“It could be exciting!” I exclaimed, “It could be a great adventure for your family.” I knew my words were empty. I had to muster up the energy to be enthusiastic for her and the opportunity on the horizon that might mean a move. She could totally see through it too.
She sat at my kitchen island with me, sipping water after our walk. This friend who I have known a long time is a deep souled friend who I have known before our babies were born. She is one of those friends I don’t see often enough and whenever we do get together I leave wanting more.
“Yes, it could be exciting,” she said looking intently “but I know that sometimes God’s will leads us into hard places. Sometimes those places are lonely, or hard on one of the kids, or the job stinks. You know…you have lost Mark.”
Quiet. There is no way to positive-think this truth away that sometimes life is hard. She does not look forward to this change and the promise of “adventure” isn’t enough. We looked at each other and wondered when we stopped dreaming of the bright future…you know the handsome man of our dreams, career, marriage and babies?
Somewhere along the way, life happened. I think of this friend, who really is a Warrior Princess in my mind. She hasn’t given up the faith as she has weathered the usual (and sometimes unusual) parenting, marriage and work stuff. I am telling you, she has a story. She is not at all a pessimist, and she has fought hard for hope. But she is a realist. A realist who believes in a supernatural God.
As our bodies cooled down from our walk, we talked about the challenges of not knowing what was next, and the anxiety the unknown can cause. Limbo is a hard place to be for many of us. And because we have walked through some life together we could say to each other, “Remember when this big change happened and then God…?”
Our conversation didn’t make the atmosphere of change any less heavy. We weren’t in the mood to lighten up. But one thing we came to agreement on.
“Okay, so maybe it won’t be easy. It could really be hard. The only thing we really know is you will experience God in a new and deeper way.” I ventured.
“Yes,” she sighed. “That is for sure. I will know Him better.” She tilts her head and gives a small smile. This is enough for her.
No matter what happens, she will know God better, and that makes it all worth it.
No matter what…He will be there. In fact, He already is there before she gets there. I know this first hand.
The Bible is really clear that trouble is going to come. I like to forget those verses. But in all fairness, God warns us in His word that there will be trials that we really want to end and that some will not let up until Heaven. But just as surely as He warns us that life will be hard and not fair, He promises to meet us in the midst of it.
If we submit and lean in to our circumstances, no matter how scary or difficult we will know Him more and then become more like Him. And in that, we experience His comfort and care and love in amazing ways. Sometimes we experience that as we have private time in prayer and reading scripture, but others time it is through the care of another Jesus-lover.
What isn’t fair in your life? What trial is just too hard? What are you weary of? Are you tired of the trite positive phrases that fall on your annoyed ears? Then pray with me in the midst of it…
“God, if you're leading me into the unknown, I want ALL OF YOU.”