About two weeks ago my husband started calling me Sassy Cat. We saw a sign that said “Cow Dog and Sassy Cat” for a pet grooming business and for some reason it made us laugh harder than we have laughed in a very long time and the nicknames stuck. I changed my Facebook picture to a picture of a cat with an afro and started saying things like “Sassy Cat out” when I was done talking to people. It was weird to anyone who wasn’t my husband, but that really isn’t a new experience. Ever since the day that he got off the plane from Iraq in 2008, we have been in our own world. Until the Epic Life Disaster happened a little over a year ago. Well, it started before that, but that is when it was apparent that it was Epic.
That put a wedge between me and my husband that I was scared we wouldn’t survive. Somehow when we read that sign, a part of that wedge came down. And then yesterday happened.
Have you ever had one of those days when everything seems to be falling apart? Where life feels like a sinking ship with holes you are trying to plug as other holes appear? That was my day yesterday. I woke up with a list of fires that needed to be put out. I prayed for God to please help me because I had absolutely no idea how I was going to deal with any of them. He answered me (of course) with the help from great people who take their life as Catholics serious. Serious enough to help out a sister in Christ, no strings attached. And off I went to put out fires.
Then the bank was closed. Then the line at Time Warner was long. Then they wouldn’t take a check and the bank was closed. Then I paid the light bill at the grocery store because they wouldn’t take a check online and the bank was closed. The bank was closed so the money a friend gave us wasn’t put in right away and checks were the answer to the fires, but then they weren’t. Then the phone company that my son’s phone was with upgraded their system, soooo his phone is no longer compatible. I had enough to pay that bill, but not enough to get a whole new phone. Which means, the child has no cell phone. Have you ever dealt with a 16 year old who doesn’t have a cell phone? It’s not cute. I’m not scared of my kids, but I hate dealing with pissy teens. And THEN the traffic…. more lines to try and put out fires that couldn’t be put out because the bank was closed and nobody takes checks anymore. By the end of the day I was exhausted and completely depressed. I had meltdowns so my eyes hurt, my head hurt and my heart hurt.
There has never been a time in my life when I have tried this hard to do the right things. To do what God wants from me. To seek His Will and follow it. Even if I fail constantly, I still seek it. Yet I have never had a time when things were so hard. Granted, I was drunk for most of the other hard times in my life. It just all seemed to be pointless. I went to sleep begging God to help me understand why everything sucked. Then this morning when I woke up I saw the pictures of the 21 men who were martyred this past weekend and my angel reminded me that no matter what I faced yesterday it does not compare to laying down your life for Christ. These men died a brave death and professed Christ to the end. Could I do that? I would like to answer yes, but go ahead and read the beginning of this post again and remember that I sat in a parking lot sobbing because I couldn’t get a cell phone turned on… go ahead, I’ll wait.
The answer is no, no I couldn’t do it. I meltdown over the inconvenience of not having WiFi. What are the chances that I would be all “oh yes, Jesus, I would be brave and get beheaded for you!”? That would be a lie and I try to make it a goal not to lie to Jesus. So, Sassy Cat died a slow and painful death yesterday.
On the bright side: Sassy Cat has 8 more lives. Also, I am thankful for the struggle because I do believe that God is teaching me a valuable lesson on suffering so that I can be stronger in my faith.Maybe when the time comes, I will be able to say yes to laying down my life for Him. Lastly, I realized that I had not done one thing for myself in about two weeks. I have been working so hard to be a good wife and mother that I completely forgot to refuel. For me, refueling means writing. It means sitting in a coffee shop with people around me talking as I watch them and write a blog post. It’s what I have been doing for the last 4 hours and it is awesome. It’s Fat Tuesday and I’m at a Coffee Shop in a comfy hoodie instead of getting smashed and showing my boobs for beads. (which I was doing in my 20s)
There are a lot of good things to focus on in my life. The great people who extend help when I need it without asking for anything in return, the people who support my writing and my radio show, the wonderful husband who is feeding kids that aren’t his so that I can sit in a coffee shop and refuel, my grand daughter who loves me while my kids go through their teen years which means that I don’t really feel the love from them as much as I do from a 2 year old who just learned how to give kisses and God who is always my rock, my stronghold.
Be my protector, O God, a mighty stronghold to save me. For you are my rock, my stronghold! Lead me; guide me, for the sake of your name