When I was a little girl I would listen to the women in my life talking: mother, aunts, grandmother and later my older sister, talk about men. "You have to train a man," they'd say, as if the opposite sex was a wild animal who would spend his time scratching and belching without the acculturating whiles of a good woman. My mother would tell me how my father never liked to do much, but by dragging him out to events and parties he started to come out of his shell. My poor, shy, introverted father, being dragged into those noisy, Italian-clan gatherings. I feel his pain.
I also made a vow that I would never, evah, marry a man who needed training. You needed to be your own, fully-actualized adult to get with this gal. You know those women who complain that their man has no interest in wedding planning, what invitations to buy, seating arrangements? The ones who say their guy has no clue when it comes to the children, can't be trusted to clothe or feed them? The guy who has no opinion in what color the living room drapes should be? Maybe you are a woman like that? Count your blessings. My man has opinions on all those things and more. All I can say is, you've never gone 15 rounds over whether or not it's ok for the kids to eat processed food, or watch an occasional commercial, that's it's poison, what made you even consider it?
But I stand by my original vow, no matter how challenging it is to interact with a fully engaged human being. Because that is the problem, after all. How to relate to another. It was easier, in some ways, to be a single mom and not have to consult the other on everything. And, no matter how much I complain, I like having another person to hold me accountable and who refuses to co-sign my BS.
When you ask for something, you have to be prepared for the results.
In other words, if you pray for potatoes, you better buy a hoe.
So, this morning. I was contemplating arising from the bed-we had woken up an hour early and I'm embarrassed to say, my first thought was, "We can stay in bed an hour longer!" While I sipped my tea, I read through my news and blog feed. An old friend of mine just found out that her eagerly anticipated baby has severe congenital deformities. It was like a slug to the chest. I didn't know what to do, so I prayed. I prayed for strength for my friend and her family. I prayed for understanding. I prayed for health for the baby. Then I just prayed silence. And in that silence, I thought about all the support and love her family share with people from all over the world that they know. And her deep love of God. Suddenly, my hope that things would be okay was replaced with a certainty. A sure feeling that I can't quite explain. I'm loath to put a word to it , because I hate statements in the face of trial and tragedy. I hate that "everything happens for a reason" reassurance. But for a minute or two I, who isn't usually certain of anything, felt certain.
I gingerly tried to shift this certainty to myself. What if, just for a moment, I felt certain about the things I prayed for myself? What if I had that sureness that I would be okay? That things in my life would turn out the way they were supposed to? For a few short minutes, I felt it. That feeling that everything is going to be okay. I suppose that's Grace.