Floating in the Balance
Friends, can I share something that’s been on my heart?
As many of you may know, Eric and I made the decision for me to stay home this summer, due to the advice of my doctor. And while it was heartbreaking to make the decision to be away from our teams, Haiti, staff and Eric for the summer, we know it’s what is best for me and the baby. But now that I’m settling into life here in the States for the summer, I’ve had a lot of extra time on my hands to think.
At the airport, I told Eric that there would be no tears from me. Trying to put on a brave front and make it easier on him, but at the same time, verbally speaking faith that Christ has a plan for me this summer. A plan that He’s known about for months and that ultimately, is best for me. I told Christ, myself and Eric that I would not hide away all summer.. that I would go and visit people, make plans and get out. My prayer for us both is that this is the best summer of our lives yet.
But this attitude I have now, comes in response to a time in my life where I wasn’t feeling this way. The thought of spending a summer “alone” without any definite plans made me crazy. I felt like my life was pointless.
I remember around 3.5 years ago, I was feeling lost in life. Working at the college library part-time, going to school for a useless-to-me degree because it’s “what people do”, watching my girlfriends get pregnant and me.. not getting pregnant, becoming stagnant in my relationship with Christ and thinking…there has to be more than this. Begging God to DO SOMETHING in my life, to break the cycle of confusion and depression I was living in.
I kept thinking, “alright, I’m going to start doing missions in the summer now, with Eric… things will look up!” And they did! For a time.. but as I returned home from our service in Belize, I kept thinking.. what’s next?
I had forgotten how to be content in day to day life. I forgot what it meant to love the simple things, to be a missionary daily, not just during the big adventures. I craved something new, the next chapter. And while that isn’t a bad thing, not addressing the issue at the center of the desire was. It wasn’t that I desired the next season, but that my soul wasn’t content where God had me at that moment.
Recently I sat on my couch, chatting with my girlfriends about life, love and the future. I said the statement:
It was as if I was just floating along the surface of my life, in the balance of my last big thing and the next. I felt so disconnected with the people around me, the events that filled my days and the conversations I had. It was as if I wasn’t really living, but watching myself in third person, merely existing in a world that I knew was my own, but that I felt I had no claim to.
As they both breathed deep and explained that they too had felt that way in the past many times, I began to wonder why. Why do we have these tendencies to stop experiencing the here and now, the simple moments of daily life? Why do we just wait for the next big thing to come along to bring excitement and fulfillment, instead of finding the simple beauty and preciousness of the day to day? Have you ever felt this way? Like you’re merely existing, just waiting on the next big event to come along and trusting that will bring you happiness?
It’s not a deliberate state of being. It’s not something that’s huge and everyone around you notices. It’s a simple disconnect, like a light bulb not screwed in all the way.. jolt it hard enough and it will come on, but give it time and it will loosen, dimming and turning off again.
Waiting to graduate
Waiting to get the dream job
Waiting to find love
Waiting to get married
Waiting to get pregnant
Waiting to have a baby
Waiting for vacation
Waiting for travel
Waiting for the next paycheck
Waiting for the promotion
Ultimately, disconnected from here and now. That disconnect steals away the beautiful moments of the in-between. Beautiful things happen during that time, during the waiting we so desperately want to end. But we are bound by our incapability to see beyond ourselves, our situations. We have blinders on, only focused on the end goal, not taking the time to look around us and fully appreciate the scope of what’s happening day to day. Christ created each day as a unique gift, He crafts our lives and our paths, gives us free-will to do what we wish each day. And so many times, we waste it. We throw away such beautiful moments, just because they lie within the waiting period.
Making friends, staying up late, eating lots of Ramen Noodles with your girlfriends, learning about life before stepping into a career driven world.
Studying and learning about your career, the thrill of finding a passion, pursuing it and becoming an expert in the field.
Discovering Christ’s love while you wait on a future spouse, experiencing His sustenance and peace.
Learning about who you are and your future spouse is, discussing what’s important to you, having date nights and going home separately.. beautiful little moments before tying the knot.
Growing together through the emotional rollercoaster that comes with trying to get pregnant, with either outcome.
Watching your body adapt, experiencing that first pregnancy together, feeling the baby move as you wait for that 40th week.
The list goes on.
In these times of disconnect, I find myself in search of the next big thing to make me happy, thinking it will help me root back into the present and “fully experience” life. And I find that when the next big thing is over, I take to the sky again – floating in the balance, disconnected, my soul lost to the busy events of the days ahead.
Because my soul doesn’t rest when it finds a new adventure, it becomes distracted. After the adventure ends, I come back to the center of my issue. My soul desires to be connected to the here and now, each and every moment of every day, no matter where or when, no matter how big or small.
Feeling the water run through my fingers as I water the flowers.
Visiting family on the weekend.
Waving to my neighbor as he gets home from work.
Getting angry as I drop all the groceries on the sidewalk.
Smelling the rain when it’s coming.
Listening to Eric sing to himself as we work during the day.
Going to my favorite coffee shop to work for the afternoon.
It’s the simple moments in life that are real and that help root a soul to the present. I know in and of myself, I am mostly helpless to pull myself back down to reality.. but Christ can. He has shown me this year, just how important it is to trust in Him and His ways. It seems as though everything is always changing, rearranging. But I’ve learned to just hold on tight and trust. He knows what’s best. And it’s in His moments of bringing me back to reality, I realize the beauty of our Savior. He truly cares about me.
The simple truth is that Christ gives each day as a gift for us all. The small things, the big things, the beautiful, the ugly, the quiet. He is there, in the midst of it. Calling out to us with His love and Spirit. When we don’t live in the present, we miss so many opportunities to learn about Him. To carry on His compassion into this world, to tell of His Son. To edify our neighbors, to find His beauty in the earth, that He crafted by word alone.
When we float in the balance, whether intentional or not, we miss out on so many lessons. So many moments to sit with the Father and speak to Him. Sometimes it’s easy to see Him in the busy times, the adventurous times or the new seasons of life… but He says to us,
“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 46:10
I can hear His voice in my heart, whispering to me to be brave and fully experience the waiting. Take time to find Me. Take time to know Me. See Me in the waiting. See Me in the small things. Abundant blessings lie within.
I don’t want to be another woman, stuck in limbo waiting on the next big thing. I want to be fully present, soaking up all the beauty each day has to offer. As I am here at home this summer, serving in Miami some and living without Eric here, I want to be present. I don’t want to skip out on daily life. I want to invest in friendships, dig in the flower beds, be productive, be lazy, take naps, feel the baby move and not simply wait for Eric to return or the baby to come. I trust the Lord has a plan for me this summer and I will be fully present for each moment.
Father, thank you for the beauty. Open my eyes and my heart to it, root me firmly in the here and now. Take my hand, be my Guide.