Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Fraidy Cat Gets a Message

Courtesy Aly Huges
I'm sitting here at the hospital waiting while my husband has surgery. I'm wondering how in the world I can keep going with a story that is indescribably hard to write. The fraidy cat in me is lecturing me. That coward is telling me that not a single soul really cares what I have to say. Furthermore, there is no discernible reason for me to do anything other than close up shop and forget my 2.5+K hits ever happened. Courtesy hits...that's what they are. Either that or complete accidents. My 2nd born is right. People clicked over here by accident, stayed about 10 seconds, and moved on never intending to come back.

If that isn't enough, I'm a sorry excuse for a writer. I'm verbose. Line edits get by me because I usually post in the wee, wee hours. Adverbs are my best friend. Dangling participles hide where I least expect them so that you can mock me from afar. You get the drift. I'm |this| far from abandoning ship and leaving you on lifeboats to get by without me. Would you notice?

I stopped looking at the blank page tormenting me and clicked over to facebook hoping for some mindless distraction. It was either that or solitaire. I chose the lesser of evils. Apparently, everyone was at the beach, pool, water park, or sleeping in because my wall feed was as dead as a doornail. I stared at the screen willing someone to wake up and give me something to do other than write a blog post. A status update posted from a friend. Are you ready for this because I wasn't:

Sometimes God redeems your story by surrounding you with people who need to hear your past so it doesn't become their future.” (J. Cuff )

Hah! Did you know I'm Presbyterian? And any GOOD Presbyterian would tell you that comment did NOT pop up on my wall feed by accident. No Sirreee! They'd tell you that was Providence. A post card from God to me via my friend, Colleen. The fraidy cat in me calls it 'coincidence'.

birthdays were all the sweeter
You know that God and I have been in a wrestling match for well over a year now, don't you? So, that comment hit me like a bombshell. It sums up where the rubber hits my road. For the life of me, I cannot understand where I fit it God's big plan. From where I stand, it's like he always brushes me aside in favor of the prettier, more talented girl with the less complicated life. All the while, I'm standing there with my arms outstretched saying, “Is it my turn now? Can I have my turn in our lap?” How in the WORLD will my story ever be redeemed...and WHEN for Jimmeny sakes?

We made it thru the years the locust ate from 2001-2005. We began the tentative journey toward putting our lives back together. I was sure, I mean really, really sure that God was going to restore us to a better place than we had been before everything fell apart. I was sure he was going to do that, so I could comfort my boys and say, “See, God really was watching. He really did care. He really does refresh and replenish what he strips away when his time is right.” He was going to redeem our story by allowing me to tell you and you and you about what happened and how we were healed of all the war wounds we had sustained even as we were being as obedient as we knew how to be.
birthday picnic for our then 17YO

God had different plans. He did not consult me when he made them. So, here we are now, arm wrestling while you watch. Sigh. I'm so tired. I'm tired of cheering a God I don't understand. I heard you gasp in shock. Don't worry, I've already told him. He's not shocked. In fact, I had been telling him for a while that I was about to break- that I'd had all I could stand. He kept saying, “ THINK so, do you...? Let me show you what I think about that conviction of yours.” And, slowly event stacked on top of event until I found myself flip flopping 360 degrees down a hill with a leg that had just snapped in 3 places. In mid-fall, as I was facing the rain saturated sky, I said, “What part don't you get? I told you I can't take anymore...and this is the anymore I can't take. I'm done. I don't know who you are anymore. Maybe I never did....”

But, I'm getting ahead of myself here. I need to back up and tell you about the time it seemed life was going to return to a new and better normal than our little family of 4 had ever known before. I wasn't going to. I really wasn't. I had decided you all like me much better when we are laughing hilariously over my determination to  conquer technology or my renovation induced ADD. So, I was going to become the Erma Bombeck of the blogosphere. Take THAT fraidy cat!

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
You can blame my change of heart on Colleen. I was sitting here in the waiting room thinking surely I could find some black, macabre humor among the folks that populate this place today. In fact, one of my other friends, Cindy, walked up and laughed because they couldn't find us anywhere on the OR schedule. Then, they realized my husband was scheduled to be at the OR center and the hospital on the same day at the same time for the same surgery. She said, “Oh...I can't wait to see this blog post!” My wheels had already started spinning. I was so relieved. I could be the funny girl, and you'd love me because I was funny and irreverent and hip and cool and carefree. I might not have the picturesque implication of a stress free life, but for a few minutes every day, I could pretend that my life is as lovely as Ree Drummond's.

Courtesy B. Creasy
Then, Colleen dropped that bombshell, and here we are. I don't know what life situation defines your fraidy cat today. I keep telling myself I'm not the only fraidy cat out there. Maybe you were like me today – arm wrestling with God because the puzzle pieces of your life are scattered across God's table in a disarray that you cannot get organized to save you. Maybe, just maybe, whether we believe it or see it right now, God has surrounded us with people who are walking with us thru life so that our past will not become their future. Today, I made a choice. The fraidy cat in me did not win. I hope that sent the fraidy cat in youa really scary message. Friady cats RULE! Come back tomorrow. Defeat the frady cat and come back. Bring a friend or 2, ya hear? 

Psalm 119: 16-17 (NIV)
May my cry come before you O Lord; give me understanding according to your word. May my supplication come before you; deliver me according to your promise.


  1. Reading this, I realize just how much alike we are!! Seriously. I love you Carol Anne, and I pray for you and your family everyday. I can't wait to read your blog and FB posts. (and poke you) You make my day. I missed you so much before. I don't want to experience not having you in my life again. You truly have touched my life and heart, and I believe that, that is a God thing. He brought you into my life for a purpose. I only hope that I offer something good in your life as well. I too am a Fraidy cat, and for all the same reasons you have listed and then some. Thank you for sharing your life and heart with me.

  2. know..since we were twins separated at birth! I am very thankful for you and my 'Chattanooga family' and am so humbled by your kind words tonight. I'm too tired go get all sniffy about them tonight, but I'll probably have a good cry over them tomorrow! Love you too!

  3. Humor and laughter serve a purpose and for a time and certainly draw a crowd but if that was all your blog was about then it wouldn't be living up to its name!....I'm with you sister, cheering you on, agreeing with you and joining the band of "Fraidy Cats" out there! :) Even though my life journey has been different I feel your pain and can identify with some of your fears. Thanks for sharing your stories, funny and not so funny. Thanks for sharing you!

  4. thanks...I really, really needed that atta girl! Good pre-root canal meds! Sharing 'me' feels like standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon which I could do for only a few seconds because it made me incredibly dizzy!

  5. Thanks again, CA. I am in a place right now of feeling like God started some things in my life and in my family, and has now just left them hanging. I KNOW that there is a Scripture verse that says that when He has begun a good work in us, He will continue it, but I feel like we are at a standstill right now, and it's frustrating. This post is an encouragement to me. I'm feeling ready to start "watcing my inbox" for a message from God.

  6. Vicki, I should know the verse reference by heart since I posted it at the end of one of my other blog posts. I'll email it to you later in the day. I so understand feeling like you are blowing in the wind waiting for closure and understanding. really does take a fraidy cat to know a fraidy cat! :-)

  7. Al was right; all writers are insecure. As a Baptist that got saved in a Presbyterian church I KNOW that was a providential post.