May 15, 2014 was the last time I wrote to you; and even then I was already faltering in my "One Word for the Year" resolution. Apparently I lost some resolve along the way. I don't even have some inspiring words of wisdom from you to highlight tonight, showing readers just how closely you and I have been walking together.
It's not like I haven't wanted to.
Life just got… busy.
You called me "Carrots!'
With everything else going on in my life, I couldn't handle you. So in a frenzied moment of rage, I broke a slate over your head and walked away. Well… not totally walked away. The guilt over dropping you was more than enough to make up for writing "Erin Thomas struggles with very difficult commitment issues" 100x on the blackboard (that's Erin with an "E").
I landed a full Compassion & Justice grant to launch Coming Home's first official pilot project.
We found the perfect rental space.
Volunteers started signing up.
Things fell into place, not just one-by-one, but in showers.
How could I NOT believe this is what God wanted? After so many years… the waiting in the desert was breaking through to a beautiful, albeit small, Promised Land.
Only… no youth showed up.
Sure, I had interest. Agencies promised to make referrals; parents said it would be great if their fearful or wayward daughters could come; I even had verbal assurances from some youth themselves: "This is GREAT! I've always wanted to come to a place like this!"
I met with people.
I made phone calls.
I designed plans.
I made sure my research was sound.
I found incredible DIY art projects for the non-artsy.
I prayed some more.
I felt encouraged by those who also believed this was going to happen.
I made a logic model.
I built relationships.
I prayed again.
What. Went. Wrong?
I guess I've taken a lot of time revealing that CH's pilot project didn't work out as planned NOT because of its wrongness or rightness, but rather I can't tolerate the platitudes right now:
"Everything happens for a reason."
"It just wasn't meant to be, because what will be will be."
"All in good time."
"If you had faith, this would have happened."
"This isn't what God wanted."
"Did you check your karma?"
… all said by very well-intentioned people. But right now:
those people SUCK.
What will be will be?????
Who says to that someone when they're down in the dust? It denies grief, it denies reality, it doesn't create acceptance (but rather passivity), and it refuses to allow the faith of those timid souls who dared step out just an inch the dignity of searching for God.
And that's just the first beef with the first platitude.
Can you tell I'm disappointed?
Ohhhhhhh right… Christians aren't supposed to experience disappointment because 'everything happens for a reason'.
Maybe there were reasons. Of course there were reasons! No one showed up after months of positive signs that it was a go. There were OBVIOUSLY reasons!
Telling me that is going to help me along this continued desert how, may I ask?
Correct. It doesn't.
I never did handle disappointment well. Not at all.
Now that I have another 3 weeks off that were supposed to be used for CH, perhaps writing to you daily will make up for my lost weeks in these past months. In fact, I think it would be a very good thing for me to write to you daily — whether I want to or not. Pick up some of your books, some books by others, & write to you.
The slate's broken. The Josie Pye's in the world will never offer sincere encouragement or advice.
But we all know what happens with Anne & Gilbert.
Just some more tangles and snarls along the way.
"Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it."
It's not the mistakes I'm grieving about.
It's the fresh newness that was supposed to already "be".
Until next time,