Some things can’t be fixed……

posted in: Emotional Literacy | 0

Some things just can’t be fixed……When we were in the final throes of our addition/remodel this past year, the hardwood flooring was a challenge. We had had hardwood installed in the existing portions of the house when we moved in ten years ago. We were able to locate the same flooring for the added spaces, which was an amazing feat. However, the installation of the flooring became a nightmare. Again and again, the flooring would not stick in some places. The contractor had to have return calls by flooring installers at least 5 times. Then a doorway leaked and ruined a section of flooring in the living room, which had to be replaced. One day, as I was scrubbing tape residue off the flooring in a bedroom for the third time and finding yet another board warping and coming off the foundation, I just crumpled over in a heap and cried from exhaustion and disappointment….Disappointment not only in the flooring, but in the entire home addition process which had taken twice as long as expected, as well as disappointment in the outcome of circumstances that had inspired the addition and that were now coming apart the same way the flooring was.
Today, there is one board in the transition from the old part of the living room to the new part that is slightly askew. It rises above the rest of the floor just enough that my foot and eye are aware of the fault line. For several months I hated that board and determined that someday I would get a trusted flooring specialist to come in and attempt a repair to that board. But now, I have come to not only accept it, but to even embrace that erratic board. I can imagine that years from now I will look at the wear and tear on it and remember the wear and tear on my spirit of that challenging year of my life. There is still some tape residue here and there that needs some elbow grease and mineral spirits to remove the evidence of the stubborn flooring. And I will eventually get around to doing that. But for now, I’m the only one that knows, or cares, where those tape spots are.
By the time we finally settled up with the contractor and closed out with him in April of this year, life had gotten very busy with Bill and me leaving the Rescue Mission and starting Titus 2 Partnership. We had no time any more to think about the disappointments of the house addition, as we had to continue to move forward in ministry and in family life with grandchildren, children, and friends. The addition was sturdy and accommodating, if not perfect. The disappointment in that fact faded, although some of the other disappointments of that time continued to linger. Now, with more time and other distractions, the flooring trials seem small, by comparison to the other disappointments. The flooring, too, was a temporary disappointment that eventually has been or can be overcome, for the most part. Some of the other disappointments have been definitively permanent, like my Father’s death., my Mother’s life changes that seemed so out of character and hasty, and the loss to theft of the ruby bracelet Bill had given me. Other disappointments of that year may become permanent, too. Those that still have an air of uncertainty¬†are the ones that have been harder to grieve. The uncertainty around a disappointment…..is it permanent? Can it be overcome? How large of an impact does it have on how one views important aspects of life or personal identity? Is there anything more that can or should be done? How long will the waiting be before one knows for sure that the only option is to close a door and walk away. Like the single raised errant board, can such a disappointment be accepted for its apparently permanent “out of place” presence? Can God help one learn to accept and even embrace such disappointments? Not all disappointments are equal.¬† But God is good and his plans for our lives are good, too.¬† And even the uncertainty around disappointments, like the uncertainty around life itself, will all be resolved by God in his time.

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