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June 12 2015 6 12 /06 /June /2015 22:36
Mourning Normal

Please stand by. This is one of those times when I am going to write for the sake of self-therapy! Now is the time to just scroll on by, if you are not interested in the difficulties of my personal journey! Or if this kind of thing offends your use of face book, etc! You were duly warned!

I have had an unexplainable heaviness the last few weeks, which usually indicates another “skeleton” from the long buried "closet" of suppressed memories - creeping to the surface to be exhumed and given a decent burial! I thought we got rid of all those guys! I mean, come on! Twelve plus years of intermittent deliverance ministry?! How can such a tiny child sprout such an army of ghosts?

But then, I am selectively forgeting that we collect them throughout life. They are sometimes referred to as “roots of bitterness”! And they tend to collect without our knowledge, as we burn through life in our harried manner! But when they begin rattling enough to disturb otherwise sound sleep they gotta go!

We talk of overcoming grief, or of moving past it. And truly, I've spent most of my life attempting to do just that. Since I can remember there has been some kind of extreme, overwhelming, mind-shattering or numbing, life-altering, life-twisting, life-threatening grief of huge significance and magnitude to deal with. It has been, most literally at times, a trembling “. . .walk through the valley of the shadow of death . . .!” In which my grasp of the love of God was my only hope of survival!

And it was that way since conception, apparently, beginning with narrowly escaping miscarriage. I know this because my mother made it exceedingly plain that she was trying with all her might to, “avoid having another one”. Nothing personal, of course! She had succeeded with the three that were between my next oldest sister and I! Though she was to be even further disappointed and burdened when I came out with a birth defect as well! Due to the place of poverty in which they existed I can see why this would be a huge blow! Though God did make a way for us to have it dealt with.

As a matter of fact, this refrain echoes through my entire existence - “But God... … had other ideas, bigger plans, and grace big enough to sustain...” – even us.

Therefore, when it comes to life, I have never even pretended to have a grasp on what is meant by “normal”! But then, in observing those who seem to think they know, it seems a bit overrated anyway! As one might imagine, my rather harrowing beginnings eclipsed the view of what normal might look like, and from all possible angles. There was no place in which we were considered to be remotely socially acceptable. As far as we knew we “were ugly and our mother dressed us funny!” And we smelled bad to-boot!

Financially we were “Job's Turkey's” po-white-trash cousins! Intellectually my family members were hindered by hatred and animosity at the hardships of life, as well as being limited by imagined “racial superiority” – which I personally think was a last ditch effort to keep from being the utter bottom of the social totem pole. An effort which was an epic fail, by the way! How “white trash” become “black sheep”, I have no idea! But that was our reality nonetheless!

My dad drank to cope. Spending the bill money on his habitual escape. We moved a lot. My mother, the poor thing, was hard hit by tragic life circumstances as well - which is what caused her to pass on that legacy! She was dangerously certifiable, but everyone who could have known that were either as troubled as she was, or had sense enough not to “go there”!

But all of that being so, it meant that even my blessings set me apart, and brought negative attention to me in my childish vulnerability. For example, my “higher than average I.Q.” - though an unspeakable blessing for which I am eternally grateful now – was – at its discovery - more of a curse - before its blessing could be realized. In that, as I have said, it set me apart from them, excluding me from even the local, family idea of “normal”. I was considered to be a freak of nature, a mix up at the hospital, an alien deposit, a “special” delivery from the UPS truck...etc.; and most notably, a “smart-ass, and a know-it-all”!

As I became an adult, at least legally, I immediately, at my mother's insistence, separated myself from that suffocating wreck as soon as I graduated. And went as far away as I dared, and could finance - which was, laughably, the next county over! But it proved far enough away to distance myself from the madness and begin my journey to who God meant me to be. Ot to become aware of it, perhaps I should say.

I have come to see, over time, that this was a mere continuation of the journey which God ordained at my birth! But our perception often differs from His! But also, in addition to recognizing His processes, I have also come to recognize the chilling hand of grief over my life, which steals in unannounced, and unwelcomed at the darndest of times! Usually, this is because this grief is linked to memories which were quarantined and forcibly suppressed at their occurrence. So this grief is sprung-loose from a situation which “triggers” the unwanted memory, along with its unwanted emotional content!

I am beginning to be aware of the onset of another such season. This time, however, it is an overview, a kind of panoramic grief – which takes in all my existence. I am, finally, grieving “normal”! More accurately, however, I think I should say that I am grieving all that the lack of normality has cost me. This inability to feel what others feel, enjoy what others enjoy, and want what others want has been both an asset and a liability, perhaps. But emotionally it has been my worst enemy! Bar none! I have suffered such loneliness because of it! I am – have been - the most lonely in a crowd of people, even those most beloved. This abnormality of proper emotional function has separated me for so long, it has defined me for so long, that I am quite lost on how to get past it! However, the fact that it has surfaced tells me that God is ready to take it down! And I am more than finally ready to be done with it! He has excellent timing that way!

But I have come to realize that this is also why I am reluctant to part with cherished items which remind me of those whom I have loved! Memories have been difficult to collect, because of the separation – because of a very well developed ability to dissociate myself from or in any situation which causes emotional pain – which for someone like me can mean good times too! And, I find, that these suppressed memories – good and bad - have been transferred, and indelibly etched onto precious random objects!

For better or worse, these objects bring the joy of a memory flooding back to me, but also the pain of how I missed out on so much, by being so separated from my life as it was happening! It is such a mixed bag! And now, realizing this, I just want to load the truck with everything I ever had! And just be done! If I lost out, then I lost out! That moldy crap isn't going to bring it back! I will never be able to relive the days I fretted away, worried away, hyper-over-compensated away! God help me! And He always has, but this is just another area where I am going to have to cut it all loose and move on! Trusting Him to sustain, restore, resurrect, or whatever is needed!

But it has become plain to me that keeping all the dolls, all the clothes, all the toys, and all the dishes in the world is not going to give me back the time with my kids, of which this difficulty has robbed me! Or the memories which I missed making with them! It isn't going to help me rewrite my past, or bring back friends who just couldn't deal with my intensity! But there is ONE who has promised to fix it all, who has paid great prices to fix it all! He promises . . .

"Then I will make up to you for the years That the swarming locust has eaten, The creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust, My great army which I sent among you. 26 "You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied And praise the name of the LORD your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; Then My people will never be put to shame.…

Today I am grieving the shame of my abnormality! And the rejection it has brought to my life! I can never aspire to be normal in the eyes of mankind! However, I have found that in God there is something that is better than normal! I am becoming supernatural! That is NOT “normal” by human standards!

However! Just as there is no real scientific explanation on how the caterpillar can become a butterfly – there is no way to adequately explain how God could take this cripple, tortured, insane little child, and turn her into the thinking, caring, gifted person that I have become – that HE has made – in the clear view of many! Despite the pain of the journey – it has been worth it all – and it is getting ready to become even better yet! Get ready for take off! Just as soon as I figure out how to use these beautiful, paradigm-altering, destiny-changing wings!

As the darkness gathers, the light increases! And I am beginning to sense that all I have come through is to prepare me – so that I can help prepare others – for what is to come! But we can not hold to the past and stride forward at the same time – so I need to lose a lot of material! Physically and emotionally! And so, with His help, I will do just that!

It may not be pretty! Nothing has been so far! But He is the One of whom it is said; . . .

"Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end.”

I will trade “pretty” or “normal”, or even “pretty normal”, for HIS “beautiful”, anytime! I always have! And at first I didn't even know that is what I was doing! His ways are not our ways! I am so thankful! And He will never call us to anything for which He does not intend to provide intensive training – if we will only show up!

I am grieving normal. It will be laid to rest along with its companions of shame and separation and loneliness. I am ready to enter into this life of Joy that He has bought for me with His blood! I am getting past this grief, and, by His Grace, I am moving on!!!!

Thanks for sharing in the journey Chavarim! You have no idea how much it means to this weary traveler!

Shalom, shalom!

Sandra Carlton Duncan
June the 12th, 2015

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  • Sandra Carlton Duncan
  • I am a devoted follower of Yeshua, the Messiah. I have been married to Gene Duncan II for 37  years, and counting. I have 7 children, 3 boys & 4 girls - all grown up. They have been home educated, K-12. I also write, hence the blog  (including, but not limited to: children's books, poems, and personal growth art. ) Please stay tuned as I share my personal journey through poems and writing.
  • I am a devoted follower of Yeshua, the Messiah. I have been married to Gene Duncan II for 37 years, and counting. I have 7 children, 3 boys & 4 girls - all grown up. They have been home educated, K-12. I also write, hence the blog (including, but not limited to: children's books, poems, and personal growth art. ) Please stay tuned as I share my personal journey through poems and writing.