It’s been an odd week here at our home in the woods—mainly owing to the fact that all the men in the house have been sick with chesty coughs and sore throats. The air is full of the scent of Vicks© and the whimpers and whines of the plagued—none have gone “quietly into that good night.” Please don’t misunderstand—I am sympathetic to their needs. I would far rather play the part of Florence Nightingale and “rescue the perishing” than BE one of the perishing….the perishables? However, I have to smile at the sad little voices of my boys mixed with the sad little voice of my husband. Hopefully, we are on the road to health.
As I look out at the snow filling the woods behind our house and feeling content and snug, I’m reminded that it was only a year ago that I sat in a different house, brooding and whimpering and whining. We had had word from Justin’s work that they wanted us to relocate to Northern Indiana and he had accepted. I was facing the mountain task of packing up our lives to move to the unknown, and I was afraid.
In my head I knew this was from God. Of all the places in the world that the company could have chosen to move us, they chose a place that was near some of my family. Miracle! But the reality is: Change is hard. Change is scary. Change rips away the comfortable familiar. And the task before us seemed so big: Find a house, sell a house, sort and pack our belongings, say goodbye to our family and friends, move, organize and settle the myriad minutiae of ordinary life.
I was anxious and afraid and stressed. And day after day I found myself in mournful prayer—Oh Lord, why? How are we going to do all of this? It’s too much! We’ll never be as happy as we are right here! How can I cope with all the details? I’ll forget something and everything will go wrong. What if we hate our new place? Where will we live?
The months that followed were intense and some were just plain hard work. But there were joys mingled with the heart-ache. Through an unforeseen timing issue, we had a vacation on Lake Michigan right in the middle of the move! It was glorious and golden taking the boys to the beach every day or building a bonfire to roast marshmallows, watching them tromp into the woods, croquet mallets on their shoulders, prepared to slay dragons. A treasure of memories, a gift from God.
When the papers and dust finally settled and we finally walked into our new home, I knew PEACE. These last few months since have proven to me that indeed the Lord knows best, and that while grief may last for the night, joy does come in the morning.
I wonder if I sound a lot like my sick three-year-old to God, when I whine about the angsts of life. He is my Father and is sympathetic to my frustration, but I wonder if He smiles as He brushes away my tears. “Oh child, this season of grief and change will prove to be for your good. It will not last forever. And I will hold your hand through it all.”