This week has been the kind of week where you just want to curl up under the covers and escape from the world. As I write we are experiencing cold, rainy weather, the kind that feels more like March than late October. Autumn has been wonderfully warm and long and the foliage is peaking. But it has to end sooner or later I suppose. As a friend observed, during the course of this week we’ll have experienced the residual effects of Hurricane Zeta, Mischief Night, a blue full moon on Halloween, Daylight Saving Time, and just to add insult to injury, the 2020 presidential election.
In addition to Scripture, we have been given the Holy Spirit to help us discern God’s will. And also, the counsel of godly mentors. For myself, scripture tends to be the most reliable revelation of what pleases God. Sometimes it is difficult to hear the Holy Spirit, and godly mentors are not always immediately accessible. But, from a young age, I was encouraged to memorize scripture. How many times the counsel of God comes to me from verses I have memorized many, many years ago!
As soon as Scott and I got married, we began trying to get pregnant. We didn’t worry when it didn’t happen for the first few months, but after about six months, we started to get concerned. Scott called his doctor and I made an appointment with my OBGYN. We both had some tests run, had in-depth conversations with our doctors, and were told that we were both two healthy people that shouldn’t have any trouble getting pregnant. “Relax,” they told us. “Don’t stress- it’s not uncommon for it to take a year or longer.”
I’ve witnessed family conflict over a multitude of issues and I’m certain I’m not alone. The fracture of relationships over our opinions, views, etc. is a disturbing thing to observe. Don’t get me started on social media. Sites that were created as a resource for educational Covid policies have become grounds for verbal warfare. Before I go further with this, NO, this is not a post about politics, right vs. left, ethnicity, what branch of Christianity you follow, etc. This is about grace or better yet, living our faith rather than just talking about it to, or at, others. The past several months have presented many opportunities for personal growth.
My husband wanted to teach our six-year-old grandson a simple praise chorus on a recent car trip. He sang the song, then asked our grandson to try to sing along. “Can I just lip-sync it?” our grandson asked.
The mind is a working marvel and miracle of complexity, isn’t it? Have you ever just taken a moment to watch a toddler play? Or be amazed at how many brain functions are happening at one moment, ultimately allowing you to perform a certain task? How about the ability to laugh at one moment and minutes later feel sorrow or empathy or anger? It’s astounding. We can give our Creator thanks for this!
Have you ever gone into the store for one thing and come out with something completely different? You go in for clothes and come out with a new set of dishes (relax, they were on clearance). Or you make a quick stop for milk and come out with 4 half-gallons of ice cream? This happens to me all the time, and not just at Target. In my defense, some of the things I have purchased this way have become favorites.
Indulge me with a moment of honesty. Personally, I’m quite over this pandemic. I’ve had enough. I don’t want to socially distance any more. I want to hug my friends, sit right next to them in church and invite as many people as I like over to my home. I’m ready to go shopping without constantly sanitising my hands and registering my attendance. I want to go back to normal!
My version of the story was idyllic and cobbled together with denial. The truth, however, was that the pain inside me had never left. The shame over all I had done was a heavy burden that I held deep. And being a Christian did not make me immune to addiction. I was profoundly sick and doing quite a job of keeping it a secret.
Our son also just moved into his university apartment for freshman year. Yesterday I sang lullabies and tucked him into his crib with his favorite stuffed toy. Today he’s at least a foot taller than me, shaves, drives and helps me with electronics. One day he was small, I blinked, and now he is grown. It happened so fast and is strange, wonderful and bittersweet.It’s so hard to let your kids out into the world when they were once all yours to nurture and protect. Hard not to worry while praying continuously that they’ll adjust and thrive.