I have this goal in life…. The ultimate goal of goals. The thing that would make me feel like I have figured it out…. It’s simple and complicated. I want complete inner peace. I want to be the tranquil maiden standing on the water as the tumultuous waves of life crash into me. Not just to step out in faith or reach out my hand in hope… walk… prance even. As the world of chaos lies… I am at peace on the inside.
I know… it’s a towering mountain of a goal. But it’s mine. I own it.
My upbringing did not induce inner peace. It did not fill me with self-confidence. It did not train me in love of others, especially love of the different or outcast. My up-bringing robbed me of a voice. It taught me I couldn’t say “no.” It told me that I would have to earn love… it would not be given freely. It taught me that my looks were more important than my words. It taught me to fear being ugly, to fear sounding ugly.
It was, however, not that unique of a story. Sure, there are some things that might shock you but I meet people every day who have seen far worse. Hugs to you if you’re reading this.
So where does peace come from? How do we, in this society so open to searching for “one’s self“ and “finding truth” come to a place of peace. I have speculations. I even have some solid facts… But I’m not preaching today… I’ll just share a story.
At 2 am I got a call from my neighbor and friend. She was my battle buddy, actually. Her husband was gone with mine overseas. Getting a call from her at this time of the morning alone, was disturbing. I immediately got up and walked to the kitchen. I paced as she told me that her husband was out on a mission and got hit. I’m mixed between shock, fear, hoping he’s ok and trying to muster anything that will comfort my frantic friend. Then it hit me…. Was Jeremy with him?
I spoke with her several more times throughout the morning as she scavenged for details. Once the babies were up she came over. We watched Facebook for one of the guys to come online. We knew if they came online and we hadn’t been notified yet then we didn’t lose anyone.
So we paced…
A little later in the morning, I called the Officer in Command that had stayed behind. I asked point blank “was Jeremy with them?” “Mam, if he was you’d get an official phone call stating as such,” he stated. I couldn’t get a read on his tone. “I know you can’t give me details… I just want to know if he was on that mission.” “Mam, if he was you’d get an official phone call stating as such.”
So I tried to let it go… About every half hour I walked to the door and looked out the peephole. No one has pulled up. No one is at my friend’s house either… ok… so no knock on the door… yet.
You see, a knock on the door meant he wasn’t coming home.
Early afternoon I get a call… Hours of anxiety and anticipation hadn’t prepared me for it. “Mam, you’re husband has sustained a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and other minor injuries.”
“um…” through whimpering lips and shaking voice, “how bad is the TBI? Is he ok?”
“All, I know is he has sustained a TBI and other minor injuries.”
“Nothing? You can’t tell me anything else?”
“No, mam, that’s all I know.”
Some guy in a cubicle got a print out of those who were medevacked out with a simple preliminary list of injuries and started making phone calls. He called my house. MY HOUSE. I couldn’t even look at my kids. The sobbing was uncontrollable as it was but when I looked at them it heightened my emotions. I sat in the rocking chair in their room as they watched a movie in the living room wondering if he got a bump on his head or would come home a vegetable. I didn’t know if I’d wheel in a shell of who he was when he left or if he’d call me in a few hours and tell me it was a minor concussion.
Weeks after that day every time their communication went black my fear and anxiety rang unbearably high. My kids needed their dad…. They NEEDED him.
I truly wrestled. I even quit my job. All I did was cry. I’d stare at my computer screen trying to manage tasks and all I could do was imagine where he was and what he was doing. One day, curled up in a ball, crying out to God I played “worst case scenario” with Him. I know, it seems morbid.
What if…. what if… what if….
No matter how bad the case was, he’d whisper, “It’ll be ok. I’ll never leave you.” “It’ll be ok. I’ll never leave you.” “I’ve got this. I’m yours. You’re mine” “I’ll never abandon you.” “No matter what happens, it’s going to end well.”
That was it for me. That was the moment I found peace in the storm. I’d survive it and I’d get past survival mode and I’d thrive. It was one of the most impactful experiences of my life.
You know the lyrics “come what may….come what may…. I will love you” from the movie Moulin Rouge? (If you don’t you should look up the song… it’s really beautiful) That’s the feeling I get. I imagine His goodness saying to me “come what may… I will hold you… I’ll make sure you get through it….”
My dream… is to find this solace of inner peace in every area of my life.
PLEASE leave a comment if you enjoyed this at all! If you hated it tell me why! I appreciate you for reading. -Wendy
Image Credit: Cristina Zenato; As I was looking for an image that could remotely give visual to my sentiment of standing on the crashing ocean in peace I came across her work. I absolutely love it. Please check her out. www.waterlanddreams.com