I stared down at the pond pump, and thought, “How hard can it be?”
That question comes up a lot…
How hard can it be?
Ponds, sprinkler heads, and rodent traps are not things I would have chosen in search of my new identity, but they are certainly part of the journey. These are the type of things that bring the “anger” stage of grief to the surface.
Kicking and screaming (it’s a metaphor, people), I dig through “yard repair” boxes for spare sprinkler heads, get down and dirty, and seriously, no joke, completely covered in mud, to fix the broken sprinkler. I’m not a fan.
Muttering and sometimes crying (just a bit,) I take every step to rid my flower beds, garage and yard of unwanted rodents. Sigh.
The tears aren’t because I’m scared of mice or chipmunks or moles. The anger isn’t because working around the pond kinda gives me the hibbie-jibbies. I’m not mad about doing the work. In fact, if I’m honest, I rather enjoy the challenge. I enjoy the delight I feel when I’m successful. I even feel badly that I didn’t take more of an interest… before. But…
“THIS IS NOT MY JOB.”
Or should I say, this was never my job… before.
I miss my husband.
And please understand, I’m not saying I miss my husband because I need him to do these things! But doing all these things are constant reminders that he is not here. Constant reminders that he took good care of the house, the garage, the yard, of me.
He took such good care of me.
Standing in my garage, looking down at the pump, I thought, ‘I can’t leave the pond filled with water and not put the pump back in. It has to go back in. How hard can it be?’
And even if… I can do hard things.
“I can do hard things.”
Yep, I can. And I did. Putting the pump back into the pond proved easy enough.
There. I did it. Done. Pat myself on the back (share with my daughters) and move on.
Only…The waterfall lasted about three weeks and then turned into a trickle. Sigh.
I cleaned the skimmer. (Leaves. Slime.) Yuck. I found yet another filter (oh, look! What’s that?) and hosed it down as well. (Leaves. Slime. Grime.) Ew. #hibbiejibbies
Yet only a trickle.
I went back into the house, made myself a cup of coffee, and sat on the back porch and stared at the trickle.
This is not my job!
In a funk, I sipped my coffee and flipped through the book lying on the table, 100 Days of Believing Bigger. (hrmph. Does that include my waterfall? I want to believe bigger for my waterfall.)
Day 1: Trust Made Simple.
“Jesus replied, ‘You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.’ — John 13:7 NIV
Question to ponder: How has trusting God’s timing been a struggle for you? What might God be trying to teach you in the process?
Answer to question: “God’s timing seems off. (I”ve learned to be brutely honest in my journaling … or why bother?) Jon should still be here with me. This all feels so wrong. Will I always fight it? Feels like I will. Whenever I think of what my life “was suppose” to look like, he is here. I’m so sad he isn’t. I’m sad and mad that I have to do things alone and take care of the house and yard by myself. Is this a lesson? In the process of what? What is the process? Is the process just merely figuring out how to live alone? Is God enough? Whoa! Where did that come from? Big question. Maybe THAT is the lesson ..or the question… Is God enough for me?”
Well, that coffee break took me to a place I didn’t expect. But that indeed is the question. Jon was enough for me. But now that I am alone…
Is God enough for me?
I know it sounds almost sacrilegious to ask such a question. But this is where God and I meet up these days… in this really hard, nitty-gritty, honest space. So what say you, God? Are you enough?
“Lord, what am I missing?”
I drained the last of my coffee, and this thought came to my mind…
“Check the pump again.”
I set down the mug and immediately went back out to the pond, got down on my knees, reached my hands into the hibbiejibbie water and unhooked the pump once again. When I pulled it out, after three weeks of doing it’s job, it was encrusted with dark thick sludge. Ok then. Can I say once more… this is not my job!!
But after a thorough spray from the power-washer, I placed the pump back into the water and reconnected the tubes. I plugged the cord into the power source and water gushed forth.
Overflowing! Fresh! Clean! A beautiful waterfall. Amazing!
Later, back inside, with an ice tea this time, again sitting on the back porch, watching the amazing, beautiful, exciting waterfall, I pondered the answer to my shocking question.
Is God enough for me?
I had asked a really big question, and He whispered a really simple answer, ‘Check the pump again.’ Really? That’s it? I smiled. God is like that.
Connie, you need the waterfall to flow. I can help you with that. It’s what you need right now.
I want God to be enough. I want Him to show up in big, exciting, bold ways. I want Him to part the waters and bring me to the other side of this grief. I want new life and new purpose and new meaning in my life…. but I want God to do all of this right now, today. All of it.
As I thought more about the “big question,” I was reminded of a recent sermon from Elevation Church, entitled, List Your Victories, where Pastor Steven Furtick said listing our victories is different than writing a gratitude list. Listing our victories helps us recognize God working in our lives. The list says, “Look, God did this!”
As I list my victories, (Wow. There have been a lot. Small and big. So much has happened since “before.” Look! God did this!) I can see that God was enough for my yesterdays. And in His Word, he reminds me not worry about the tomorrows. He’s got those too.
I want God to be enough.
Big? Bold? Exciting? Yes! Yes, it feels that way even though…
He only whispered something small.