“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”I'm a lover of quotes and this gem from St. Cat is part of my little collection of words of wisdom. What I like about quotes and snippets is that you can always revisit them for new meaning and insight. I don't feel I ever quite arrive at a quote or depart from it the same time, every time.
“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”These words became a sort of "ear worm" for the rest of that Monday and for a few days after. I finally packed them away again when I became rather frustrated and distraught over the fact that I had no idea who God means for me to be. I mean, yes, most of the intentions of my life are quite obvious, wife, mother, sister, daughter, aunt, friend... Though sometimes, even these easy to spot descriptions are hard for me to imagine being part of God's plan for me. I don't think God planned for me to become so frustrated with my kids that thoughts of duct taping them to the wall cross my mind. Thus I began my steps down into the big "D's" from this one little quote... doubt, depression, despair, disillusionment, and ultimately hovering just inches apart from despair. Aside from the monikers listed above, who am I supposed to be?
I've struggled with these ideas often in the past couple of years, frustrated over my journey of healing, but yet still hiding this big secret from most aspects of my life. I could talk for hours about the mercy and forgiveness I have found since facing my past head on, but outside of this blog, I don't really talk about it. I haven't used my new found powers for any real good. I've been asking myself for a while now, what next? I don't have an answer yet. I've tried asking the same of God. I've no answer yet. When I'm frustrated and the depression is winning, I often start to lament ever starting this journey in the first place. Wasn't I so much better off before when abortion wasn't part of my life in this way? Wasn't I happier? Wasn't I fun to be around? The fact is I don't know for sure because I don't remember that person very well. This has become who I am, but I fear the scale has tipped too far in the other direction. Now I'm all abortion and nothing else, aren't I?
So back to setting the world on fire.
Who does God mean for me to be? Is this all there is? Full time wife and mother, part time employee? I have no career or grand accomplishments to boast about. I haven't written the great American novel. I haven't done a whole heck of a lot actually in the last ten years or so. Instead of moving toward some thing bigger, better, I've been in a kind of holding pattern just managing the day to day while it seems everyone else's life has some kind of inertia quality that I haven't attained. I'm not sure I ever wanted that, however. Yes, I have a college degree, experience, a nice applicable resume, but really all I wanted to do and still want to do is be at home and take care of my husband and kids. There is not a lot of support for that idea. It's also in conflict with what I must do, which is work at least part time to make ends meet. I'm not sure I've ever really found peace with the facts of my life such as they have been.
But, what else does God mean for me to be? I'm wondering if I'm grieving, in some way, the "old" me. The me before this journey. I'm wondering if I'm lamenting who I could be if I didn't have this big secret. I think I grieve for the person I would have become had I not had an abortion at all. I constantly question and doubt all of my choices and wonder if I've made a huge mistake in not pursuing a career and money and sent my kids to daycare so I cold work full time. Everyone else does it. Then, I become frustrated because I have an image in my mind of what I'm supposed to be and I'm too weak and scared to be so. I'm frustrated because maybe I'm over thinking all of this and I already am who God means me to be - and boy am I boring. How am I supposed to set the world on fire this way?
Perhaps now is not the best time to hash this out as I'm still fighting the depression and the constant lump in my throat and the tears the seem to be constantly at the ready. I know I'm not the first or only human who has asked these questions, but I feel awfully alone in spite of that knowledge. Depression is a very lonely and desolate place and you wind up breaking your own heart every minute of the day when you can see the swath of glorious light just beyond your reach or step, and even though no one and no thing is holding you down in the dark, you remain. I stay here. I'm a functioning depressive. I can cook and clean and care for my children. I can even make it look as though there is not a thing wrong with me all the while mulling over a dramatic demise. I'm pretty sure this is not who God means for me to be. Maybe all I am meant to be is a wife and mother, but this darkness that surrounds me can't be part of that plan.