Adam and I had the opportunity to have a day together to reflect, pray, talk, dream and strategize for the new year while my parents-in-love took the boys to San Francisco on an adventure. Here’s how our time started:
We were on a beautiful hike together. And, as we set out on the trail, I mentioned that we were beginning our first full year back in the States. All of a sudden my heart felt like it was sinking in my chest and all the feels were given permission to surface. The further we get from our time in Durham the less it becomes a part of our conversations with people. We’re not getting asked about our time there. I don’t have reason anymore to say “we just moved back from England.” I can see how much our season of British life became part of me. And, we were only there for a few years! I can see more deeply now how some of my friends must feel when they are missionaries, third culture citizens, or have had some significant experience abroad. There’s this big part of you that feels hidden almost – a part of you that you love talking about and sharing with others but that doesn’t really have reason to be seen.
“Reality is iconoclast.” – Jerry Root
Adam and I took a C.S. Lewis course with this brilliant man, Jerry Root. One of the themes he wove through the course was this idea (and truth) that when reality sets in it will always dismantle our idols. Always. This world will not, and cannot, ever satisfy. And, this is
The fact that our dreamy season in Durham, England came to an end is one more example of time passing and life going on. I don’t mean to sound bleak, but it is actually encouraging to the soul. When good things come to an end over and over … and over, it’s like God is gently whispering, “Only I am lasting.” Reality is iconoclast. Nothing lasts in this life. And, our hearts learn to either chase after the next fleeting dream to put our hope in or to surrender to a God “with whom there is no variance or shifting shadow.” If we delight ourselves in the Lord, then all the other Kingdom goodness will be given to us. It’s simple but so tough to live out at times.
We coach our boys in this as well. When Christmas has passed, the last party guest has left, and it’s time to pack up and return from holiday, we join in on the feelings of sadness and disappointment. We don’t want it to be over either. But, then we gently remind ourselves that all good things come to an end, don’t they? Except for Jesus. Jesus never ever comes to an end. Thank the Lord that one day our hearts will find complete, unhindered, and forever satisfaction. It’s what we were made for. Until then, we will continue to realign our hearts, when needed, with the Holy Spirit’s help.
I need to rehearse this truth more and more. 2018 was such a good year but seriously hard. I think all of our adaptability and flexibility and willingness was 100% spent. Every three months our life was altered in some fashion: new job, new living situation, new schedule, new hours, new budget. Things not lasting has been VERY real in our life as of late! My grace for this flying-by-the-seat-of-our-pants kind of life has run out. I feel ready for some semblance of routine and rhythm that lasts more than a few weeks.
So, as we enter into 2019 with so many “what ifs” and prayers and possibilities, we do so with confidence – “with faith.” We have NO clue where we’ll be a year from now. (Do any of us, really?) But, our God does. And, that has to be enough for me right now.
Happy New Year, friends.