds, it just keeps going and then the rest of your body has to follow. You eat, you sleep, you sit, and stand, and walk, you smile. Eventually, you laugh. It’s like your heart knows that if it keeps going, so will you. And your heart hasn’t forgotten how good it is to be in the world, so it pushes on, propelling you along to the fridge, the shower, a family dinner, coffee with a friend. In doing these things, your spirit catches up with what your heart already knows; It’s pretty good to be alive.”
And it is. The weight of a lifeless cat, the 24th birthday of my oldest daughter, a short drive, that turned into an overnight stay, an extended headache, a wedding to prepare for, and a near miss, might define this day. But I am not done. .
When I profess that I am done, I guess that is all just the drama of being Jami, Not Even a Missionary.
Life can be excruciating, overwhelming, and altogether too much. There are times, when 5 hours is three hours too many. And there are much worse times, when we don’t follow our instincts or the Holy Spirit, and near misses become tragedies.
And I know, you know, I know, sinus infections have nothing on brain tumors. Dead cats have nothing on burying sons. In my prayer journal, before I began to write all this down, I wrote the words, “I’m done…” but, then scribbled them out. Because, I am not really done.
Yes, I am road weary.
And as a professional wordsmith, off her game, I know the importance of words.
I know words can inspire, enrage, engage, build up, tear down, fuel the flame, calm the storm, sabotage, and save.
But it is among readers and writers, and most especially women, that I am most convicted of what I say to myself and others.
When I read the post of the above mentioned writer, when I witnessed she, who has every right to be done, still type, still move through the world in her own style and grief, I remembered, “I am not done. Done is too much.”“I am not done. Done is too much.” Click To Tweet
I scream it at my kids, “That is it it! I am done!”
And most often, this is wasted on them. They have come to believe, done means time out, no swimming, or dinner is finally ready.
I guess done has lost its magnitude, like awesome, totally, and literally.
And I will most likely use “done,” many, many more times, even today. But I want to be mindful of doneness.
I am not really done. Obviously, I didn’t meet with a tragic demise and I am finally coming out of the heavy headache. My cat is dead, my son is getting married. My daughter celebrated her 24th birthday and my car is packed to the ceiling with wedding odds and ends.
There is stuff to do, stuff that will get done and other stuff that will have to not get done, and that will be fine too.
Alone in a hotel off I-35, enough is not really enough, it is just right. Friends at their wits end know it is safe to say to me, “I am done.” They can expect me to talk them off the ledge, or chime in, “me too.”
But at our core, we know, we will keep going. We can and we will, motivated by our belief in the One who did it all and called it done, so that we might live in the hope and freedom of His sacrifice.
It is finished.
And His grace is sufficient.
As I re-read this post, I thought, “this is way off from my usual wording and style.” And while, that could be in part because I have switched to a new MacBook, which I already feel done with, it is more because sometimes at the end of done, there is the beginning of clarity.
I am going to be more careful with done.
Truly, it emphasises complaints and staggers explanations. But I am grateful for happier endings and the human capacity for loss and perseverance. It may be time to wrap it up or try something new, but as long as I have my Jesus, I feel certain, I have the endurance to trudge on.
No matter the weight of the struggle, no matter how hard or how long, I can and will do all things through Christ who is my strength.
It is indeed well.
My prayer for myself and any eye that falls upon this post is that at the end of done there is this wave of newness, a beginning, and next first steps. Friend, it might seem grim, and compared to someone else it might seem minuscule. However, we face this day adored, bought and paid for with the conclusive sacrifice of the perfect Lamb.
I am just getting started.
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained.
Jesus be all over you… Love, Jami
I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. Acts 20:23-24