“I’m pretty sure that it is only by experiencing that ocean of sadness in a naked and immediate way that we come to be healed—which is to say, that we come to experience life with a real sense of presence and spaciousness and peace.” ~ Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies
I don’t know how it happened, but I lost my faith.
There was a time I believed so deeply in the Universe’s ability to line things up for me—because I had the evidence.
After losing my job, marriage, home, husband, and dogs, I found myself at home with my sister at a time when she needed me and I was available.
I was graced with the opportunity to dive into my writing dream.
And, the cream in my coffee was the Universe, God, and all the angels created space and time for my beloved and I to find each other and open our hearts in a way neither of us ever had, to know sacred love.
I felt like every heartache, break-up, divorce, and disaster led me toward fulfillment. And, it was only the beginning.
You know those chapters in life when everything feels right, you love living in your own skin, and magic moments become commonplace?
Well, if not, that’s on its way to you—because everyone gets at least one chapter like that.
Sometimes we don’t even know it’s been delivered until it’s taken away.
Not me. Not this time. I knew. So did my beloved.
We were old enough to have experienced plenty of so-almost-right relationships.
Our crazy, sexy, cool tasted like pure nutrients after junk food.
We’d also been burned by death’s flame devouring our loved ones and made individual vows to suck the marrow out of life.
So, we did. We loved deep, honest, expansive, surprising, and as undeniable as the three-day storm that shut down I-40 after Kevin’s last Christmas.
We didn’t know when we drove into that storm headed from his place in St. Louis to my parents’ home in Santa Fe, NM that the rain wouldn’t stop and we’d be forced to return to his home.
We were stuck in each other’s arm with an open agenda. Big bummer. Not! I’ll forever cherish those three days of rain.
Like the time I spent with him the following February. Kevin asked me to stay two weeks instead of the one I planned. I did.
Then, he said, “Come on, Icey, one more day!”
He always asked me to stay. That last time, I did.
Surely, God and the Universe lined up these gifts of added time for us, like the way we came together after decades of never considering anything more than friendship.
People say things like that and sometimes we think, really?
Yes, really. I had zero attraction to the man, like he just wasn’t for me.
Until he was. Our magnified intimacy and connection intensified my faith.
Part of me believes it all went the way it was meant to.
How could something so right be wrong—even though it ended in his unexpected death in his sleep on a random night before he intended to visit?
Yet, in the rightness and grace of it all, my faith in the Universe, or God’s ability to align my life, fractured.
I started striving to survive grief’s pain. Then, when it began to subside, I set goals for accomplishment the way a lonely girl seeks a man.
I came more from sickness and sadness than faith. And that’s ok.
My faith doesn’t have a brand or a label. It doesn’t fit into a box and barely belongs to any church.
However, my faith—somehow reignited today—is as big as the God I believe in. And as mysterious.
Today—days after Thanksgiving, in Ohio—I sit warmed by sunshine on my deck, my dog at my feet, a pen in my hand, and paper receiving my words.
I feel the magic moving in me again.
I feel aligned, although I don’t know exactly what for.
Just as I had no idea the Fire (my nickname for Kevin, my beloved) would melt this Ice (what he called me since the 80s, as in Vanilla Ice’s Ice, Ice Baby). Or that the Fire would go out.
I simply remember this feeling of faith—as clear as the day I laid back in his friend Big Daddy’s boat on Lake St. Louis, soaked up the sun, smiled at a man who was not yet mine and said, “I’m so happy right now. I love this moment.” It was days before our first kiss.
What a ride!
Thank you, God. For all you’ve given, for how you’ve reawakened and realigned me after the darkness threatened to seduce me.
I’m here. I stand—well, actually sit, in sunshine, in late November, in faith.