This I Believe

Sara - Harrisonburg, Virginia
Entered on June 9, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: courage

I have a Bible in my car.

It’s there because I don’t know what else to do with it. My physical therapist gave it to me after I told him about some difficult things in my life. When he handed me the book, I nearly said no. Church makes me itch and having just been doused in massage oil while being lectured on the light of the Bible was weird.

But I drove home with it regardless.

My divorce papers had arrived in the mail. There was no abuse. He wasn’t unemployed. We were friends. Our marriage had been a postcard – a cute house in Old Town, a blooming garden and luxurious travel. But for me, the flip side was blank and I could never find the will to write my own words.

For the first few months of separation, my new life was thrilling. I could hardly wait to take on new challenges. And I approached them with aplomb. But, I discovered the elation came with a floater of disappointment. I had left an easy, secure life – and for what?!

I didn’t know who I was anymore. I thought I was craving excitement and drama. Actually, they were exhausting. So, I began seeking peace and comfort. All I wanted was something I could recognize – Thanksgiving with family who knew and loved me.

But then my grandmother had a stroke. And it was all about her.

She died at Christmas and I found myself annoyed at having to attend her funeral. I didn’t want to mourn the death of any more things in my life. But I came away from it feeling better. I realized it wasn’t about me being loved. It was about me loving her.

A month later, I lost my job. My future officially scared me. I wanted a retreat to normal, but I realized I never had that to begin with and probably never would. I spent the intervening months scrambling for moments of happiness – because everything else just hurt.

But, the hurt has been a blessing. It’s stripped away the years of protection I’d been arming myself with, and I’ve discovered my real self in the process. Someone with something to say.

I don’t know why I still have a Bible in my car. Part of it is that I just don’t feel right getting rid of it as much as I don’t feel right welcoming it into my life. But it still represents something to me – a symbol that life isn’t about easy answers. Getting a Bible didn’t make me suddenly aware of all that. I ended up with it and began seeing connections between it and how I now choose to deal with life. I believe the difficulties we overcome can serve to make us better in the long run. And those moments of happiness are our reward.