Deep inside, I am that little girl.Yet, I've quite intentionally turned my back on her existence. Slamming the heavy door shut on her memory. Oh don't misunderstand, when conversation would steer her way I smiled, easily recanting a cute antidote from my standard list of "HER" memories. Refusing to look back, to analyze the people and events of the past. I focused solely on the delightful lighthearted illusion of a memory that I strived to portray. Our relationship was a sham. I would look at old photos of her and feel an overwhelming sense of disdain. A critical list of adjectives fluttered through my mind, the words hauntingly familiar - stupid, clumsy, needy, ugly, emotional, and here's a tough one to stomach, such a girl. I was quite proud of the fact that I had left her behind. Every word that reverberated through my head I was determined would not define me. How could she possibly have allowed the disgusting events of the past to take place? Why had she not stopped the abuse? What was wrong with her? She was a thorn in my side. I viewed the past as a disfigurement that had taken me years to masterfully camouflage. Standing tall with my feet rooted to the ground I brushed the memories away, I was moving forward. But she came back. She is the child within me, at little year girl who withstood verbal, physical, and sexual abuse. When she appeared I struggled, feeling like the classic hypocrite. I work with special needs children, victims of abuse, and am a staunch promoter for the empowerment of women. I would never ignore the needs of a child and a female to boot. Yet I tried feverishly to blame this petite little 6-year-old girl for the events of the past. Willfully turning my back on her, refusing to listen to her cry for acknowledgment. She arrived unexpectedly in a crazy moment of family trauma! Taking a while for me to even recognize who she was. Her voice now louder than ever, keeping me off guard with her display of spinning emotions - anger, sadness, pain, and fear. Don't you dare ignore me?” she warns. Hands on her hips, she looks up at me through blue bottle thick glasses, her chin jutting forward slightly quivering in mock bravery. She appears at the most unexpected of times, irritatingly the hell out of me. Rattling the firm control on my life that I have so desperately strived to perfect. She has forced me to pick up my pen, analyzing the events of the past through writing. The little girl and I have called a truce of sorts in our relationship. I have not opened my arms to her but have placed her firmly by my side promising to protect her, to listen, and be ever watchful of her needs. In turn she pledges to allow me to stay present in the here and now, giving me that sense of control I so crave. The little girl inside me stills, peace finally beginning to envelope us both.
My kids sometimes watch a DVD with a Calypso band playing, a slightly off-key yet soulful version of, “Feelin’ Hot Hot Hot”. During the song one of the female band members, dressed in vibrant hues, does the limbo (don’t judge, I bought it for $1 at Wal-mart; money well spent).It is quite impressive how this woman can get down. She uses her leg muscles and flexibility to bend back—staying controlled—while clearing the ever-lowering limbo bar. I stop and stare, amazed at her skillz. Limbo: an intermediate or transitional place or state; a state of uncertainty. I am definitely not proficient or graceful when it comes to limbo. I move clumsily between what was and what will be. I try to keep my balance in times of transition but I often trip, unsure of my footing. My husband and I have experienced times of waiting with no end in site—unemployment, trying to get pregnant, a long adoption journey, and house hunting. When I find myself in a holding pattern I feel rigid and out of place. This tightly wound woman likes to know what is happening, and when I don’t, I’m edgy. I pace, like a caged animal that longs to bust out of confinement. I long for the security of the “known”—the job offer, the positive pregnancy test, the answered prayer, the closing date. Come on God, just give me something to hold onto. My husband and I have moved eight times in fourteen years. For the past six months we have been on the prowl for a house; hunting like a skilled predator, waiting for its prey to land. And we prayed for land: a little plot of ground for the boys to run free, a well-lit space for me to write, room for daughter to create and a haven for hubby at the end of a long day. We scouted far and wide. We spent countless hours searching for a desirable location with a good return for our labor. Six long months and five offers later we were discouraged and wavering in the waiting. My flexibility muscles were taxed. My determination was sagging. The bar had been raised high but my hopes were sinking. Times of transition often leave me disoriented and downright frustrated. When the pressure holds me down and the unanswered questions weigh heavily on my mind, I am strategically positioned to grab hold of God. But many times I go forward—relying on my own strength—because I don’t like waiting my turn. My heels get worn with callouses after many rounds of limbo and eventually I land flat on my back in exhaustion—in need of healing—as the ceiling spins overhead. Waiting for the next thing is hard. I feel lost as I pace and start to doubt as I wonder when things will change. Waiting, with no end in sight, makes me feel overlooked and even forgotten. Transition is a ripe season for faith muscles to be stretched and strengthened. Just when I was about ready to run out of hope that we would ever find a home, God provided. There is open space for three energetic boys to run around, there is a floor-to-ceiling window for me to write in front of, there is a room for daughter to get crafty in and it’s a little slice of heaven for hubby to come home to. From the resurrection till Jesus’ return we are in a season of limbo. Thankfully, He meets us here in the waiting and prepares us for what’s coming next—while He prepares a home for us. As I wait, I want to: Stretch well. Hold on. Be ready. And keep the faith. Meanwhile, friends, wait patiently for the Master’s Arrival. You see farmers do this all the time, waiting for their valuable crops to mature, patiently letting the rain do its slow but sure work. Be patient like that. Stay steady and strong. The Master could arrive at any time (James 5:7-8, The Message).