when life is out of control sometimes you go to the beach & the lake & hug your people
When you hear news that is shocking & life altering it is almost like everything is in slow motion for a while. That is the place I have been living in for a couple weeks. I feel like I know full well that LIFE IS OUT OF MY CONTROL but on the daily I sort of live like I mostly got this. Then the shake up. It can be so many things for a lot of people but for me it was a few MRIs that offered some not so great news. It is like the veil of "I've got this" is torn and at every moment you are reminded just how much in this broken world you cannot do a damn thing about. It is terrible AND a gift.
And despite my natural tendency to avoid hard stuff and run away (#ennegram7problems) I have been unavoidably dealing with the muck of it & it will be ok. Because God truly is giving peace in the midst of this all. And because we have friend-ed up in every sense of the way- YOU ALL are insanely kinder than I am and we do not deserve any of it. I CAN NOT express how loved we feel & how grateful we are for the ways you are loving us hard right now. Your grace has enabled us to accept help & feel God's love in real ways. Thank you.
It also turns out over the last years of hard stuff; experiences in Tanzania, HG, medical trauma, foster care, surrendering to and admitting I needed therapy and working through (some) of the layers of my junk, walking with many of you through darkness, and speaking and receiving life giving words again and again I have built that muscle more that I even knew. The disrupting of life has a way of bringing you to the end of yourself really quick. God in His goodness consistently gave me more than I can handle and His people and His Spirit met and continue to meet me in it. I am not being strong, really I feel very weak but find myself surprised at just how much that is ok with me (I am NOT chill y'all so this is really cray). I might not feel this way tomorrow & I will be try to sit in that and be real with that as well.... but right now- deep breath. I am grateful and God is in the mundane and giving me glimpses of His provision in ways I was blind to 3 weeks ago. To be clear I am still a hot mess and crying like it is my job.
This quote spoke to me this week, "The opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns." -Anne Lamont. I'm noticing more and ok with allowing space for it.
With a packed full summer this recent diagnosis meant we cleared everything; we mourned missing camping with friends and get togethers with many of you but it also left S.P.A.C.E. Space that we did not even know we needed (ok ,,well maybe Jason did :) and with some of that space we decided to go to our happy places: first up our favorite beach in Chicago. This beach that I have sat on and had countless hard & real discussions with friends struggling AND celebrating AND just being together. A beach where seagulls have stolen sandwiches & tears have flowed & our kids carefully selected paletas melted all over their arms to roaring laughter. It is a place through many seasons and yet it remains a constant source of joy. We felt the sand under our toes, rushed into the waves,, talked, kids still annoyed each pother to remind us this is real life, & we ate our favorite Mexican food. It was a day well spent.
Then the kids and I went to my Mom & Dad's lake house because when we go there all the things are taken care of (thanks Mom) and we can just enjoy sun & family. We were the ridiculous people with a baby (my adorable nephew) and a puppy cruising the lake on a boat just listening to the kids giggle over the bumps & my brother graciously took EVERY single kid our for jet ski rides. And our shoulders are sun kissed and kids passed out on the car ride home from time well spent enjoying the last days of summer.
Then I had a night with dear ones since college days in which we ate gluten free snacks (bc my people love me too well) and we solved nothing (& everything because like Brene Brown says sometimes the most powerful words in the English language are "me too"). Instead of fixing anything we cried, laughed, and reminded each other of truth.
I have had calls with friends going through SO.MUCH. more than I can even fathom and we are able to speak life to one another into places that feel scary. Food is dropped at our home daily, we have amazing medical coverage, & prayers are felt. We are good friends. We might not be in a bit & I'll be honest about that too. Tomorrow Abishai & I will hang at the hospital all day because he has a procedure to set & cast his broken arm (4 year old who thinks he is grown vs a trampoline full of boys at a friend's home) . After spending some of yesterday at the same ER as last week with my spinal headache (you know it is not good when the nurses recognize you :) I had to laugh- you can not make this stuff up but at least it ain't boring.
This past few days we were present to one another; even in the yuck, and we remembered life is so hard. And so good. And we are here to bear witness.