A friend called this evening to see how our home group could be praying for us. I am not sure she was ready for out pouring that followed. She had phoned because she had heard I had been under the weather and wanted to see how I was doing. I reeled off all the places we were feeling stretched in, places that on their own are hard places in and of themselves, mixed in together, overlapping with each other means we feel even further stretched.
Friends have said that God doesn’t allow this level of stretching unless He is preparing us for something significant and better. That line doesn’t wash with me these days. He is the giver of life and I believe that strongly but I also know that we are living in a broken hurting mess, immediately, locally, globally. I believe He is going to put all things right in His time, but I want all things but right in my time, now, yesterday. I guess I am no longer confident that the better means any time this side of Christ’s coming and therefore I battle with Him in it all because suffering is not what He intended, it is wrong, it is right that we sense and feel that wrongness and I don’t understand His waiting. I don’t see what He sees and I don’t understand why He appears to be holding back.
Medically we are being stretched, not with any life threatening situations, but with new and unexpected, unknown situations. How do you ask an active 6 year old that we need to keep walking, running, jumping to a minimum? Cycling and swimming thankfully can be kept up. How do you do that when it may be 2 , it may be 5 it may be 10 years before those limitations are lifted for him. How do you know what is best when it seems that no two consultants have the same take on treatment. We continue seeking the best way forward to support our 4 year old where sounds and swallow still trouble him. Thankful for the new consultant this past week. Throw in one already wearing glasses and eye apts every 2 to 3 months and waiting for our 2 year old to have her first test and the high likelihood she will need glasses. That though will solve one of our other questions we have – where do we move to? Straight into an opticians as she has the ability to break her brother’s glasses on a regular bases and if she has her own then we might as well just take up a permanent place in the opticians. And broken sleep has worn us down and left me open to this viral ear infection.
Sleep has not been something we have been blessed with in our children and we are coming up 7 years of waiting for that night where we can go to bed confident that we will have an evening to ourselves after bedtime followed by a nights sleep. To be fair to our children they have not been prone to wake up for no clear reason or simply out of habit. There have always been genuine reason for their battles with sleep; sleep apnea, night terrors, reflux, and now hip pain to name but a few that interrupt their night as much as ours. So with little sleep behind us we face this season with foggy perspective, confusion and at times crossed wires with each other and the world around us.
As far as a home goes He seems to be taking us to the line. There are so many overlapping and unknown circles at play in regard to where we are to call home. The only certainty is that we have to be out of our current home end of May. There are circumstances though that come to the fore next month that means it would really help us if we knew by then were the next season of living was to be. And realistically we want to avoid a temporary move but that is partly because I don’t want to have to make a temporary move away from friends so we can find a place we can live, breath and afford or move to an even smaller space so we can afford to stay in the same location. And I then think I should be grateful that we have a place to call home, a job to pay for it, and I argue once more with God for making be someone who is impacted by her personal space so much. I wish I could make any place a home and be content in that space but I cannot and I have tried time and again to come to peace with either side of that and failed either way. If I try and be content with the space we have it only blows up as a bigger issue as my attempts to be content fail at the first hurdle of standing up out of bed and hitting my wall on the 4 ft high ceiling. But then when I make peace with the reality that space is a place that matters to me I don’t get why no doors of any sort have opened for us to move to a better fit.
But there are signs of life. I was struck by this as I looked at the photos Bob had taken last week on our nature walk looking for signs of life. At first glance around the park it seems like a bleak wintery day when all is dead, when life is absent, when hope and joy are missing. But children do not see the world as we do and when given a camera they are able to capture those glimpses that remind me that new life is coming, that there is a beauty in it all, there are vistas that open up but are hidden by life at other times of the year. There are signs of life and there are further seasons of this year to unfold and be discovered. These images will give me the hope that even in our life when I see confusion and uncertainty and no way forward that underneath the fallen leaves are new bulbs pushing up, shoots stretching outward, glimmers of fresh white, yellow and green. New things are happening. I still don’t hold that God is allowing all of this for something greater, but I do know He has not abandoned us, immediately, locally or globally.