Wednesday, August 12, 2009
One of the biggest pet peeves I have is the well-meaning comments that people make like "Enjoy it now, life just gets harder." or my personal favorite of all, "This is the best time of your life."
I understand that nostalgia overtakes common sense at times. That regret sometimes colors our memories. Understandable. But really, not at all helpful when the hearee is in the midst of a stormy season.
For those of you who are struggling through the worst of the worst, this IS NOT as good as it gets.
Little kids at home clawing at you out of their neediness...this too shall pass. And every stinking hard, painful, agonizing tough thing in each age and season does have a corresponding something that you will take away. Maybe you won't remember smiling as you rock the fussy baby, but I guarantee you were/are being shaped into a better person while you do the best you are capable of at the time. Teenager drama making you want to find a really big rock to hide under? Curl up, suck your thumb and when you are able, make that decision you need to make and believe that you are motivated by your love for a child who is at the moment not so easy to cherish. Financial woes that seem like horrible nightmares until you actually realize you are awake and you can't shake the reality...so hard, so awful, but really, honestly, not life-threatening. I can't speak to those who actually face death or the prospect because I haven't. But I do know that it's not over til it's over and life and living are still tangible and verbs. And life and living are in the hands of a loving God. Marriage trouble? I've suffered (and inflicted suffering) through an awful marriage. Gut wrenching sorrow, hopelessness and bitter tears. But, those tears can be wiped dry, hope can grow in some really rotten soil. Hold on. And one choice at a time, do what you need to do to survive. Prayer works. I promise. Even more so, He promises. And His answer is always a better, more involved and more than I ever could imagine fix to a problem.
A year ago I was inside out and upside down with guilt and grief, sorrow and a lack of hope. And the next to the worst thing happened. And so far we've survived. My goal as a parent wasn't met. And that doesn't make me a lousy parent. It just makes MY goal unmet and maybe it wasn't my goal to set. You read a little about our financial mess yesterday. This albatross began a decade ago and we are finally, hopefully able to see through the dust of what's left after financial ruin. You know what's left? We are. Our spirits are left intact. Our faith is stronger. Our hope, though anemic at times, is waving in the breeze reminding us of each new day's blessings. Our family is here. All of us. And better because of a few struggles. And my family...twenty-three years ago there was little hope. Nineteen years ago we were walking the plank of divorce and I could smell the stench of the circling sharks. Even a a dozen years ago it looked like it was as fragile as a single strand of silky fine spider web. But, apparently God had other ideas and He used the ugliness to shape us into the husband and wife and people He desired us to be.
If we aren't required to stretch and grow, if we aren't changed a little bit by the meals served up by life, then maybe we aren't really living it. Life is hard. It smells like garbage that someone forgot to drag to the curb ten days ago on a humid 93 degree day sometimes. But it's constant and the sun will rise and it will set, whether it's behind a cloud or against a brilliant blue sky. The moon will wax and wane and the ocean tide will respond. We will be hurt. We will hurt. We will cry, weep, gnash our teeth. And on some days we will laugh. The human condition requires cleansing tears and our souls require laughter. Hang in there. This IS NOT as good as it gets. Tomorrow has a new sun, a new and different sunrise and sunset paintings and best of all, God's mercy is new every morning. If nothing else can get you through the hardest day, it's His mercy. Right there. Take it.