I wrote this small piece in the middle of difficult season. Our family has not left that season. I will tell you that the piece does not reflect my thoughts on every given day. Most days are difficult when you live in a family that deals with chronic pain.
My temptation in the midst of it all is to detach. I make a long list and I put my head to the list to get through the day. After all, I have a big family, and I can easily keep the day busy and distracted should I choose, but in the midst of that I often lose the life that Jesus has for me. It’s a life of emotional highs and it’s a life of deep sorrow and grief. That seems so cruel, doesn’t it? And yet we are fully alive when we can experience the full gamut of emotions that God has given. When we learn to not look around, but look up, we get to experience all of those emotions redeemed in Jesus Christ.
Joy resides in each feeling. So on the day I wrote this, I chose to press in to the moment and to what God had for me and the answer I received in my heart was one that carried me through many other hard days. Love is a choice. God chose to love us. Dreams that we carry are not fully realized until connected with the One who dreamed it all up.
Happily Ever Dreams
I was nineteen. I’d found love. The life I envisioned on my wedding day was filled with grand achievements, happy occupations of time, and a bright future. And I’ve had all that. The images are stacked one of top of the other. They are different than my imagination, but they are real. And real is good.
Our valleys in life are deep gorges, but the looking up is spectacular. The lows can be seen from our heights, but our legs are stronger because of them, and our God is bigger as we traverse.
I’d only shaved my husband’s beard once, for fun. This time it’s for love. I love loving him in his need. His pain is too much to bear alone, the simplest acts too big. And as I glide the blade over his head and face, I think, he looks just like his dad. While serving him, the love I know and feel wells up from my heart, hurting. The joys of a thousand memories flood my mind. Snapshots. Him, dancing a jig through a theme park. Elaborate stories about how Tiramisu got its name and why crackerjacks must be eaten. Smothering our newborn daughter’s cheeks with kisses. Writing parody about me and singing it with the children.. Even the memories of trials bring joy. Because I know the man who walked them through. Humble. Comedic. Fragile. Strong. He’s all of this and more. And if we never move on from this moment of service, I’m good.
I’m so thankful that Christ lands our feet, no matter our plans. (Proverbs 16:9) As perfect as my early imaginations seemed to be, in the Lord’s wisdom, I’m right where I need to be. In disillusionment, I find reality. And Real is better. Because this is where He makes dreams come true.