A Fish Living In the Desert

It has been awhile since I have blogged. A lot and nothing has happened. This is definitely a new season in my life that in some ways seems to be one of the hardest for me in a lot of different ways.

The new struggles and challenges for me currently have been seeing people around me with a lot of life changes. Before the pandemic I was in a great small group with couples and a few single people. My son was the only kid in the group pre-pandemic but two years later there have been two new births, 3 weddings, and two pregnancies in my small group. I am now the only single and widowed parent in the group.

It feels even more disappointedly hard when not just my small group but many others around me have either bought a house, moved away, gotten engaged and married, and so on. For 7 years I have tried to be happy for others and all their new life changes but this year has felt unbearably hard to come out of a hard two years of a pandemic and no new life changes to show for it.

I have often had people tell me that I need to be ok with being alone. When really that is not the problem. It is hard to explain but I don’t feel my problem is being alone.

I feel like the problem is that being a widow doesn’t feel like me at all.

If I have to live out my life as a widow and raising my son on my own I think I could find peace in that, but to feel I have so much love to give and a desire to be a wife and a mother to many kids and to never get a chance to live that out again feels like a huge loss to me.

Maybe this is a bad analogy but it is the only one I can think of to describe how I feel.

I feel like being a widow is like being a fish that is forced to live in the desert.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

When I was a wife and a mother I feel like I got to be who I truly was. Being a wife and a mother felt like breathing. It felt like the most natural thing for me and my heart never felt so much at home with myself and who I was. However, my life and living in the ocean as a fish was short lived. Instead, it was violently and unjustly taken from me and I was forced to leave everything that was comfortable and everything that felt natural to me and dumped into a desert.

For 7 years I have cried, processed, worked on myself, learned to adapt, and even learned how to thrive in the desert, but that internal gnawing of being a fish in a desert continues to ache deep inside my soul. I think a part of me is finding peace in the desert if that is where I am to remain for the rest of my days, but another part of me feels like I don’t truly belong in the desert because I know I could be so much more.

I think the biggest thing I am learning while being a fish in the desert is not wishing to be in the ocean but learning and asking:

What else can I do and learn while in the desert?”

What other treasures remain hidden or in the desert for me that I have not dug up or ventured to look for?”

Some days that is hard to do but in reality it is all I can do for now.

A song that has resonated with me and that has become my prayer lately is the song “Give Me Jesus”. There are many versions of this song, but I think Fernando Ortega’s version of it somehow cuts deep into my heart. This song is not only my set alarm everyday that I hear when I wake up but has also become my prayer:

The lyrics that stand out to me as I live in the desert is,“You can have all this world, but give me Jesus.” To me the word “world” includes my dreams of being a wife and a mother to multiple children. The questions that whirl around in my head are:

“Can I truly live out my life and the rest of my days without my greatest dreams ever being answered?”

Is Jesus REALLY enough?

“Will I be ok with having to watch everyone around me get their dreams and prayers answered while mine remain unanswered year after year?”

I honestly don’t have answers to any of those questions. But they remain questions I try to keep giving to the Lord. And “Give Me Jesus” is all I can pray in this season because there is nothing else to pray or cry out then this simple prayer of needing Jesus to stand with me as I continue to be a fish that lives in the desert.

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