As I watched my grandson sitting in his car seat in the dark the other night, on the way home from dinner…. riding backwards, unable to see where he is going or who is driving, having only a blanket to keep him warm …. he was smiling …. and I thought…. he has complete trust…. that is complete surrender.  That is living in the moment, without thought of the past or future. That is giving your will over without any expected outcome. 

I have thought time and time ….. and time again, that I had learned to live in the moment, that I had let go of the past and stopped worrying about the future, I thought I had surrendered and trusted.  I thought I had developed courage to face every emotion.  I thought I had developed the ability to feel, and to choose to stay.  I thought I had aligned my will with Gods and walked willingly along the path He placed me on…. I thought I was going to be okay and that I’d know how to do this…. that I had learned what I needed to learn in order to keep this family and this trial and myself somewhat neat and tidy as we walked this journey we’ve never been on.  
I thought my fight and my anger had given way to acceptance and gratitude. I thought my fear and anxiety had been hushed through surrender and meditation.  But that’s all bullshit. 
I think the problem is this …. I spent a lot of years believing I was a bad ass. That I could manage and control my life and that I needed no one. I was proud of the strength I’d developed through trial after trial, whether given to me or caused by me.  
I thought I had let go of the need to maintain … in some small way… the labels and identities I thought I had created or earned for myself…. strong, composed, funny, happy, a designer, fit and healthy, lean, peaceful, organized, driven, a teacher, a leader, able to endure anything and able to get right back up after every fall. 
I literally thought I was going to get through this without completely falling apart. Well, I was wrong. I was dead wrong. 
I’m not even close to the end of this trial… in fact, I’ve realized this is a trial I will carry with me for ever. 
I’m also realizing this isn’t going to be pretty, or organized.  It’s not going to look at all the way I had anticipated. I have no idea how it will look. I’m realizing that strength isn’t necessarily a gift … I’m coming to believe it’s a curse… you see, the stronger you are, the more it takes to bring you down to a place of submission. The more will of your own you have … the hotter the fire has to be to shape and conform your will to His. I find myself unable to give up… I’m too strong… I’m exhausted and things are extremely messy.  There isn’t one organized aspect of my life. It is safe to say that my life is a shit show and I am the ring master … actually, no, I’m starting to feel more like a field mouse hiding from the shit at this point. 
After I rest and strength builds my will comes back and I find myself eager to be on board, eager to keep the show tidy while the storm rages…. and over and over I get knocked right back down.  It reminds me of the day I tried to snowboard… with no instruction and some strangers boots and board. I went to the top of the mountain and thought I knew what it needed to look like so I headed balls to the wall, downward…. I looked like an expert for a minute…. right up until I caught toe side edge and BAM! Face in the snow, board to the back of the head.  But I was fit and I was strong and I jumped up and did it again and again and again…. the next morning upon awakening I could barely open my mouth or lift my tongue…. I didn’t even try to turn my head.  
(Note to self…. get a lesson or buy a book … get an instructor next time you want to snowboard.) 
The problem is … there are no instructions for this part of my life….. and so every single day… wait, no, every single minute…. I search my mind, my journals, books and advise with loads of time talking to God and angels…seeking direction on how to do this … and it’s not enough. 

The conclusion I’ve come to is this …. I’ll never be what I used to be. Life will never look like it used to look. Fit and lean will look and feel different. Organized will have a new meaning. Jackie will never be the Jackie she was before … not even the Jackie she was yesterday.  Jackie will keep getting her ass kicked until she accepts and surrenders EVERYTHING….. and I mean E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.  to God…
what was I thinking when I believed I knew what was best for me anyway ? And it pisses me off just to say that… but if I don’t stop thinking I can win and have my way… if I don’t soften and accept Gods will… if I don’t stop questioning and complaining about the way He is doing things …. I’m just going to continue to get the shit kicked out of me.  
I have a quote that hangs on my wall that says something like “He will take us as we are and make us into something far greater than we ever imagined”…. doesn’t that sound fantastic ?  Ya! Right up until you are actually asked to turn over EVERYTHING to Him.  And then our human brains and the strength we think is so awesome kicks in and we start to fight like a crazy alley cat. 

I’m so tired. I feel like I’ve completely lost myself.  And I’m realizing that maybe that’s exactly what was supposed to happen in the first place.  Maybe that’s what a refiners Fire is for …. to completely wipe out what was, so that something brand new and completely different can be rebuilt. 
Sounds so beautiful …. but it hurts !  It hurts soooooo bad. And not even the strongest of bad asses can run from this pain. “Feeling it and having the courage to stay” has a whole new meaning. 
So I guess I’ll take a page from Noah’s book and ride the car seat backwards, trusting that someone who knows better will get me to where I need to be.