My eyes are never purposefully open this wide at this hour of morning. But they are wide and wet with tears – the sun hasn’t thought about coming up yet today. I like to say I write ‘for the book’ but this is more about obedience, stillness and knowing, grieving, choosing joy in spite of – tending the well of the soul…
It’s the end of September, officially fall. Those objects in the rearview are getting larger, taking my eyes from the road ahead. Causing me to fumble in the moment. Losing patience, judging, something akin to fear, wanting to run away, not remember where I’ve been, often afraid of what’s ahead.
At lunch with my dear friend yesterday, lamenting over life’s hard spaces, in feeble defensiveness I said, ‘those smiles in pictures – those are real….who wants to see all that other sh^$.’ We laughed at the truth in that. Pretty pictures – those are the golden moments in life. The smile’s often bigger because of what’s begotten to wear it.
I got to see a special cross this weekend. I got to worship and sing by candlelight with it above me. Earlier this year, as a pilgrim on a spiritual journey, I laid much at that same cross. As I sang about the Holy Spirit and Jesus Saturday night, I felt a weight at how much that cross knew about my heart. I also felt a little sadness to still be carrying some of what I thought I laid. Differently, but still carrying. Better than I was, but not fully ‘healed’.
Healed’s a funny word – not at all in the haha sense. After much ‘all good’ with my routine check with the oncologist on Monday, I felt compelled to ask about likelihoods. I know I’ve been told before, but still shocking to hear – 5 year benchmark, 10 years golden. I’m barely at 2. I long to be healed, body and soul. I hate being reminded of any less than.
Life’s hard. Not in a ‘not sure I can get out of bed today’ kind of way but more of a sneaky hard. Upon me before I realize it, catching me at my worst – bringing out the worst. All that ugliness – sharply reminded how much of that there is in me.
Marriage is hard. Having to be beside someone as you journey through. Not always liking that person or understanding their choices. Disheartened at how such ‘joined lives’ can diverge sometimes. Having to grow up a little more all the time, put on my big girl panties. Be angry when needed and still put on love. Yep, it’s hard.
Raising kids is hard. Managing emotions, discipline, school, friends, activities – just trying to teach kindness. The simple stuff, never simple. I would hate to be a kid. I know that sounds strong, but I feel sorry for my kids sometimes. It’s hard to be a kid. Sometimes I wish I could just pour them a drink so we all could calm down together. Sometimes I want to hide from them. Sometimes I know they hide from me. Raising kids – also hard.
Light has now come into the sky. The sun’s probably thinking about coming up. Brings me back to this compulsion today…
Another friend asked me recently if my ‘silver lining’ spiel on faith was said more ‘to convince myself or because I actually believed it?’ I loved that and confidently answered, ‘I say because I know’, shaking my head a little and adding that often ‘…it’s the ONLY thing.’ It’s hard not to choke on that truth.
That I can sit here in the quiet of morning, render what needs rendering, call the hard things hard – there’s a needed crack. That I hugged the man I chose when I was ‘just a girl’ before he left for work this morning, that we hugged tightly because we like each other in this moment – another crack. That I have two healthy ‘babies’ sleeping upstairs, who when they get up will be full of ‘busyness’ and one reliving the glory of pitching for the 1st time last night, who will also complain to me about anything I come up with to pack in their lunch, but who will smile at me and wrap their little arms around me – a big crack. That I could sit here and make a list as long as the day about the blessings in my life – cracks it wide open.
This is one of my favorites ever – about light…
‘…’cause darkness can’t be where light is.’
I feel like this is God’s response to my soul. To the hard spaces, to the darkness in the rearview, to unseen hard things ahead, to just making it through the day – one single day at a time.
To the ticker tape of my mind, flailing me in moments with His requirements…’take heart’, ‘do not fear’, ‘do not worry’, ‘love’, ‘forgive’, ‘pray’, ‘give thanks’, ‘think about these things’, ‘be joyful’, ‘let your light shine’, ‘consider it joy’, ‘trust’, ‘obey’…and on and on. In these are the light – the peace that passes, the freedom in surrender, His will and not mine. I say because I know. I get the lesson time and time again.
On the doorstep of year 2, there is peace, there is sadness, there is joy, there is sorrow – my soul is full, but it is well and there is light…