My life rarely goes as planned.
In fact, if there is one thing I can plan on, it’s being surprised by unexpected circumstances.
I expected this year to provide new space, alone time carved out by having two kids in elementary school. I was going to write a book, tons of songs, build my skills, and rest. I mean, I am physically suffering. I felt like I needed a break, some time to myself, and space to actually honor my malfunctioning body.
I didn’t plan on distance learning. I didn’t plan on teaching at home, serving as a round-the-clock mommy, and an 8 AM to 4 PM learning coach;
Not to mention a constant children’s therapist, helping two little ones regulate and process emotions surrounding my almost-death, the presence of a global pandemic, and civil unrest.
Also, we have no end date in sight. After having a heart-to-heart with my sweet doctor this week, two realities remain true: With a history of major lung issues, my long list of diagnoses, and suppressed immune system, it remains important that we minimize exposure to anyone outside of our household. In addition, with my anaphylaxis history with injections of vaccines, meds, foods, and life in general, the COVID vaccine poses an even greater threat. For me, sadly, the vaccine is not an option.
And so we wait….together.
The four of us process, we cry, we laugh until we cry, we scream, we learn new things, we grow, and this unplanned year of never-ending family time might actually end up being one of the richest, sweetest, most intimate seasons of our lives.
I don’t know what comes next. The world has never been “safe” for me, but here I am, still living in it. And the gift of this time to pour into my babes is unfolding into one of the most beautiful unplanned detours I’ve ever taken.
Yeah, we still have rivers of tears daily, but we get to cry together. I can hold them in their season of trauma. We can establish secure attachment, they get to know that we delight in them, and understand that our delight is but a mere shadow of God’s delight in them. We ache with them as at ages six and seven they have to grapple with realities that are devastating the most mature adults I know.
This time is Kairos time—God’s time—and He’s working beauty in it for all of us. And as we learn to lean our ears to His heart, we discover that it’s still beating for us, His beloved children.
May I never cling to my expectations so tightly that I cannot release them and lay hold of the treasure right in front of me. Yes, it is quite appropriate to be disappointed and grieve the loss of our dreams, but may that disappointment never rot my heart into a bitter place that is stuffed with too much resentment to receive the generous gifts of the God who formed my inmost being.
He’s still our Shepherd. We still shall not want. He still hems us in. He still prepares our table for us to feast as our enemy watches on. He still holds us closer than a mother holds her infant. He is still our dwelling place, and our hope remains in Him.
I may continue planning, but I hold those plans in open palms, with the understanding that I only see in part. I trust my weak vision to the One who fully sees and fully knows.