(Repost- thanks to Dr. Stephanie Clayton, LPC)
If I could sum up my week – this pretty much describes it – llamas, cake, locked doors, and sad cookies. I always knew there was a reason I loved llamas. When googling the behavioral characteristics one will note they are stubborn, aloof, inquisitive, and territorial (probably the best description of my behavior in a few areas over the past few weeks/month)
It started Tuesday with cake. I’m about 100 percent certain this cake was delivered by Jesus – or a messenger there of. It was a large box of tiny bundt cakes – supposedly dropped off by an advertising rep – however, who advertises bundt cakes to a tiny single practitioner counseling office tucked in the back corner of a medical center? I seldom have a client that doesn’t have difficulty locating my office for the first time – much less a bundt cake rep. So I’m pretty sure it was a divine encounter of the bundt cake type.
Wednesday came with a llama journal delivered to my office from a dear friend. It brought tears to my eyes. Not because I love llamas – which I do – but because it meant the world to receive a gift so thoughtful for absolutely no reason other than they were thinking of me. We should never underestimate the power of doing something simple to help someone feel loved and special.
Thursday was ok…mostly consisting of me knocking repeatedly on a locked door. Why? Because I missed walking through it I guess. I desperately craved the felt safety once held behind it. But the thing was – the felt safety had been removed. Now it was nothing but a locked door – nothing behind it but an empty shallow once love filled room.
Friday I received not so subtle confirmation that the door would always remain locked and what was behind it would remain empty – or at least empty in regards to me. And no – I am not talking about an actual door – more of a relational door that I had grown to be comfortable walking in and out of over the past several years. And so I cried…a lot. Thus the entrance of the sad cookies…
Sad cookies because I have the best friend in the whole entire world who said – you are not going to sit in this sh** hole – at least not right here/right now – and drug my stubborn llama ass out on the porch to feed me cookies. I wanted to spit because llamas get a little territorial when people try to the pet them – but she knows how to soothe my heart. And I am so incredibly thankful.
I write all of this to say, I never cease to be amazed at how God walks in our very midst…even when we assure ourselves that we have never been more emotionally alone. As I laid in bed last night I came across a post about a Beth Moore study titled “The Quest”. I downloaded a preview and it asks you to consider God asking – where are you? (based off of the question in Genesis to Adam and Eve)
I sat quietly for a few minutes and it came to me – well God…I am camping out in front of that locked door. That way I can knock on it every now and then, try and look through it, leave gifts on the outside and cry loudly – hoping what I long for on the other side will suddenly appear and invite me in.
Is it working? – I hear God say…
No – I reply…
Alright then – God replies…and more silenece (the kind that speaks 1,000 words)…
In the vision now brightly displayed inside my mind I am very aware of what is behind me. It’s life. Good life. And lot’s of it. Yet there my stubborn llama ass sits (with a blanket and cookies because my friend didn’t want me to get cold and hungry) refusing to get up, turn around, and walk. As if somehow the door will unlock. The sad thing is – even if it did – what was once behind it has now disappeared. And it’s not coming back. That has been made quite clear.
I suppose that is the process of grief. The one I talk about in therapy sessions often – but have seldom had to experience. Denail, bargaining, depression, anger…and eventually some semblance of acceptance. Some realization that nothing but God is permanent and unconditional. Other things/places/people/circumstances/seasons come and go. And when they go, sometimes it hurts. Bad. And for a moment there is cake, and sad cookies, and people gather round while you spit and fluff up your fur in protest. But eventually you have make a decision.
Where are you Stephanie?
Will you keep sitting at the door I nailed shut for a reason – or get up – crawl out the open window of your grief – and move on. Where are you? And will you stay? Or will you get up – come with me and go? Because the sad cookies are almost gone…and llamas were made move.
And I choose to move…