“Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.” -Mathew 24:40
Ugh, I need to sort my Hub file. It’s basically a Scrivener project with tabs similar to my site menu, but it’s where I store all my rough ideas and all the shit I jot down so I won’t forget. It’s mostly sorted, but I need to add and file this massive list of jotted notes from my iPhone, and sometimes I don’t know even why I’m doing this. I’ve only managed my way through a handful of short stories and at this rate, all my best and most challenging ideas won’t actually be penned out till I’m in my sixties. It’s getting to where I’m almost sad when something comes in that I know could be amazing, because I just don’t seem to have the talent to put it into the proper words. As a novice writer, it kind of irks me when people try to offer me story ideas. Sweet and well-intentioned so I’m always polite, but I already have the ideas. I already have the words. It’s the putting them all together the right way that is the actual work of it. I could imagine awesome and cool ideas all day long, and I actually did just that for a long time. I spent years being super-depressed and not wanting leaving my bed, or my home, unless I needed to. My imagination and my dreams were my main source of cheer and happiness during that time. Now I thank God for giving me such interesting and wonderful places to safely ride out the storm. But back then I begged God every single day to just let me sleep and live in my dreams forever and not hurt anymore. He gave me a choice early one morning when I awoke to frantic banging and screams that the house was on fire. It was an answer to my prayers. I could have just laid there and let it take me. But I didn’t. I don’t know why, but I didn’t. I guess that’s why I’m still here and doing this now. I never had a life plan. More like a death plan.
That was many years ago. That fire wasn’t even close to the worst thing to ever happen to me, but the unfortunate events that transpired before and after the fire summed up a pretty devastating blow. Days before the fire I lost my job and my license got suspended for demerit points. Days after the fire, the solid rock of my childhood and the woman who singlehandedly raised my sister and I, the most incredible and strong woman I’ve ever known, she passed away. I had to get a ride back to the wreckage of my old house to pick out a dress for my Grandmother’s funeral.
The fire started in the basement when our drunk roommate decided to take a romantic candlelit bath alone, and then pass out and leave the candles directly beneath a towel rack. Virtually every surface of the house was covered in a fine black soot. Even though we tried not touch anything, we got covered in that crap every time we went in the house even just for a few minutes. It was everywhere. Everywhere except my bedroom, which was completely untouched and in pristine condition. Almost as if God knew that I would save myself and need a dress for my Grandmother’s funeral. I almost made my family go to two funerals, of two unrelated deaths, in the same family, at the same time. I’m so glad I chose to walk out of that fire.
There’s more to the story. The owner of the house had started using coke again, despite being seven years clean. He’d also started growing pot plants in the basement. I tried to warn him. I didn’t feel good about it, and I tried to persuade him to cool it with the dope and to not grow the stupid plants. He had plenty of money, he didn’t even need them. I love pot as much as anybody else, but you know what I don’t love? Taking stupid risks, and those plants were a stupid unnecessary risk, and look how that turned out. Everyone in that house had a stake in those plants, but I refused to have any part of it. I wish this was the first time I’d watched someone completely disregard my advice and immediately fall directly into disaster. I just don’t get too attached to people anymore. Of course the fire department snitched to the police and I had to watch the man’s kids get taken away, and they had to watch their father get arrested. Nobody else stepped up and claimed their share of the plants, not even the the girl who burned up his house. It broke my heart, and I’m sure it was a million times worse for him and his children. If he didn’t have those kids living in the house with us, I would have been all for the plants, but those kids raised the stakes much higher than the payoff… which was seized by police.
This happened in the year 2005. Five years later and things are starting to wear on me again. I don’t know exactly when, but my depression lifted after the fire. I felt like there had to be some reason why I got up and walked out of that fire when I didn’t have to. God doesn’t do things for nothing. If I had nothing here for me, I would have gone home right alongside my Grandmother. So, it’s five years later, I’m drinking again, sometimes getting a little high, basically killing myself again, although not depressed and miserable all the time, which is good. I’m fully functional, but I know I’m slipping. I’m still wasting my life on bullshit and parties, getting caught in the same old traps.
I start to pray for a soulmate. I ask God to send me someone who truly deserves all the love I have inside of me to give. Then my beautiful phoenix arose. My gorgeous little boy, who’s name is NOT Phoenix. My God-given gift of the strength to carry on in this world; my raison d’être. I asked God for a soulmate who deserves everything I have to give, and I ended up with a pure and innocent baby child. All my own, and I can love on him fearlessly for the rest of my life. He called me his hero the other day.
Bad things happen to everybody. There are people who are better off than me, and people who are worse off. I know that there will be more storms to bear in the future. God is my safe haven in the storm, he’s brought me through so many. I’m raising my son to be of good and noble character, and God is raising me. He’s preparing me for my place with Him, just like I prepared my own child in my womb. I can’t go until I’m ready, and crying about it isn’t going to help. I don’t even want to go yet, because I’m happy here with my son… Except for one thing.
It’s been five years since the birth of my son. A few hours ago he did something very odd and out of character for him. I can’t say what because that is private, but I can say that it was so disturbing I had to consult my big sister for advice, and she is concerned as well. Another storm may be on our doorstep, and I’m trying to pray my way out of it, but it might bear down on us, all the same.
As tough as this recent event is to cope with, I could never imagine having to walk alone without God’s guidance, wisdom, strength, and patience. Life can turn in the blink of an eye, and no one said it was going to be easy. My son will never know more about my reasoning and plans than I do, just like I will never know more about God’s reasoning or plans than He does. No one knows what the future holds, but I’m so glad I know who holds my hand.
Note: It’s pretty obvious from my blog that I’m not a traditional Christian and I’m no saint. If God called me for that, then that’s what I’d be, but that’s not the call for my life. My lot in life is what it is and my religion emerged and solidifed through study, prayer, meditation, faith, and experience, in that order. I do my best to always listen for that still small voice. It has never, ever, steered me wrong, and has saved my actual life more times than I can count.
Note 2: A girlfriend and I road tripped across Canada and I think we were… Idk, past Winnipeg for sure, and we were getting a bit sick and tired of each other and we went to a bar to break it up a bit, and I wanted to leave with this guy, and she didn’t want to come with me, even though the guy was super nice, and it would be fine. I didn’t like the guys she was playing pool with, and I told her to have her fun, but please don’t leave the bar with these guys. Please. Just. Don’t. Me and my friend went back to his place and chilled for a bit and it was pretty awesome, interesting, whatever, he told me we could stay with him for as long as we’d like, so then I called her. Basically that was the end of our road trip. She caught a flight home when she was released from the hospital, and I drove home on my own. Didn’t listen. Straight into disaster. I’ve seen it happen before and it sucks every time. I’ve ignored my own intuition and walked straight into disaster myself a few times. That’s how I learned to listen. It’s easy to just brush off a shady vibe and tell yourself it’ll be okay or that you’re just being paranoid. I feel awful for leaving her, but she’s an adult and I told her to come with me. I had no idea that’s how bad they were or what would happen or I would not have left her there. They just gave me an uneasy feeling and I told her they were not nice guys, but I guess maybe she thought I was jealous and trying to ruin her fun. She actually tried to get me to chill with them, but I refused. Sure glad I listened that time, and I wish to God she had listened too.