Friday, February 10, 2017

Chewpie the Chupacabra

If any of you have ever wondered what a "God thing" is or what a "God thing" looks like, may I introduce Chewpie, the Chupacabra.

After lamenting over what had been a pretty difficult week, my lamenting forgot to jump out of the boxcar on the pity train and kept on riding. After a mistake earlier in the day, the pity train derailed and turned into a train wreck. Since I am still not skilled in handling some things well, and a professional at taking everything very personally, I allowed all of this to rob me of some of the joy of receiving a beautiful early Valentine's gift from my husband. I barely make it to 5:00, then remember that two responsibilities after work would probably mean that my husband and I would be a little late to one of them, and we were right. This was met with disappointment, which slid my train wreck off a cliff. 
One of my favorite people was speaking at a meeting tonight. I wanted to look forward to it; I really, really did. However, my bad neighborhood of a mind took me to a dark place of isolation. As I was walking in the door, I saw more people I haven't seen in a while and missed greatly. I prayed as I listened to them tell me the wonderful things that were going on in their lives. I resisted the urge to hide. The time came for the speaker, and ran out for my exit. I am so grateful; so grateful that I had no excuse; so grateful that I didn't have to pee or I would have stayed in that bathroom; so grateful that God was doing for me what I certainly couldn't have done for myself.
As his story began, he told of how he started as one person, and ended as another. He started as someone who was lonely and desperate and ended as a person who now has many close friends. People mattered to him now and he mattered to people. Toward the end of his story, he told of how he now has real friends- and he pointed to and looked at me- who he chats with and makes him laugh and who he loves and who loves him. He pointed me out as a friend, and before I knew it, I began to cry.
Something had occurred to me during the meeting; a somber yet matter-of-fact knowledge and I had accepted it immediately. I couldn't wait to tell my ah-ha moment to my husband.
After the meeting, after counting the basket donations of dollars, putting away the books and supplies, hugging and thanking people for coming, our friend whom I had "adopted" as a brother asked us to join he and his friend for dinner. We gladly accepted, then got into our separate cars to meet up together at the restaurant. Once in the car, I told my husband, "I want to share my ah-ha moment with you." My husband was eager to listen. I began to tell him, as he drove, about how I had figured out that "before" (how I refer to my life pre-AA) I had no real relationship with God or anyone. I felt alone and exiled without even God to love or love me, because I felt completely unworthy of even God's love. Now, however, all of that has changed, and I truly feel like God is with me, always, and that He never leaves me, ever, and I feel like God has a purpose for my life and because I have God, I am never alone. He responds with a smile and says, "That is awesome." Then, I say the cliffhanger......
However, I do feel like I am important to God, and that is wonderful, fabulous, and I am so grateful...but I do not feel that I am important to many people.
My husband quickly disagrees, and begins to tell me that my perception to this fact is all wrong. I assure him that I know how important I am to him, to my kids, and maybe one or two other people...and that is enough. But the point is, I have God, and I didn't before; but I honestly didn't think that I was, I don't know, that "go to" person for most people. I figured that is why I isolate more; out of fear of not being able to matter.
We walk inside the restaurant, order, and sit with our friends. We laugh, sling jokes and shoot birds at one another. My exoskeleton is starting to shed, and I feel warmer and more relaxed. Then my brother Rick says, "I have a gift for you in my pocket." I, of course, make reference to its location and tell him no thank you, as this is our usual silly banter. He said, "Really. I brought a gift, just for you, because it is time for it to be yours, and I really want you to have it."
Enter Chewpie the Chupacabra.
Chewpie has been Rick's "insanity mascot" for years. He's taken photos of Chewpie on trips in various places. Chewpie has even been to Spain. It was given to him by his now divorced wife. He loved it, but now, it was time to move on. However, he wanted Chewpie to be with someone "equally, if not more, insane than myself"..and he instantly thought of me.
But, not only was the symbol of Chewpie touching, but the sentiment behind the goofy thing that really got to me was this...
"You are my adopted sister, you really are, and so, this has to be yours." And, just like that, the breath I had just newly formed had completely left my body.
The Valentine's gift earlier in the day from my husband came with a message he had penned: "To My Darling Stephanie, the simple pleasures in life bring you the most joy."
My husband knows me extremely well, because he is exactly right. I'd rather have those little succulents growing on my desk than a diamond, and I'd rather have that little rubber goat sucker with waving arms, snaggle teeth, and purple, bat-like armpits than just about anything else you could imagine. By giving me Chewpie, Rick told me I matter. I matter to someone outside of my inner world, and that I am family to him. 
Finishing our dinner, I said to Rick, "This is a God thing." My husband said, "So...this is what a God thing looks like." Rick said, "Who'd have ever thought that a God thing was a little, rubber goat sucker?"
Certainly not me. Until tonight. XO