You know, we Christians are great about encouraging people to say yes to God, to be willing to do the apparently crazy things He asks of us. The act of obedience is lauded and truthfully, while scary, feels good. Because you feel as though you are making a difference, you are living out what you say you believe, you are being radical. What we are not so good at doing is talking about what comes next. This voluntary change of lifestyle is not a one-time thing... it's permanent. The choices we make are the ones we have to live with, and we are not so good at reminding people that it won't always feel as cool as it did initially.
What we don't talk about is when it feels wrong to have said yes. This is what I was dealing with all last week. I was overwhelmed with the desire to turn back the clock and make my life easy again. Sure, it would have been less meaningful, but at that moment, I was OK with shallow. I yearned for it, actually. I was tired. Tired of working so hard. Tired of being different. Tired of constrained finances. Tired. Tired. Tired.
Looking back, though, what I was most tired of was feeling fearful of what the future held. I had lost all sense of peace about decisions we had already made. It was not a coincidence that our pastor preached on this verse yesterday in church:
"You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you." (Isaiah 26:3, yes, Isaiah again)
While I had been feeling better before church yesterday, this clarified a lot of things for me. I had no peace because for a brief moment, I had lost trust that God knew what He was doing. I was at sea without an anchor and really felt as though all was lost. Because, truly, parenting the children we do is too hard without hope in the future and trust that God will make it all turn out right in end.
In a way, though, this week of feeling as though there was no one in charge, that everything was arbitrary and pretty scary, was a gift. It was a pretty miserable place to be and my view of reality was pretty skewed. I was not at the top of my form and was not an entirely pleasant person to be with. So why was it a gift? Because it gave me new insight and new compassion for my child who lives in this state somewhat perpetually. Last week, it didn't really matter what other people said to me, it was very difficult to break out of my mindset that things were bad. It teaches me that even though I have told my son the truth about life over and over, if he is in a similar state, my words cannot touch him. I must continue to show him my love with my actions and pray unceasingly for God's peace to touch the wounded parts of his soul.
It is our job as parents to slowly, slowly teach our son to trust. We are God's representatives to our son most days and trust comes before peace. It may not always be easy, but God does not waste anything. When I remember where I put my trust, I can do the hard work that God has called me to. Meaningful work.
On a completely different note, if you want more pictures and story about M.'s giant puppet, go take a look at her Tumblr page, Shiny Objects.