Sometimes I just have to cry. The weight of it all just overwhelms me. That sometimes happens when someone is complaining to me about how is it "so stressful" that they havent finished their Christmas shopping yet, or how they dont want to decorate for Christmas because they will only be home for 2 weeks. Or how they are tired of their sister always making that sad green bean casserole. They dont want my words - that they should be so thankful to have a home, to be able to give presents at all, and how decorating is an expression of who you are and how you see yourself for now and for eternity. And what a grand privilege it is to be with family, regardless! I stand on the other side, unable to do or enjoy any of those privileges, so I simply listen, smile, nod. I know that everyone has their own puzzles. Then I walk away ... and sometimes cry. There is a lot of complaining done by women this time of year.
Sometimes though I cry because I tire of preaching to myself. I tire of keeping so acutely awake all the time, so as to not begin to sink. Its imperative I not allow myself to complain or to picture myself in any other circumstance. Or to compare myself with anothers life, or to wish this or that had been otherwise. Or even to dwell on tomorrow. Especially that one. Imperative.
Sometimes I cry because I wonder if the girls are getting what they need in this season of our lives. I wont know for years and must go strictly by faith that this strange life is their prescription. For if Doug is called to this, I am. And if we are, they are as well. But everyday I must choose faith because our life is so not the norm and there are so few who are true supporters of us.
Sometimes I cry because Doug really has very little time for relationship with me right now. It has been that way for a very long time. He lives in a constant survival mode dealing with literally one immense challenge after another, working without ceasing. The last thing he needs is a woman dripping like a faucet. My role is to be his helper, not the other way around. But honestly, its lonely.
This week as our family drove our rental car to and from Dougs once again broken down car, to his tutoring session, to the parts store, to the PoBox ... (you get the picture), I wept without sound in the front seat. Daily I look at the mountains silently crying out, "I lift my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from...". My mind traces Psalm 121 countless times a day right now. Countless. Doug, driving, noticed I kept wiping the tears from my cheeks and made note. Later that evening, in the basement a friend has loaned us this weekend, he took my face in both of his hands and lifted my eyes to his. With gentleness he said, "It is going to be ok. We are just making our way down to the Red Sea." I began to cry once more and shook my head yes in silent agreement. I know he is right.
Doug had no way of knowing that I use that biblical story as my balance right now. Mostly because, though it is not written for us, I know there were many who were cussing Moses out as Pharaohs army was racing behind them - with only water before them. I dont want to be a doubting accuser. What kind of a leader was he anyway? Where was he taking them? What was he thinking? Why did they ever follow him in the first place? They had left everything... for this? They and their children were surely going to die! I hold that story close to remind me that Doug is leading me, yes, but ultimately this is Gods story and His Provision for my life. He will be the one who opens the waters for us, who Provides our next home et al, and the one who does it in the fullness of His timing. It is so easy to begin to doubt. I wonder if Zipporah doubted, was lonely or worried for her childrens needs?
I knew when Doug held my face in that moment that his words were actually from my Lord. Doug just had no way of knowing how that story provides my training wheels in these hours. And so I cried again, but that time a cry of renewal. I put down what I was internally carrying myself and Remembered, as we are called to remember in scripture. He is working all things together in our family for our good and His Glory.
And I began again...again.