Remember how I asked the pastor for a favor a couple of Sundays ago? And he said “probably yes” but then the Abuser started using my fractured grey matter against me to make me think I was going to get rejected again?
[Insert Divine Laughter Here]
But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? (KJV)
Sometimes it’s hard to read the Gospels without wanting to smack Peter upside the head, like in Matthew 14:30-31. But then things like this happen in my own life, where once again I have to laugh at myself for not trusting the Lord to yank me out of the water as I was sinking.
So yeah, long story short, the favor worked out. I’m still a little gun-shy about sharing the specific details of the favor but it’s a nice one. Specifically, it helps my current situation because it gives me a small but much-needed change of scenery, getting me out of the house; I’ve been holed up in a fairly grim corner staying with my former landlords for the past couple of months.
Um, About That
When I texted my friend to let her know of this update, she replied by sadly informing me that I would need to find other accommodations for a place to stay. Of course, I’d seen this development coming and have been preparing myself for its inevitability. For various reasons (certain events I’ve witnessed in their home, etc.), I’m actually rather relieved.
But it does still hurt: As always, nobody can tolerate my close proximity for very long. And yet, these same people somehow always manage to put up with all manner of crappy behavior from others. It’s like all the times I’ve gotten fired from jobs over “personality conflicts,” while some of the jerkiest jerkfaces to ever jerk are somehow STILL EMPLOYED for years.
How does that happen?
I know better than to say “Hey, that’s not fair,” at least out loud where other people can hear me and take up the “Who told you life was gonna be fair?” refrain.
In fact, when I had a young (very young) (nineteen years younger, go me) man as a roomie a few years ago, I was the one schooling him on this stuff. He got his foolish ass fired after numerous warnings (and after I marveled loudly that he led a charmed life). In the aftermath, he wouldn’t stop griping about all the stuff his co-workers were getting away with daily; I repeatedly pointed out that their behavior was out of his control and had no bearing on his termination. From experience, I informed him that no matter how good at the job you are, you can and will be sacked if the higher-ups decide you’re a liability. Yes, even if it’ll cost them a fortune and they have to hire three people to replace you.
All relationships in this world (personal and professional) have a lifespan. Some last until until one of you dies (or so I’m told). Many are cut short by things like changing careers or moving away. Some people really do just “grow apart.” Not a small number of associations only last as long as one of you is useful or convenient to the other.
Regardless, there’s very little utility in engaging in whataboutism when someone decides to cut you off. As I told my young (very young) (I’ll have to tell that story sometime) roommate, it simply doesn’t matter why So-And-So rejected you but still accepts That Other Guy Who Is Worse. So-And-So made a choice and their choice no longer includes you.
It’s okay to feel bad about it. But ruminating and fulminating at length about how much worse That Other Guy is won’t change the result. So-And-So isn’t going to come to their senses if you harangue them about all the ways That Other Guy falls short. They’re also not going to feel bad. It’s just over.
Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled. (KJV)
Hebrews 12:15 is a verse I’ve heard from preachers many times, focusing on the part about bitterness. Unfortunately, it’s usually presented in such a finger-wagging “don’t you DARE show bad feelings EVER” way that I’ve glossed over it a lot in my mind. But looking at it with fresh eyes today, I’m glad to be reminded of its importance. That particular root grows easily in me, and I need to stay on top of it.
One of my most hated catchphrases is “When one door closes, another door opens” and variations thereof. (I’ve got so many “trigger phrases” at this point that I’m thinking of making a separate page for them here on the blog.) It’s just so glib and unhelpful and invariably chirped by people who don’t have a clue what I’m going through.
The ending of a relationship isn’t as easy as closing a door and not looking back. In my current circumstances, I feel more like there are camera lenses expanding and contracting around me. People modifying the length of focus and exposure they’re willing to subject themselves to when it comes to yours truly. My friends who are politely kicking me out, while insisting that I am still loved. The pastor and even his wife being gracious and generous while still somewhat keeping me at a distance.
A Vehicle-Dweller Once Again
Last night was my final night in the non-custodial kid’s loft bed. No more awkwardly climbing the flimsy ladder and collapsing into stuffed dinosaurs. Tonight, I’ll be kipping out behind the steering wheel again. (To be clear, my friends were going to allow me a couple more weeks to find a place to stay. I’m choosing to leave now for Reasons, some of which are practical and others which are private. It’s for the best.)
I’ve done this before. My preferred campsite is nearby. I’ve got the gym for showering and exercising. There’s a library, and a branch of my favorite gas station with fuel discounts, and a laundromat in the event that I can’t find another friend willing to let me wash my clothes at their house. If I get tagged by cops at night, there could be issues with my car insurance being canceled, but since I don’t have the money to restart it whattayagonnado? I’ve got my PC. My food stamps are still going. (Now with an extra two bucks a month due to a Federal Cost of Living Adjustment! Thanks Obama!)
And I have church.
It’s odd for me to say and type those words. But four Sunday mornings in a row (and one Wednesday night Bible study), I’ve found myself back where it all started. Somehow, after all these years, alternately watering and hacking away at those roots of bitterness. I come alone, largely ignored by the rest of the congregation, to hear God’s Word, and for the moment, for right now, that seems to be enough.
And who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? (KJV)
— Esther 4:14c