For most of my life, I lived with my eyes set on the future – the next trip, the next job, the next diet, the next goal, the next, the next, the next…. this kind of future focus makes the present a distraction, a nuisance, something to simply be endured until that next thing happens.
When I got sober at age 47 and began to follow Christ, God blessed me with a way out of this future focus. Now I find the present a lovely place to be. That said, I must admit, my current present is so full of conflicting feelings that, if I am not careful, they could steal my joy.
The first goodbye came with leaving my job of 18 years. Then came Elisabeth leaving for Tanzania, Africa for two years in the Peace Corps and realizing she could no longer use our address as her home address. Shed a bunch of tears over that ending. Packing and prepping the house to sell has required many walks down memory lane to determine what stays and what goes and much has had to go. Then there’s the goodbye to hanging out with my BFF whenever I want and celebrating life’s moments in person with friends and family. Goodbye to worshipping in the presence of my friends. Goodbye to the freedom of running to the store when I want. Goodbye to the accepted safety that comes with living in the USA. Lots of goodbyes to wrap my head and heart around.
And then there are the hellos. Hello to not working for corporate America for the first time since I was 18. Hello to mentoring my daughter from 9000 miles away. Hello to starting our non-profit Gift of Dignity. Raising money for our mission. Moving to Nuevo Laredo. Starting a learning center and farm and discipling a whole bunch of amazing kiddos. Working with my husband full time. Becoming fluent in Spanish. Hello to heightened situational awareness as I go through my day in a Mexican border town. Hello to all the new hearts I will add to my heart collection. Hello to new pain that comes with loving wildly in an imperfect world.
JOY IN THE MIDST OF IT ALL
Tears, fears, anticipation, confusion, uncertainty, excitement, confidence. I love how God created our hearts to contain all this and remain joyful - if we hang on to just one thing. Faith in Him.
Breathing Him in today and staying in the present with all the goodbyes and hellos and much joy.