I assume it's only natural, given the circumstances we've encountered this year, but in the rare quiet moments I find, I notice that I am quite reflective. My personality is a bit reflective anyway, but lately, even more so. I'm forever looking for the reasons to things. Believing, as I do, that all things enter our lives for a reason, when something strange, difficult, or even earth-shattering happens, I'm looking around - and up - for the reason. What's the purpose of ______ happening to me? What's the lesson to learn here? What is so necessary that such a thing needed to happen to get my attention, mold my life, etc.
However, with this mindset, I tend to over-analyze things as well. Why did I just stub my toe? What was the purpose of me forgetting my wallet at home? As my husband has tried to convince me many times, not every thing that happens in a typical day has a life-changing meaning. True. But, there have been enough life-changing moments in this year alone, that cause me to constantly wonder.... the reason, the purpose, the lesson.
Looking back on my life as a child, a teenager, high school, college, post-college - there's really nothing that I can focus on that has been as lengthy a trial as most of 2008 has been. Sure, I've had embarrassing moments. One of the most embarrassing being when I was a freshman in high school, having just made the Varsity Cheerleading squad. It was Friday. Pep Rally day. We needed two more chairs for the football players to sit in as the principal announced them into the gym to start the "show". I grab the two needed chairs (not the fold up kind - very sturdy chairs), and seeing that our principal was about to welcome everyone to the rally, I run across the gym - from one end to the other - with one mildly heavy chair in each hand. About 1/2 way across the gym floor, I trip. The chair in my right hand goes flying across the gym floor. The chair in my left hand is what tripped me, and I fall directly on to it, its four legs up in the air, and my body perfectly in between them... and sliding across the floor I go. I eventually stop and I just lay there. Nothing hurt except my ego. Did I mention that my skirt was completely raised up and I'm laying face down... so my rear end is posing for all the camera flashes that immediately took place (thank goodness bloomers were a part of the uniform!) Our principal comes over to me (with the microphone) and asks me if I need help getting up.... to which I say "I'd like to stay here". I was so embarrassed that I didn't even want to get up and face the crowd, the football team, or my fellow cheerleaders. Eventually I did, and the whole "the show must go on" took over the rest of the excruciatingly long 40 minute pep rally.... but I was mortified. Come on! That's rough stuff to a 15 year old girl!
And then a few years down the road, of course it's easy to remember relationship drama. The inevitable heartbreak. The kind you don't think you'll ever be able to bounce back from. The kind that makes you remember that STRESSED spelled backwards is DESSERTS!? This scenario has made it's way into my life twice - both in different ways - but neither any less painful to experience, but.... who's counting.... the third time is the charm, right? Right! Adam and I are certainly a match made in Heaven.
And sprinkled throughout the rest of the years, there's the unusual memories of being disappointed by something or someone, being rejected, getting into a fight with a friend over something silly, feeling lost the first day of school, having a problem at work, your car won't start the day of an important exam/interview, and so on.... I can think of a hundred things that have interrupted my "flow" at any given time in my life.
However, this year it's all so different.
The trial hasn't been minor. It hasn't been a result of something I said or did.... or the result of something someone did or said to me. It's not a situation in which I can say "well, this will be old news next week". It's not something I can pretend didn't happen, or ignore until it goes away. I can't reason my way out of it. And I can't do anything to change its existence in my (our) life (lives).
It's a trial of acceptance that I've really never known before - at least not to this degree. Yet, even still, I know that the reason, the purpose and the lesson are more important and needful than I've ever known before. I've not been brought into full understanding yet, and I've also not been brought into a time of full restoration yet.... but I know they are coming. I don't know when the Lord will choose to reveal Himself to me/us in those ways, but I still believe that He will.
I've had a great life. Disappointments, yes. Junk to deal with, yes. Sadness, yes. But the seasons were always quite short. In hindsight, revitalizing change or blessing was always relatively quickly around the corner. But this... this has been a season of waiting. And the waiting has been long. Don't misunderstand, the blessing has been miraculous, but the whole story still continues. How will it unfold? I don't know. But I know we're still being ask to wait. Ethan has been fully protected. I'm in awe of God's power and faithfulness over him. But in the midst of such a miracle, I must say that there has also been pieces of our lives broken in the process. Hear my heart though, I'm overly satisfied (and grateful, and amazed, and blown away, and humbled, and excited, and the list goes on!) with the miracle of my son's chance and ability at daily life. But, deep inside, I know there's more. It's just that we're being asked to wait. Wait on Him. And trust Him along the way. So... I'm waiting. Trusting. For the rest of His rescuing to come. Things have not been easy, but.... I know that He knows. Lately it seems like I do not know much else, but at least I do know that.