Keeping It Real
I was taught from girlhood to be independent. I was told not to expect others to take care of me, that I was responsible for myself and that was that. I understand why my mother taught me these things; she went from one tough situation to another never really landing in a situation where she was well cared for until she finally met Joe, who died of cancer eleven months after their wedding.
Mama didn't want me to be dependent on others because she herself had been let down so often and so comprehensively throughout her lifetime. More than a few times she was used and abused, never really shown or told she was cherished from the time she was very young. I've thought about this sad fact many times throughout the years, but particularly since her death in November of 2005.
I wish Mama could've known the type of dependence I've been blessed to experience in the arms of a husband who has treated me like a princess since the day we met. Not just having doors opened for me and chairs pulled out, or never having had my husband speak harsh words to me. I'm talking about the deep, permeating peace that comes from knowing that whatever happens to our family, no matter where we are or what is going on, whatever we have or don't have, I can depend on him to love me, to care about me, to provide for me and our children to the best of his ability.
I also wish Mama could've known the peace that passes understanding that comes from full dependence on God, at least for more than the last year of her life. When she moved to Florida to live near our family in January of 2005, she finally found the relationship with God she'd been seeking her whole life: a relationship that didn't depend on her being good enough, or doing only the right things and never failing. It was a relationship wherein she could find the comfort and peace she had longed for her whole life. I'm sorry she didn't find such beautiful dependence sooner, but I'm grateful she found it before the end. At least she got to know it. Not all of us do.
I've come to understand, and I'm sure if Mama were still here she would agree, that independence isn't all it's cracked up to be. It isn't a matter of being able to stand completely on one's own. It's about finding the right post to lean on—one that won't fall over if the wind blows too hard. It's about depending on the right people and ultimately on the only One who has the power and the desire to always hold us up.
Here's to declaring dependence, and to all the joy and contentment it can bring.
Contact Blue at: email@example.com