It's easy to do.
I only have to think about my upcoming 39th birthday and the fact that I have no husband, no boyfriend, no children. ( and a full-time job that just went part-time. Whoo hoo.
See, when Mr. Burns and I started dating in 2007 - I began experiencing pain where there had never been pain before. In my breasts.
At the same time, one of my favorite journalists - ABC's R*b!n R*berts - was sharing her experience with breast cancer - and urging women to get checked. I decided to see my doctor.
No cause for alarm. The pain and tenderness I was experiencing was not cancer. My doc said it was peri-menopause.
I was in a state of disbelief. I actually said to her, "Do you mean to tell me that I am 37 years old, finally met a man I could think of marrying - only to find out that my childbearing years are even less than I thought?!!!"
She nodded. I love my doctor, but she wasn't sympathetic - just matter-of-fact. Which is fine. Heck if I want sympathy, I'll hire a shrink. She did however, share that she went through it too - and warned me that it's really, really lousy.
Oddly enough, a year later I wasn't experiencing those symptoms anymore. I was back to normal and taking normal for granted.
But now they're back. My typically very flat chest suddenly feels as though it's bursting with lead. The water stream from my shower hurts like he!!. A bra feels like a torture device.
It's all just a reminder that my clock is ticking in an empty room. If a clock ticks in the forest and there's no one there to hear it - does it make a sound? Does it matter?
On the upside, I bought a new bra and it seems I suddenly fill a B cup. Yay me!
Enough about my b**bs. That's a bit of a sidetrack. It's really just a painful reminder of how alone I am and that I'm running out of time.
That I spent the best years of my life (and my best physical condition) practicing abstinence - all the while watching people who don't share their faith, don't live for God and surely don't practice abstinence - getting everything EVERYTHING that I pray for.
I grouse that while I am certain my reward is in heaven - it would be nice to get some reward on earth.
I know. I'm a real piece of work!
But in the end - as much as I mutter about it - I wouldn't change what I do for the Lord. I don't exactly regret it. In actuality, I'm not abstinent for the reward. I do it because it's the right thing to do. And tempted as I may be sometimes - it's not as if I'd rather be a hoochie. When you know the right thing to do - you can't just turn around and do the opposite because it's easier. Even if it is easier.
So, in the midst of my pity party I clicked on the blog of one of the angels of the Internet - Angie at Bring the Rain.
She shared the beautiful Easter story that she reads her girls from their children's bible.
They nailed Jesus to the cross."Father, forgive them, " Jesus gasped. "They don't understand what they are doing.""You say you have come to rescue us!" people shouted. "But you can't even rescue yourself!"But they were wrong. Jesus could have rescued himself. A legion of angels would have flown to his side-if he'd called."If you were really the Son of God, you could just climb down off that cross!" they said.And of course they were right. Jesus could have just climbed down. Actually, he could have just said a word and made it all stop. Like when he healed the little girl. And stilled the storm. And fed 5000 people.But Jesus stayed.You see, they didn't understand. It wasn't the nails that kept Jesus there.It was love.
Yes. I may grumble about my cross. But as Angie pointed out - it's not the religion - but the relationship that keeps me close to Christ.
I do what I believe because I love God! (if you can see that through my grumbling, you are blessed with a pure heart! That's for certain!)
I know my problems don't sound as great as Angie's or Christ's or R*b!n R*berts' or many, many other people's - but they are mine. My afflicted life is the one with which I encounter the world - so even though it may not seem so terrible to anyone else - it is my cross. Every one's cross looks lighter by comparison. Admit it, you think so too.
It's just that in so many ways, this is not the life I imagineed. Being alone. Struggling just to get by.
Meanwhile -I pray for the grace to carry my cross without the whining. Maybe one day, I'll catch up.