17 May 2011

Roller Coaster

On the beach in Naples, Florida (2011)

What a year it's been! On this day last year, I was nearly 20 weeks pregnant and still looking forward to finding out if my squirmy little baby was a boy or a girl. It was just a couple of days later that our lives changed more than we could have possibly imagined.

Looking at all that's transpired since then is a dramatic journey: Ewan's birth, his death, everything that came after and in between, going back to work, my husband finding a job on the opposite side of the country, planning a cross-country move, finding out I'm pregnant again, preparing to leave the company where I've worked for the past 11 years, and most recently, my grandfather's death and the second eulogy I've delivered in the space of a year.

The question as to whether or not I've retained my sanity is, as far as I'm concerned, up for grabs. With so many ups and downs, twists and turns, going just a little nuts seems inevitable. I believe something so good is waiting for us in Florida -- a new, fresh start and a chance to begin again -- on the other side of this transition. It is my hope that this time my husband and I have to be apart is like the labor pains leading up to a birth -- that once I arrive, we can kick up our feet and catch our breath and rest a little. We've been through too much to expect life to be a breeze from here on out, but a vacation from all this turbulence would be nice.

Writing my grandfather's eulogy was a struggle. Of all the people that knew him -- many longer than I've been alive -- I was the one asked to put pen to paper and speak for our family. It was a humbling task and a daunting one. I felt pressure to find something fitting to say, to have the right words that would honor such an amazing man. When I expressed this to a friend, he said, "The Lord will give you the strength to do what you need to do." I chucked and replied, "The Lord has done that a lot this past year -- He has given me strength to do what I need to do. But I hope what He gives me next is a rest!"

And I do hope that. That is what I want, and what I feel like I need: a rest.

It's not without precedent in Biblical literature. After Job's great suffering, God blessed him with more than he had before. The roller coaster eventually stopped, and he was able to get off and recover. He enjoyed a season of blessing. I imagine Job had to feel something like rest or relief after all of that.

I don't know what waits for us on the other side of this. Nobody really does. But I think the roller coaster is already slowing down, and I have the hope that whatever it is that happens when we get off, it's going to be good.


christianne said...

I love the image you chose for the top of this post. That moment in Naples of standing at the water's shore, hands on head, breathing in the air and the beauty of the sunset and waves. This feeling is what I wish for you on the other side of all this.

I really do wonder what God has been forming in you through all this turbulence. I know that when Job was in the midst of his own turbulence and darkness, the question, "How is God forming me through this?" could not have been anywhere near the forefront of his mind. So I don't ask this question with any hope for answers ... but I do muse aloud so that hopefully someday, we can look back on this season and be able to now point to fruit that was born out of the struggle, fruit that began as a seed in the ground that had to die first and couldn't even be seen when it was planted there but eventually gave way to the building of a huge tree with blossoms and beauty and fragrance and shade for all who stop beneath it.

My prayer for you from this day forward, in this transition time of moving to Florida to join James here, is that rest would meet you here.


melifaif said...

Yes it is, friend! I have all the faith that it will. Wishing all the best for you....and THEN some!!! Many blessings.

Sarah said...

I read this, and I remember your suffering before you met James, and you wondering what it was preparing you for even then, and I wonder if your roller coaster goes way beyond the last year or so.

If anyone I know needs rest, I think it's you, my friend. May you find it, may God give you more of it than you'd ever dreamed.


Shannon said...

I'm sure praying you and James get a wonderful rest soon! You deserve it so much! Still always praying for you.