The Jessica Years – Year 1, Month 8
God’s math is illogical. I don’t quite know what to make of it.
The way I pictured it was something like this: If God entrusts me with one dollar and I use it wisely, He’ll entrust me with two.
Instead the picture unfolded more like: God entrusted me one dollar, I tried my best and He entrusted me with a million.
A bit exaggerated, yes. But it is how it feels some days.
I’ve gone from having everything in my life razed into the ground, to having one blessing flow after another.
When I started chronicling the Jessica Years, my intent was to write out the pain so I could look at it. I didn’t plan to write for an audience. They were snapshots, film negatives, waiting to be developed into color. Raw not polished. Words becoming the scrapbook of my life.
Yet when I looked at my writings it occurred to me that if I shared them, while I had nothing more to lose, I could strip off all masks and no one could ever force me to don them again. So I shared.
The results were unexpected.
First I was unprepared for condolences. I hadn’t known I warranted them. Yet I think I understand why they were offered. There are no magic words to dole out to someone in grief. Words become clumsy, awkward things. Yet I am grateful for those who tried anyway. It’s brave to speak when nothing can be said.
Second, I didn’t anticipate talking in person about the Jessica Years. Occasionally someone tells me they’re reading them and it’s strange new ground—perhaps summed up: they feel safe with me, but I don’t have the advantage of knowing them.
Third, God surprised me. Blessings started to pour, right after the pressure cooker became so intense my only outlet was to put the struggle into words. When you’re used to the storm, it’s a bit jolting when everything suddenly clears. When my marriage ended, the odds were stacked against me. I had no job, no car, medical debt, no clothing, no church, needed extensive dental work, and no idea how to proceed from that point.
Yet God prompted someone to give me their car, while they were yet unaware of my circumstances.
Friends opened their wardrobes, furnishing me business attire.
God sustained me with free-lance work. (Though this continues to be the hardest faith struggle.)
Recently, I was agented and signed a publishing agreement for my British Historicals. There aren’t even words.
Also recently I was accepted into a program where my dental needs are being met. God utterly pierced my heart with this one. Years ago He had promised me He heard my prayers—but until now, He hasn’t acted.
My daughter’s and my medical debt is paid.
I’m a part of Media Change—and I pray with them every Mon-Fri morning. (How on earth do you end up part of an amazing ministry?)
I’ve had the advantage of working alongside other ministries—growing in brotherly kindness, hoping to achieve love.
For the past few months, I’ve been able to work from home, allowing me to better parent my daughter and write.
It’s stunning and yet feels fragile.
Yet life is fragile—fine-spun thread upon fine-spun thread. Some days I hesitate to speak the good aloud, certain that a wind will come and blow it all away, certain I’ll be left embarrassed.
Yet when I see the amazing way God has upheld my life, not speaking out feels wrong.
I find myself wondering ‘Why Now?’ Why after years and years of waiting for the fulfilment of promises? Was it the removing of masks? The start honesty? Or was it just the appointed end to the suffering?
I don’t know.
Just as I no longer know what happens next.
But I think I’m excited to see.