Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Other Shoe

Autumn in Atlanta always catches me off-guard with its beauty. The sky has deepened to a brilliant blue. The wind breezes through my (blonde-tipped) hair with a slight chill, and I wrap my hands around my coffee mug to warm them when I sit on the front porch. Caden sleeps contentedly, bundled up in a blanket, while Jayci chases her new friends around, desperate to keep up with the big kids. Neighborhood children shriek and play raucously in our yard, and I feel my heart surge with a joy and contentment as the sun filters through deep scarlet and bright yellow leaves. The beauty of life, normal life, fills me to overflowing. And yet, I feel an uneasiness underlying it all. Like I'm just waiting for something to go wrong.
The past year and a half of our life has been, in a word, nuts. Things have felt out of control and all over the place. And hard. It took us a full year to find a house in the 'hood, get a contract on it, renovate it, purchase it, and move in. And the whole process was simply one thing after another after another. A comedy of errors, if you will. We even started saying "of course," when things went wrong. Like of course the investor decided to stop giving us money. Of course the closing got pushed back yet again. Of course the renters in our other house decided to stop paying us. Of course . . .

Then we finally, finally, closed on our new house. And Caden was born 2 days later. On the way to the hospital we were discussing how excited we were to put that chapter of our lives behind us. For things to finally be normal (well, as normal as life as inner-city missionaries can be) and for everything to not be such a TRIAL any longer. . . We clearly had no idea what God had in store for us next with Caden.

I wouldn't change a thing about Caden, because he is beautiful and perfect, part of who we are and who God's shaping us into. However, it all felt like yet another trial, something else we had to fight our way through. And now that Caden is home with us, and doing so well, it's still almost hard for me to breathe. To relax and trust. Like it's only a matter of time before the other shoe drops, so to speak. Before something else goes wrong.
Unfortunately, the waiting I feel myself doing is full of worry. Worrying about what might go wrong next. So when Jayci spikes a fever, I immediately conclude the worst. And I find myself not always trusting in God's goodness the way I want to. Not believing that He gives good gifts to His children. And not believing that Caden's health and our joy might be one of those gifts.

But even in the midst of niggling doubts and unfounded fears, I recognize God's graciousness to us. I accept that His ways are (thankfully) not our ways. Sometimes His plan looks just how we would want it to, and I sit on my bed and nurse my son as sunlight breaks through the bamboo blinds. And sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes our window gets broken so we can show grace. Sometimes our renters walk away, owing us more than six thousand dollars. Sometimes our bikes and lawnmowers get stolen. Sometimes kids get arrested. Sometimes parents don't get to bring their babies home from the hospital. Sometimes He has something bigger. Something we can't see, and may never see until we get to heaven.


But still I have to trust, I have to find a way to simply live without fearing what *might* be ahead. Without worrying about all the things that could go wrong. To trust God's hand is upholding us, even when things feel so normal it's hard to recognize our dependence.To believe, FULLY believe, that God loves giving good gifts to His children. And that He loves all of us with a fierceness that makes our love look so small, so inadequate, that we can't help but fall into His arms in gratitude and adoration. 

9 comments:

  1. I am praying for you Becca. This was so beautifully said. I read the words right from your heart.

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  2. Goodness....do I EVER understand!! It's so hard to trust sometimes. I've come to realize I have MAJOR trust issues with God.

    But I'm working on them! LOL

    Love to you guys!

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  3. Beautiful post written from the heart and I felt it. Sending prayers to you.

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  4. So touching and intimate. Thank you for sharing your heart.
    Our God is strong and will uphold you through the downtimes as well as the times of refreshment.
    I'm here from Kaishon's blog.
    Praying for you today.

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  5. I am SO there with you. This is just not how I pictured this phase of my life going. I homeschooled for 15 years, I took care of elderly parents for a decade, I was FINALLY going to have my days to myself. But I don't. And I know I need to get over it, to submit to His plans for my life, which are to conform me to His image. It sure *seems like He beats up on His children, which I know isn't true! I'll pray for you; you pray for me, please. It really is entirely a perspective thing.

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  6. i love how real you are. and i needed to read that...all of that. our God's gracious love. His bigger plan. Our finite vision and his infinite vision. i keep having to remind myself to live in the moment. right here and now. and be thankful for whatever it is. a sick toddler...who wants to cuddle. (exhausting) attempts to instill kindness in a preschooler...watching her show unbelievable kindness to others. structural issues with our house...it's OUR house! so very much to be thankful for! praying for peace for you. that you can enjoy each and every moment!

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  7. Sometimes I wonder why we make plans, God's plans are always so much better (sometimes in hindsight)!!
    A verse for you today!
    Therefore do not WORRY about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.. Matthew 6:34

    Your "friend" from Dothan, AL

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  8. Just found your blog, must have seen the title on another blog (Boo Mama or Holy Experience...??). I experienced a season of fear and anxiety after suffering a miscarriage--sort of a "cloud of doom" hanging over my head. Vague and menacing, but always there. The fear came and went but the anxiety hung around for about a year, surrounding my son's birth in May '09. I remember telling people that it felt like I was "waiting for the other shoe to drop." I HATED that feeling. And the more blessed I became and the better I felt, the more the "but it's only a matter of time until something bad happens..." feeling would come back.
    That was one of the longest battles I fought with the anxiety stuff. Really, really challenging. It's interesting, because slowly and surely, I have learned to reply on God, trust Him and talk to Him, in different ways. And I now love in the moment and expect good things to happen, even when circumstancers don't look good. I've noticed that challenging circumstances are far and few between lately...is it because I just look at them differently now or does having faith that it will turn out ok actually change things??
    It's a life-long challenge to explore this topic, thanks for sharing your heart!! Maybe I'll write about it sometimes soon, too! :) Praying for you and your sweet family!

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