It’s been a year. A year since everything changed for my family.
I thought I’d wake up sad on the anniversary, but I didn’t. I’m not sure what that says about me and I’m sure a psychologist would have a field day with it, but it’s the truth and so it is what it is.
I also thought I might wake up angry. I pray a thousand things for my girls every day and I pray only one thing for myself – please take away my anger.
I think the most accurate description of my more recent demeanor came from a very funny coworker. Beth is better but she’s a little prickly…kinda like a porcupine. I seriously laughed out loud when I heard it. Porcupines have sharp pines to protect themselves and their children from predators, and the truth is I have been in prickly mode and have shot more than a few quills in the last 12 months. But those comments were honest and with affection, and I appreciate the people in my life who I can be totally honest with and who can be totally honest with me – and who call me out on my BS. It’s not easy being my friend, and I know it.
I have been working on getting up each day and putting something positive in front of my eyes before I put my phone or social media in front of them. I fail at it regularly. I woke up this morning, on the anniversary of all of our change, and picked up my phone. Pinterest was what I had open last and that’s what came up when my screen saver went away. Only what I saw was not a post I’d been looking at yesterday. It was a completely new post and it had a scripture I don’t think I’ve ever heard or seen.
Joel 2:25 – “I will restore or replace for you the years that the locust has eaten.”
I looked up that verse across different versions of the Bible and the NIV says “I will repay you for the years the locust has eaten.”
I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe that everything happens for a reason. We may not understand that reason for days or months or years, but there’s a reason. After a frustrating search I found my daughters’ greatest helper, an art therapist, through someone I met at a mutual friend’s house for just a couple of hours just a few weeks prior. There’s a reason that my ex and I elected to attend an annual party we have never gone to. There’s a reason that that which was meant to stay hidden in darkness was revealed.
I don’t have all the reasons yet. But I know without a shadow of a doubt that I awoke to that verse for a reason. It’s a promise, and I have been repeating it over and over in my head all day.
And you know what else? I’m not angry today. And that’s so weird because 24 hours ago I was pretty angry. But I have been at peace all day, and I have no explanation for it. I didn’t have a big cry or a big shouty catharsis or a big anything. I just woke up different, and I read “I will restore or replace for you the years that the locust has eaten.”
I may have angry moments ahead and I may have sad moments ahead, but I also have happiness ahead. And I have contentment ahead. And I have freedom ahead. And I have wholeness ahead.
I have restoration ahead. “I will restore for you…” Restoring is repairing, fixing, mending – that’s how we deal with things that are broken. Broken is not the end. Broken is fixable. The only reason for anyone to embrace brokenness is fear. Fear of doing the hard work. Fear of failing. Fear of being vulnerable. Fear of exposure. Fear of consequences. Fear we are not actually worthy. Fear we will find we are not actually fixable.
Perhaps one of the most brave things any of us can do is embrace restoration. To face restoration we have to admit that we are fallible. We have to embrace our ability to be mad and sad and laugh and pick up a sword and slay dragons and roar all at the same time.
Remember high school history class and looking at your textbook with pictures from The Restoration Period? It produced a lot of great art, and in many of those paintings you see people with swords. That’s because restoration involves a fight. And in a stroke of what’s-not-an-actual-coincidence, that just happens to be my name. Or rather, it’s my family name – the name that is about to be restored to me.
On the last day that the Dembitz’s existed, he bought me fancy overpriced sunglasses. It was such a treat for me and I was truly delighted to get them. I can’t own expensive sunglasses, because I can’t be trusted with them – odds are that I will repeat history and I will sit on them and break them. (This has happened more times than I care to admit.) Those Tiffany glasses were returned long ago, during my days of cloudy sadness, without my ever wearing them because to me they represented a lie.
And I did not think again about those glasses until now. My current sunglasses are on their last leg of a sad life in the seat of my car, where they regularly get sat on. On a whim and in that good mood I woke up in, I went shopping. I bought new overpriced sunglasses – purchased by me for me. They are gold and fancy and glittery, and totally outside of my comfort zone.
I picked up my sword and restored something. You might even say that I restored one of the things that the locust had eaten.
Brave Girls can buy their own damn sunglasses.