Barn’s burnt down – now
I can see the moon. – Mizuta Masahide
When we are in Asheville, North Carolina, my husband, Trey and I blend into the crowd of “Jubilants” who come together joyfully on Sunday mornings at Jubilee!, a unique Community of Faith. With no particular denominational backgrounds, these folks assemble together – open, creative, and ready for the Spirit to call them to Life! This purpose is printed in the bulletin and, happily, we join them.
Music and dancing and hugs abound among strangers and friends alike, along with an atmosphere of joy, laughter, Sacredness, acceptance and love. The minister, every Sunday, looks around at the large and diverse circle of folks gathered and asks us to look at each other – to see the faces of the Spirit and to remember we are Spirit’s hands and feet in the world.
A few years ago, the minister spoke on meeting challenges head on – straight forward – looking them straight in the eye – embracing them – breakups, life’s transitions, divorce, illness, job loss, death, whatever life brings us and accepting it all as an adventurer and not a tourist.
My mind shifted to my early 40’s when all Hell rained down at once in my life. Divorce, job change, an emergency surgery that was serious and necessitated a significant recovery time, and leaving the town of Asheville where I had lived for so long for someplace new.
I remembered how I wanted to escape it so badly but instead I had no choice but to live through the chaos. Years later, I wish I had been able instead to accept (and not fight) what I could not change and embrace the struggle with courage and curiosity. Just to say “Yes!” with an acceptance of the fact that the barn, my life, had burnt down and now, after such a long period of darkness, I could see the moon.
For months, I struggled. But slowly, because no other choice existed, I realized Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade had provided a pretty good example of how to handle the situation. When he came to the deep divide and had to get to the other side, he did it by believing a bridge would materialize to facilitate the crossing. With extraordinary courage, he stepped into thin air with an assurance that what was not there, would materialize. And it did. Step by step.
And of course, that is what happened to me. Surrounded by loving friends, family and a wonderful counselor, I began to see the possibilities that existed now that the barn that was my life was destroyed. Slowly, I recognized a new freedom in the life that awaited.
A lot was lost in the firestorm of that time. Lost in the cleaning, refining fire. Making space for a new life, a life is filled with a new love, home and the most fulfilling job I have ever had. Perfect, no, but beautiful and happy, yes.
In the midst of the inferno, I found a strength that I did not know I had. These days that strength helps guide me when the challenges come, but more importantly, it has laden me with sensitivity and compassion anew for those in their own struggles. The barn burns down and we have to step outside and see what is next.