Last November, we were living in NC for about a month and a half as Richard worked on his helicopter license. I started attending a MOPS (Moms of Preschoolers) group while we were there. It was very encouraging for me during that time and I met a lot of great women.
One very sweet young mom asked me a question that has stuck with me ever since. After learning of where we were going and what we were doing, she asked,
"But how do you make life "stable" for your little boy? We're working hard right now to provide a stable home and environment for our son... how do you do that in the Jungle??"
For a moment, I felt baffled because I didn't know what to say. Immediately, James 1.5 popped into my head: "Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him."
For wisdom I prayed. Hard. I wanted to answer well because I could tell she was really searching.
And as I opened my mouth I felt like the Holy Spirit was speaking through me with this answer:
"We will just raise him to know that the only true stability in life is Christ. Beyond that, nothing is stable. Our health, our home, our jobs, our vehicles... all of it can pass away. But Jesus... He's not going anywhere."
Here we are, less than 4 weeks out from our international move and I find myself in our last month of "normal". And I ask myself, "Is Jesus my stability? Am I OK without these "things"? Will I survive without my family and friends?"
And as each day passes, I find myself relishing each "normal" thing as it comes and goes:
A trip to the grocery store for a few things.
Rocking Elliott in his rocking chair and laying him in his crib-converted-big-boy-bed.
Folding laundry in the laundry room while Elliott plays with Capo (our boxer) in the back yard.
Facebook messaging with friends.
Trips to Chick-Fil-A, Moe's, and Target.
A text to my mom.
Loading the dishwasher.
Turning down the air conditioner.
Pulling out of the driveway.
Stopping by my mom's house.
All of these things and more have been my "normal" for my whole life. And now that I am in the last few weeks of them, suddenly the past almost four years of support raising don't seem like they were that long. Suddenly each thing that I used to just do seems like a luxury that I hold onto for a little bit longer:
Taking a warm shower.
Filling the water pitcher from the kitchen sink.
Flushing the toilet.
Going to our home church.
Dinner with friends.
And it's emotional. But it's beautiful.
That seems to be the ebb and flow of this journey:
fun and hard
exhilarating and exhausting
exciting and challenging
up and down
old and new
beautiful and scary
The other night as I rocked Elliott to sleep, long after his eyes had closed and he slipped off to dreamland, I continued to hold him and think of all the memories contained in the four walls of this home turned house-almost-sold. Tears came to my eyes as I thought of opening wedding gifts in the living room, cooking meals in the kitchen, laughing as we watched movies on the couch, bringing Elliott home from the hospital, playing games in his bedroom floor and laughing so hard we cried over dinner with friends.
And again I felt the Holy Spirit whisper sweetly to my soul, "This is good. This is how it was planned and it is good."
I found a peace in my heart that I had missed before. Somewhere in all the packing and e-mail writing and planning and running-around-like-a-chicken-with-my-head-cut-off, I had missed this still small voice whispering to me all along saying,
"Those are the beautiful memories I gave you. I want you to cherish them and love them. But don't hold on so long you miss what I have in store for you next. It's beautiful, too."
And that's when I felt it for the first time. I've known for years that this was the journey we would take and I've been excited but for once I had an overwhelming peace that it was OK for this chapter to close. This one of security and comfort.
And I didn't get a peace that said this new chapter would be easy or comfortable. He didn't promise there would be no heartache or pain. But He said, "I'm with you. And it's beautiful. Trust me."
And I cried as I rocked Elliott, but the tears were tears of joy and praise that this Almighty God would look past my fears and doubts and worries and somehow allow little, faithless me to be a part of His work. And I felt so small and humble and weak, but He felt so big and worthy and strong.
So I choose to enjoy these little moments of "normal" until our "new normal" comes along.
And, though I will no doubt fail, I choose to let Christ be my stability.
Because He's not going anywhere.