Posted by: Ed Deiss | August 11, 2015

Getting Through Tuesday

helping_hand_by_lhhusky07He came home from an ordinary workday, yet something seemed amiss.  It has been 14 years, however the day that changed futures is still fresh in his mind. What he saw when he opened the door, he never expected, wanted, or had a passing thought would ever happen.  There was a car he did not recognize in the driveway, what is going on?  Went in his home and found his then wife with another man who was in turn being confronted by his wife, and carrying their 2-year-old child as a shield during the heated confrontation. A volatile mix of emotions and actions; surreal, confusion, confrontation, and anger. Though in the midst of one of those blindsiding ocean storm waves he never saw coming, he had the strength of character to protect. My buddy’s wife was so distraught with her actions she went for the Drano to poison herself, he knocked it out of her hands.  She then went for a gun, he blocked her. Then she raked a butcher’s knife across her wrist. After more threats and waving the knife at him, he called 911.  The street was filled with police cars, and in they came with guns drawn. Away she went in cuffs.

That day changed and impacted many lives, that guy who walked in that door is one of my ‘band of brothers’ who has encouraged and been there for me. We can share and relate with each other as we both have experienced human betrayal and pain beyond our, and probably your, wildest imaginations, yet we got through it.

He shared with me for this post that afterwards:

  • The future went from 10 to 15 years out to simply Tuesday
  • His initial reaction was “trust no one” …who has keys to the house? Close the bank accounts! Buy a safe! Change the locks! Cover the windows with sheets! Draw the curtains! Cancel all the credit cards!
  • Learning to trust was a huge challenge ….let me rephrase that …making a deliberate and conscious decision based on blind faith to trust was a huge step
  • Being an independent minded man, I had NEVER relied upon my friends so heavily. Without fail each one was there, no questions asked. One was packed and ready to drive from Colorado until I convinced him that I was ok. My neighbor was right at the door right after police left.
  • He came to a place where he could be comfortable in his own skin again and was completely transparenent with his now wife; the first time they met…let her know “I have baggage.” Being graced by God with his new wife coming into his life (they have had 2 children as well), she is from a country on the other side of the world.

Fast forward a few years. We met for lunch to catch up with each other, as I was just learning to fly on my own and as a single parent.  How did you get through it, I asked?

‘Ed, just focus on the day at hand, and then getting through the next day, and then just getting through Tuesday.’

One step, one day, at a time.

Thank you buddy for sharing this to encourage others, as you have with me…you know who you are.  You have gone through Tuesday and beyond.

“We’re stronger in the places we’ve been broken” – Ernest Hemingway

Seems that is the way life goes, living each day as ordinary as they seem and then one day, something happens. Suddenly, we are on the boulevard of broken dreams; lives are shattered.  Life as it was and we have known is gone, feeling both helpless and hopeless.

There will be times in your life that you will have to deal with personal hardship of some kind.  It could come in different ways, and more than one at a time; loss of your job, death of a spouse, adultery, divorce, death of a child or parent, or the inability to have children. The experience may seem overwhelming, and knock the wind out of you.  You can press forward and though it won’t be easy, here are some ways to maintain that focus and peace of mind that authors Marc and Angel Chertoff have learned, with some of my insights:

  • Learn to trust yourself – Trust your instincts and your gut, and move forward with faith in your abilities.  Stay true and honor yourself, life will not forsake you. Though I could not see it at the time, I was reassured it will work out in the end.
  • Focus on what you are learning – Any journey worth going on is supposed to be just that, worth it. Not easy, worth it. “I have never met a strong person with an easy past” (Unknown)
  • Ease your expectations – Had to remind myself what happened and what it was all about, as was completely unexpected. Perhaps there was a greater purpose, and seeing things as they are is just what I need and where I need to be.
  • Open up to someone you trust – See above. I came to realize that I was not alone and other guys and dads who had been on a similar journey, they had been there. They walked beside me, picked me up, pulled me through, and were there at 3am when I called too.
  • Use hope to drive positive action – Encourage and inspire, strive and grow. Even when circumstances say otherwise. As my heart healed I figured out that I needed to get to a place where I could appreciate and be grateful where I was at this point in my life. One of the ways I learned to get on the road of hope is by being there and serving others, you will likely learn as I did that serving others serves you. Serve with who you are, wounds, limitations, and experiences and your heart changes, perspective is gained, and appreciation will grow.
  • Give yourself time – Remember my pastor saying probably take a year to year and a half to heal. I took that time and more, thought best to take what I need and no need to rush. It is a process that is as unique as each person and circumstance. Be patient with yourself and don’t force it, better to take the time than mask your pain.
  • Look for the beginning in every ending – Let the adventures of what lies ahead fill your heart with wonder, as the lessons of the past serve you well for a great beginning.

Though this does not sound like a gift anyone would want, I have come to appreciate and see a purpose through the pain and how faithful God was to carry me through.  Namely:

  • Through the storm and fog that blurred my vision, my faith was strengthened, more refined, and pure by being put through the fire.  Strong convictions does not mean doubts do not creep in. Walking the foggy road of doubt and confusion after being on the boulevard of broken dreams helped solidify my faith.
  • My heart has grown more compassionate toward people around me as I look through a new set of eyes.  I have a heart for single parents, kids of single parents and Third Culture Kids who just need someone to encourage, believe, and be beside them through the tough, uncertain, doubtful, and dark days.
  • My focus as a Dad has become stronger; as my Dad was with me I treasure the time with my kids.  As a new school year is upon us and our summer days are getting shorter, am reminded that though ‘though the days may be long, the years are short’.  They are all getting taller though.

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It is natural for us to only see our circumstances with the troubles and pain, rather than results of enduring the struggle and the hand walking us through the storm.  Arthur Hays Sulzberger was the publisher of the New York Times during the second World War. Because of the world conflict, he found it almost impossible to sleep. He was never able to get worries from his mind until he adopted as his motto these five words: “One step enough for me” taken from the old hymn, Lead Kindly Light.

I figured out that all I needed was a lamp to my feet, not a crystal ball into the future. Don’t know what will happen tomorrow, what I do know is I’m not alone and though God is not going to let me see the distant scene I’m reassured that “Faith tells me that no matter what lies ahead of me, God is already there.”  – Unknown

Finally, getting through Tuesday can involve questions of identity. My journey has circled around it and the lifelong puzzle that falls into place one piece at a time.  Where do we find it, and why does it matter. If there are times you can’t seem to see your own worth, don’t need to look to yourself to find it.  Allow yourself to be reminded that your identity is not found in how you look, your income, education or relationship status.

Rather than run from it, run to it and be reminded who you are.  You can get through Tuesday, and beyond.

Until Next Time,

Ed

 

 

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