Being separated from Jeff has been hard, and we don't like it, and we prefer to be together.
But I am SO THANKFUL for our time apart. It has really changed me. I feel so empowered and competent.
I was empowered and competent before, and Jeff knew it, and God knew it, and everyone else knew it. But I didn't know it.
God has used our separation to show me this. "See?" He says, "I have given you all the tools you need to do the kingdom work I've assigned to you. You can totally do this."
And I can.
While Jeff has been gone:
1) Both the boys and I had surgery.
2) I whelped, bottle-fed, cared for, weaned, and sold eight puppies.
3) With the amazing help of Jeana and Carrie, I purged and organized every single one of our possessions on this property.
4) I planned, shopped for, and prepared meals for my family.
5) I maintained a rigorous-for-Becky schedule of driving all over creation for school events, medical appointments, dates with friends, and errands.
6) With Carrie's help, I created a family budget and at-home physical and occupational therapy plans for James, which I then maintained on a daily basis.
7) The boys and I took a road trip all by ourselves.
8) I seriously kicked Jeana's butt in some Angry Birds tournaments and I seriously kicked everyone's butt in my fantasy football league. (Heh heh heh...)
9) I helped my precious, tender sons navigate a very unwelcome transition that they neither desired nor easily accepted.
10) I kept all the pets alive, taught Huck to fetch the ball and actually bring it back, and boarded up the side of the house without power tools when he tried to dig his way through it.
11) With the help of my dear friends, I packed up everything we own on this property and got it ready to be loaded into a moving truck.
12) I maintained a search for homes in Washington that bordered on obsession and sent out a bazillion and one inquiries to potential landlords.
13) I created Halloween costume elements ex nihilo.
14) I did all this with fibromyalgia, PTSD, PMDD, endometriosis, and PCOS. And some random dry cough called Restrictive Airway Disease or something.
15) I did not go insane. Thanks to Jeana. And I had fun.
A lot of women could read that list and chuckle to themselves, "I do all that on a regular basis." Others could say, "Ha! Are you kidding? That's my life on a GOOD day!" Others are forced, through circumstances, to do all that and more, all the time, without a husband to skype to about it at the end of every day and no one to appreciate their efforts or tell them they're doing an amazing job. Which they are.
But this is the thing. More than showing me that I'm empowered and competent, the tasks I've been able to complete in Jeff's absence have proven to me one overarching truth:
That I am hidden in Christ.
I could not have done anything on that list without the power that raised Christ from the dead. It's not about feeling empowered and competent. it's about being given power and competence by the blood of Jesus Christ, shed for me.
I am not powerful. I am simply sheltered by the One who is.
"His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence." ~2 Peter 1:3