Plane Coffee Mom

Chatting about Mission Aviation over coffee

Tag: direction

Old while Young

I felt old as a teenager and ancient in my early twenties. My memories of pain-free days as a young mom are few and far between. Now in my forties, I feel younger than I did two decades ago. While it strikes me as strange sometimes, it shouldn’t surprise me. Until my early thirties I struggled with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. Every day began with the same mantra, “I can do this. I can make it through another day.”

All that changed with a simple, faith-filled prayer late one night. There had been many simple, faith-filled prayers before that one, but that night God answered in a miraculous way. Things changed. I woke the next morning with energy and a new hope for the day. I’ve been sick, I’ve been discouraged, I’ve been weary since then, but neither the chronic fatigue nor the fibromyalgia has returned. It’s an undeserved blessing, one for which I am grateful every day.

I would hate to return to the fatigue of those years, and yet I would hate to live these years without those experiences. There are so many things I learned in that time that I need every day. God used sickness in a powerful way to dispel my independence and to teach me about prayer. I began to learn about empathy as I lay exhausted on the couch, trying to pay attention to my two-year-old. I had to say “no” more times than I can count, and yet it’s a skill that still comes hard to me. Sickness taught me to value the temple that our bodies are and to take care of myself and others in ways that have proved valuable.

Chronic illness was a school that taught me things I would have otherwise have had no interest in learning. It pushed me into places that I would not have chosen to go. It changed my perception of myself and of others. In some ways, I experienced age before my time and am now given the opportunity to live my real age.

What has caught my attention lately is how common this is. Maybe not the exact circumstances, but the reality that we experience things for a purpose. Today’s trials have every opportunity to be tomorrow’s joys. Today’s hardship is training for tomorrow’s joy, and for tomorrow’s challenges. What we do with today matters, not only for how well we’ll sleep tonight but also for how well equipped we will be for tomorrow and the days, weeks and months that follow.

Getting Found While Lost

I may have more practice getting lost than anyone I know. I’ve been lost in each of the seven countries that we’ve called home and in friends’ homes. I’ve been lost in airports and grocery stores. I’ve been lost on country roads and in cities, in winter, spring, summer, and fall. In fact, I am just good at getting lost. I sometimes tell my husband that every intersection is a complete surprise, because I can’t seem to remember where any given road will take me. It takes no effort on my part to get lost and happens regularly.

There was a time when being lost was very scary, when I worried that I’d never get home. Technology is better now, and my ability to ask for help has grown. I seldom worry when I get lost. In fact, I usually laugh. It’s not that it’s so amusing, it’s simply that it’s so predictable. Besides, my family has a long list of “Remember when Mom got lost?” stories and they love adding new ones. I recently realized that I don’t mind getting lost as much now because I expect it to happen, I know what to do when it does, and I’m very confident that somehow my husband will come find me if it becomes necessary. I like to think that I am also getting more comfortable with who I am and who I am not.

img_3593Lost in terms of space is one thing, but feeling lost in terms of life is much harder for me. These days we’re facing a lot of questions, and it’s becoming clear that I’m uncomfortable not knowing where I’m going. I know how to ask for directions, and I realize only one Person has the answer, but right now He isn’t telling us where the road will lead. For that matter, while I often think I know where the road is going, I have often been wrong. And that makes me uncomfortable. I’d like life to be predictable. I’d like to plan tomorrow and have it turn out the way I plan it.

However, maybe it’s time to learn a lesson about feeling lost in life. Maybe it’s time to get comfortable with not knowing, to laugh at the uncertainty, and to enjoy the scenery. Maybe it’s time to remind myself that I am human, and controlling things is not my job.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

%d bloggers like this: