Leaky ceilings and hurricane perspective.

A few nights ago, we bought a rug. We thought it was this big massive area rug but since we’re the kind of people who don’t look at measurements or anything, it turned out to be a rather….  well, medium sized area rug. We decided to move around our furniture (aka our couch and love seat) to see if we could find a better arrangement that would allow for a dining room table (which we still don’t have).

This is a picture of the rug. I saw on Pinterest that this is 100% how you are NOT supposed to put a rug but… idk, sorry Pinterest?

We were sitting on the couch in a new place we hated when I heard some drops.

Let me be honest here. When our old shower is left on the shower option, sometimes it drips. So I thought it was dripping. and I was too lazy to go take care of it so I said “What is that noise?” Justen went to investigate and we discovered that it was a drip; it was the drip from the first rain of fall crack in the ceiling above our bed onto the already soaked bedding underneath it.

Like… soaked. All the way through to the mattress.

We quickly pulled off the bedding and mattress and moved the bed out from underneath the leak. We grabbed our mop bucket and put it under the leak. Justen called the emergency maintenance number and was told we had to wait until the morning and I guess just sleep on the couch. Then we realized there was ANOTHER leak, found something to catch that water, and Justen called again to update them (we’re those people, y’all).

As we were finishing the dinner making process, kind of lamenting about the leak and having to not stay in the apartment we pay for, Justen said “well, at least you’re not having to find another place to stay because a hurricane is coming.” and I said “yeah, or at least we didn’t discover a leak while waiting for a hurricane to pass,” and then we spent some time talking about all of the ways the situation could have been much worse.

One of the best descriptions I’ve ever read about obsessive compulsive disorder is that a person with OCD hears hoof prints and thinks zebras, not horses. Like… OCD gets you to think of the most destructive and often least likely option and will not let you break free of the worry of that .0000024% option. It also feels really good when it’s stuff like a friend not calling you back or if someone says “I need to talk to you.” Literally if someone says “I need to talk to you,” I jump to the conclusion that I have wronged and disappointed them in some way and this meeting is to tell me that I should jump off a cliff. I’ve NEVER had that happen, but I still assume that every. single. time.

It’s easy – and I’ll be the first to admit I’m a pro at this – to enjoy splashing in the puddles of bitterness in our hearts. It’s actually kind of fun, if you think about it. It feels good to remind ourselves of how right we are – how entitled we are to certain reactions and responses – and how wrong other people are. Or, as someone much wiser (Frederick Beuchner) said:

Of the Seven Deadly Sins, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back–in many ways it is a feast fit for a king.

but it never ends well. Dwelling in that bitter puddle just leaves you wet, muddy, cold and miserable. There’s no promise of warmth or hot chocolate or coming in from the cold. It just keeps you out there beyond the quick fun. Or, as FB sums it up:

The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you.

I’ve been referencing a dry, tough season I’m going through in this post and this post. I’ve been spiritually empty and it’s been producing side effects of envy, bitterness, and a weird pride. I’ve let monsters dwell in my head and my heart and I needed – more desperately than I even realized – for Justen to put that small, inconvenient leak into perspective.

You’re gonna get out of life what you’re looking for. Jonny Lang has a song called What You’re Looking for, and in it he sings these words that I’m realizing are so much more true than I’ve realized:

If you’re looking for love, you’re gonna find it
If you’re looking for faith, you’re gonna find it
If you’re looking for hope, you’re gonna find it
you’re gonna finally find what you’re looking for

If you’re looking for fear , you’re gonna find it
if you’re looking for trouble, you’re gonna find it
if you’re looking for love, you’re finally gonna find what you’re looking for

Cause the fact is that’s there’s only one truth
And the only difference is a point of view

Time to go look for the things I want to find.

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