Sunday, February 6, 2011

Facing Tomorrows

So my husband leaves soon.  It is an interesting feeling.  So much the same as a year before.  Winter is still here, packing suitcases are out, a family holiday (the one that got canceled last year) planned for when he arrives back.  Even back to spring and the inevitable push to get in shape.  Memories come trickling back. 

I'm not worried.  Not totally at peace either.  Dreading not so much what could happen (things could always happen) as much as how well we will cope.  How well will the kids cope?  How much energy will I have to deal with kids who are stressed out when I am tired, too.  Today it started with my daughter hearing about the trip in church - suddenly it dawned on her how long daddy is gone for and she buried her head in my tummy and cried.

Honestly, one of the more difficult things for me to deal with facing a trip or in the middle of one is all the well-meaning people.  "How are you doing?" asked one too many times.  "Are you worried?"  "Oh my goodness, I don't think I could face that!"  Enough already.  It is not helpful even though I know you mean well.

There are possibilities.  There always are.  I just can not think about them.  I chose to live today.  Today only.  Trust comes not in the big things, but in the quiet ability to live in today with the strength God gives for the moment.  In reality, we can't live in the "what if?".  What if this was the last day you would spend with a loved one?  How would you act?  These are questions we discuss in sociology classes, ponder when we read stories of disasters, but questions without answers. 

If we live today in the small steps with God, we are ok if we face the "what ifs".  There will be no regrets then.  Sadness, yes, but no regrets.  That is the only assurance I have right now - live today in the quiet trust and peace in all my relationships, and I can face whatever tomorrow brings - if I have lived in obedience today.  I will not carry tomorrow's burden today.  I can't.  It is that simple.

It comes back to the question of if I know what is best for me or if God does.  If I subscribe to the lie that only I know what is best for me, I will work to defend myself, to protect myself.  If I refuse that lie, I will rest.  Even the evil that is done - while still evil - is, in God's hands, what is best for me. 

Like cocky, fearful Jacob who wrestled God and was wounded - taking away from him his cocky attitude that he could outwit, out-manipulate, and outmaneuver everything in order to get where he believed God wanted him.  It was when he was wounded and limping that God changed his name from supplanter to Israel.  It was through a blessing which came with a wound.

When God allows us to be deeply wounded, perhaps we are to watch for the blessing - or perhaps the character change that changes our very name.

I am not worried.  I chose to live today.  Only today.  With no regrets.  Learning trust step by painful step.

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