Thursday, March 11, 2010

Detours

This is a post about detours.

***
And apropos of this theme, I have a detour before I start blathering on about detours:

As I've been stewing about this post, this subject...a great lot of um, stuff (this is a G rated blog, right? right) has hit the fan in the Ethiopian adoption world. And I have a fair bit of thoughts about it rumbling through my brain...but those are for another post(s). {New requirements, across the board, for all families to travel twice - complicated and difficult and possibly good in the long run but a huge hurdle in the short for so many} For the moment, I offer my condolences and my ears to hear and heart to hurt for all of the children and families affected - for the cold slap in the face of worry that this news brings. But again, it's too easy to slide into the tempest of this news and start fretting aloud and repeating everyone else's words, and those who are in it, right now. And I'm not. I don't own those words. So I won't go there, not today. Maybe another day, ya never know! But I will probably also go off on a tangent or two...as I said, this just opens up so much fodder for pondering and processing, for me anyhow, which means, of course, for you!

***
Back to current post:
***

Anyhooo. As I said, I've been stewing about detours. It's hard to write all this because it's close. It carves right under that spot in your chest, right in tight to your heart and lungs. So if you cut too close you kind of gasp and can't breath, and you hold your breath as you talk closer to it, so that you can be really careful. Because you need to protect your own heart and also the hearts and breathing of the ones you love. I don't know, it's hard to make this make sense. I know I'm not making sense, and yet, this disclaimer must be put out first. Because its a raw spot. But it's also a spot that needs to toughen up, heal, move forward and that only happens by bringing it out to the light and looking at it, and thus, this post.

Right. Now that most have clicked away out of confusion and impatience, it's just us friends. Hey there.


So. A few times in my life, parenting life mostly, I have had some detours.
Scratch that: Ok, any life, my life, yours, we all have detours because no life goes as we initially plan it. Then it would be dull and boring and unsatisfying.


But I'm talking about the hard turn detours. The ones that have you ending up somewhere you never dreamed, parenting wise. Others have written beautifully about all this. I don't seem to be able to (again, hence this post). Probably the best known piece on this is here, known as "Welcome to Holland."

So, I've been to Holland, figuratively speaking. And you know, while the place has it has it's beauties, it's still a tough landing. And we have found ourselves detoured there once again, recently. And you know, this "Holland" is a complicated place. And like all control freaks (me), that detour thing?.....it makes you (ok, me) want to kick and fuss and whine.

Because I don't like detours....because they weren't in "THE PLAN." And that PLAN, well, we are, were, supposed to follow it. I mean, I had it all mapped out, you know? Knew where the bumps were, the turns, the scenic spots. Knew the time to get to our destination, and the best roads to follow. Heck, had even traveled it once or twice before. And when you are sent on a detour, even to somewhere with it's own intrinsic beauty, well, we control freaks kind of um, freak out a bit. Maybe we get frantic, or very quiet, or very deeply indigo blue. Maybe we stop trusting. Maybe we question if we ever did. Or do. Maybe we stop looking out, because the view has changed. And we get stuck with the rut of "but." As in, "But it was supposed to be Italy, not Holland." Or, "But, it was supposed to be in the PLAN, page 42."

And maybe it takes some time to realize that those detours are for us.
Those detours are for us.
Those detours are given to us by God himself.
Not as a punishment (because they are challenging, sometimes very hard, so it is easy to mistake them as such).
But as a gift.
A gift.
To call us back to Him.
To love Him better, right now.
To call us out of ourselves.

To save us from ourselves.

Those detours are not to deprive us/me of Italy.
That detour, this Holland, is to break our/my grasp on my own deadly vision: Us. Ok, me.
Finally, I realize that my struggle with this detour is me.
Of course.
Ever.
It has been ever so painfully shown to me (thank you Fr. Luke, ouch) that struggle is in my unwillingness to look....beyond my own miserable me. My plan. My day. My feelings and desires and needs. Those very things are what drag me into the indigo abyss. And that is not where I wanted to be or choose to stay.

And I forgot my prayer.
I - not so long ago - literally prayed this: "Save me from myself, Oh God, send me a child, the one you choose."
I forgot.
And He did what I asked.
Eight times.
Oh, dear, how could I forget that prayer?


This detour is for us. For me.
It all just IS for the child -- They haven't detoured. I have.
And they are waiting, pretty patiently for the most part, for us/me to step off the plane and start walking with them.
Really. Not grudgingly. Not counting the steps.
They are waiting to show me Holland. Again. Or - their Italia.

This blog, this post, helped me realize that it's ok to get frustrated with the detours.
But it's also ok to say the heck with it all, and we can make our own "Italy" right here.
Really?
Whoa.
I knew that, right?
Yeah, on the good days.
But I keep forgetting.


But, you know what?
I want to go to Italy.
I love Italy!
And who says we have to be stuck anywhere.....because detours are all about seeing new places with new eyes.
And I want to create some Viva Italia, starting now.

5 comments:

Sarah and Davis said...

Love this post! Thanks for always being so honest about how hard parenting is. It makes me feel better to see a seasoned "pro" like you struggle too!

Christine said...

Well said. I love the Welcome to Holland story, it taught me a lot as a teacher.

Robin said...

Wow.....Italy. My dream too. And landing in Italy on Ethiopian Air doesn't count! It's my dream.....and probably not God's. Hard to let go, isn't it? I think if I can let go of MY dream, I'd find that Joy and Contentment that's been dogging me for so long!

Jen said...

Wow...to think that I almost missed this post. Well written and beautiful. Have not been on my fav blog in too long so I also missed the novena.

Amy said...

Thanks for this one...lovely...just what I needed to hear...

Amy