I have two ginger rescue cats that I’ve had for about 3 years now. I think they are incredibly grateful for the home because almost daily they bring me some great prize which they drop at random and meow loudly as to alert me to my new “gift”. Last week on 3 separate occasions, it was snakes. I am exactly like Indiana Jones in the area of snakes. “Why did have to be snakes?”
One of which they were kind enough to haul all three feet of it upstairs by my desk one day. That way I wouldn’t be inconvenienced with having to walk all the way downstairs for my live gift snake. But aside from the snakes, butterflies, frogs and occasional birds almost daily is the onslaught of small Florida lizards. At least a few a day.
We even have special plastic cups reserved for the scooping up of the unsuspecting morons to return them back to their native land, the backyard. I learned the hard way you can’t pick them up by their tails. The tails come off and wriggle on the ground like some sort of distraction mechanism at which point I run screaming from the room with a severe case of the willies for at least two weeks.
For some reason, they almost always drop them off in the kitchen. And because they bring so many, I miss a lot of them. Until, of course, it’s time to make dinner. That’s when they peek out. I’ve picked up a bag of chips and had a lizard clinging for life to the top. Freaks me the freak out every freaking time. But being the big-hearted goof I am, I feel I have to save them.
However, many times they head for what I affectionately call the “danger zone”. Under the stove. Oh, sure it seems safe. It seems like the only place to run and hide in my entire kitchen but once they go under there I can almost never get them out. So today as I’m sterilizing my kitchen with bleach…once again. A lizard peeks out from under the stove, I carefully grab my cups then poof, he’s back under the stove. Then I said, and yes out loud as I was talking to a LIZARD, ugh, “Dude, if you don’t come out I can’t help you. If you try to hide, you’re just going to die.”
And just like that and exactly the way God always works in my life, I hear “EXACTLY”.
I haven’t made it too much of a secret the last six months of my life have been unbelievably difficult. One of the hardest parts was it wasn’t in one area of my life but almost all areas. Health, finances, and matters of the heart. And I came to realize recently, that I’m scared. Everything that’s happened scared me. And when we’re scared we run under the stove because it seems safe. But people can’t get to us when we hide. Then they can’t help us.
You see, sometimes for life to get better we have to make ourselves vulnerable. Actually, all times for life to get better we have to make ourselves vulnerable. We have to take chances and we have to put ourselves out there. Sometimes we make complete idiots of ourselves. We will make mistakes. We will do the wrong things. But then we’ll do the right things too.
I’ve been grieving a huge loss since last year. I keep praying for it to get easier and this past weekend I had a little bit of closure and that helped. When I said goodbye to my friend, I accidentally left a necklace behind that had broken while I was there. It’s a heart necklace that my dear girlfriend gave me after I had finally escaped years of abuse. Needless to say, it meant a lot to me. I sent an email to my friend asking him to send my heart back. And I included the double entendre, “Both of them”.
This past weekend after all this time, as I walked outside to hunt for cats, a small envelope was wedged in my door. In it was my heart with a new chain. Before the end of the weekend, I got to make myself vulnerable and say some things I needed to. Although for a “cold to love”, his words, commitment-phobe, it’s the equivalent of throwing a bucket of water on the wicked witch of the West.
It made me sad to realize that even though some people claim to want love, they don’t want to make themselves vulnerable so they stay under the stove forever. You can never love without vulnerability.
You can never have success without it either.
You have to walk out in the open. Far away from the safe shore. You have to let go, most of all. Of everything. There are some things you can’t control, like who loves you. Sometimes you can’t even control who you love.
But the good news is, I’ve slowly come out from under the stove. God hasn’t let me down. He always waits for us to take those first steps. Then he meets us there. In the middle of the kitchen floor, for us to be scooped up and placed where we need to be.
And I finally got my heart back. Yes…both of them.