Monday, April 11, 2016

Beneath The Surface

If only I had more children, maybe I could just keep on posting about birthdays and not need to write about anything else.....

It's trying to be Springtime in Ohio. I have to remind myself that every year I wonder if it will ever stay warm again and it always does, eventually. We're entering the last months of school, so there's the usual flurry of privilege trips and Track and Field day to prepare for and other year end activities cropping up right and left. Work is picking up on the House On The Hill - plumbing is mostly done, insulation done in the walls, drywall hanging coming up shortly. Our summer keeps looking busier and crazier all the time and it hasn't even begun yet!

That's a picture of the surface.

It would be easy to stick with painting surface pictures. After all, I don't owe the world wide web anything, much less pictures of life under the surface. Then again, maybe that's not the point. Maybe I owe it to myself to be honest and paint the pictures under the surface. Maybe that is part of the tension, the learning to hold it all together in my hand and experiencing true joy. But let me explain...

There are big changes coming into my family this summer. There are changes happening to the home place - renovations, paint; out with the old, in with the new. There are things to be done, decisions to be made. My dad is getting married!

My emotions run the gauntlet as time drags us onward. I feel the joy of new life; new beginnings, new stories, new hope. I feel the peace of sovereign planning; the turning of loneliness to companionship, emptiness to fulfillment. 

At the same time, I feel sorrow for what is past. There is pain in the closing of doors and these changes and adjustments easily stir the pain and the sorrow. We are not only turning a page and beginning a new chapter in our story, we are closing a book and beginning a new sequel in this series.

I'm tempted to take a deep breath and hold it for about 6 months. I know everything is going to be okay. In fact, I'm pretty confident everything is going to be more than okay! I just don't feel like dealing with the emotions and the chaos that seem to make up the path from here to the okay.

The other day I came across this quote, "There is a tension that God is asking me to acknowledge and accept - the tension between ideals and realities. True joy is found by living somewhere between the ideal life and daily realities. That is where Jesus meets me, where His Holy Spirit empowers me, and where I learn to live..." --Sally Clarkson

It is easy for me to either wallow in the emotion and chaos of the now or to take a deep breath and try to make it through to the 'okay' on the other side. Thing is, I would really like to have the true joy part and I don't seem to be finding it by doing either one of those.

Joy and peace are nice, I want to camp there and live happily ever after. But sorrow and pain are real, they must be acknowledged and felt in this old world. If true joy is found in the tension of holding all this together in my hand, then I want to learn to hold it well. I want Jesus to meet me, I want His Holy Spirit to empower me.

I cannot make it on my own.


Faith said...

I appreciate your authenticity! Praying that God will give you grace to accept change. "in acceptance lieth peace" -Amy Carmichael

Shannon said...

I quiver thinking about some of these things, the fears, the tears and all that goes with it. I pray God gives you much grace!

Judith Lapp said...

life is a seesaw... on one seat you have the joy and trust on the other the sorrow and grief. hugs and prayers. love you!

Anonymous said...

Have you read Sara's book? "Can you count the many Children?" published by Carlisle Press. It is an easy-to-read, fascinating account of her fifteen years as a missionary nurse in Paraguay, especially the first years. I think reading it would be an easy way to learn to know her better.


Bethany Eicher said...

I have read it, yes. Sara is a wonderful lady and I am truly so happy for my dad...and us! But when it comes down to it, all the changes are still tough.