When I was young, my parents will tell you, I hated road trips. Hated. Them. They did everything in their parental power to make them a cool experience (including, but not limited to, feeding us brown sugar cinnamon Pop Tarts) but their tricks only worked for so long. Which in my case was about ten minutes. That’s when I would start asking “How long?” “How far?” “When will we get there?” “When can we stop?” “Why did we ever leave home in the first place?”
I love home.
I hate long car trips.
This season of our lives is like the longest car trip I’ve ever been on. I mean, really. The longest. Ever. And, as I mentioned in recently, it’s especially difficult to feel like Steve and I are in the same car but will arrive in different destinations.
Each morning, after I help Steve turn over and do the things that need to be done so he can gain a few more hours of sleep, I sit and soak in the quiet of the sunrise. I sometimes read my bible, but my capacity to focus on the amount and quality of sleep I’ve been getting is really limited right now. So, instead I think. And often what I think is: “How much farther?” And the answer is always: I don’t know. No one knows but God. Sometimes I’m able to sink into the security of His sovereignty, but lots of times I fight against it. I whine and wonder and “Do You know how hard this is?” and “There are not enough pop tarts in all the world to make this road trip worth it.” And when my words are exhausted and my emotions grow weary from the wild flailing, I land back at this truth: My Dad knows where we are, where we’re going and when we’ll get there. He knows. And it’s in this truth alone that I am able to rest right now. That’s not an overstatement: this truth alone.
Steve is having a rough week. He is in a lot of pain and we are trying to manage it the best we can. I won’t list all the obstacles we face in effective pain management, but they are many. ALS is not typically a pain-producing disease – but the consequence of having no muscle to cushion bones and joints is first discomfort and stiffness, which has now become full-fledged, level 10 pain. In addition, his breathing continues to weaken and grow more and more laborious. Sometimes I watch him and just wonder how he makes it through each day, but he is strong in ways I never dreamed.
I, on the other hand, have been having a good week. For no apparent reason, I feel secure and solid. I feel held. I am sticking close to this feeling because I don’t know how long it will last. If you’re yelling at your computer screen right now that I should trust that this feeling can last ALL the time, I’m going to yell right back: seasons of sorrow and frustration happen. They’re part of the trip and I don’t think they are, overall, connected to my level of faith. I think they’re mostly connected to my love for my husband, extreme levels of exhaustion and my (in)ability to carry all the things that are in my world. Even when they are connected to my level trust in God, they serve as an invitation for His comfort to meet me there (Matthew 5:4). The good days don’t last forever, but neither do the rough days and this is a great hope to my little heart.
So, I guess, this is where we are. Hard week. Strong week. Faith. Frustration. Sorrow. Security. So many things swirling right now, but God is the God of them all. Of us all.
Thank you for your prayers and love. Thank you for sticking so close to us through the stormy seasons. We love you beyond reason.