Today is day seven that Kirby has been away on his mission trip to the Philippines. Gosh, I’m so proud of him. I feel a glow around my heart thinking of him, hearing his stories over a crackly FaceTime, seeing the photos pop up on Facebook of children posing with him, smiles an ocean wide. Deep appreciation and love well up in my heart for him. Not because things or life is perfect, because most of the time life is far from perfect, but because at the end of the day, when I step back and zoom out, I remember just how lucky I am.
I’m experiencing such weird emotions. I have always been very independent, so part of me relishes the quiet time to think and spend intimate time with God. Kirby and I work together, so sometimes it’s tough to find that time since I’m never alone. On the other hand, I’m persistently aware of the half of my life that’s not here. Our home feels a little empty, and it’s made me nostalgic in my time of thinking. Thinking of the crazy twists and turns life throws and God’s redemptive power and grace in the midst of it. How God can take something looks bleak, cold and dead, and burst forth a shoot of life, of hope like a plant in the sidewalk crack. KIrby was that shoot of hope in my life. God’s reminder that love was still available to me when at one point I struggled wondering if that place in my heart could exist again.
Life makes us think that we are a special case. That nobody could possibly know or understand the life we’ve lived. At the core though, we’ve all faced similar experiences and emotions, it’s just packaged a little differently. Life is a lot harder than I had once imagined. My small town and home were a quiet shelter from the world. One that I am so grateful for by the way. The slowness of it all. Getting to grow up and experience genuine relationships, people who truly cared about each other and could sit and have coffee with you at Casey’s talking about nothing, but everything. Makes you feel connected, and I think God wants us to have that in some form. It helps us stay grounded and remember that life is not all about ourselves.
2 Corinthians 4:17 says that our “light afflictions” are “but for a moment”. If you go read the context of the verse you’ll quickly realize that what they classified as “light afflictions” are more that you or me may ever experience in our lifetime. The point is, however heavy, heartbreaking, or desperate our afflictions may seem, it’s but for a moment.
The verse talks about how our tough times can be but for a moment. From what I’ve experienced, this verse tends to make people buck up and think, ok it’s but for a moment…I can get through, I can do this. It’s like a football player pushing with every drop of energy and strength within them to push the sled, to get to the end of a drill.
While we need that push sometimes, sometimes…we also need to remember that not only are our afflictions but for a moment, but so is our time on earth. The Bible refers to it like grass and flowers that wither and fall and a vapor that flows right through our hands.
Time keeps flowing along. Things change and transform before our eyes. Life is so much more than a job or things, going through the motions, checking off life’s to-do list and more and more often I’m finding the expected flow of life to be shallow compared to the richness of what life truly has to offer. It’s almost like the difference between a book and a movie. The pages hold heart, details, thoughts and depth that a movie rendition could never come close to. The movie glosses over the storyline, giving the main points, and next thing you know you’re seeing the credits scrolling by.
I think I’ll take the book version of my life. A life that is intentional, well worn, and full of detail and richness. One that take it’s time developing the storyline and leaves you with a feeling of completeness when the last page is turned.
You probably think this sounds a little crazy, haha that’s ok. Our world is full of strife right now – an angry world pushing, pulling, and pressing to be heard. I couldn’t care less about social media or followers or fame, readers, etc. I would honestly delete all of it in a second, but I have a lingering thought that what if there is one person that could be ministered to along the way. So I keep it, for that one person.
My point is, sometimes we need that grounding, sobering moment of taking a step back. Like sitting on the dock after a long day on the lake. Skin burning from the sun, toes dipped in the water watching the sun sink over the trees, it’s remnants shimmering on the water blinding you a little – hearing family up on the porch preparing dinner, friendly banter and laughter, a feeling that all is right and good. Those moments are frozen in time in my memory. Probably because nature is where I feel God the most.
These moments remind me…that in this life on earth that’s fleeting, I don’t want to miss a thing or an opportunity. I want to live a slow life, with time to savor moments I never want to forget – that make me smile and laugh reliving later on. I want to love and be love with all that’s within me; to appreciate and be deeply grateful for what’s around me, to reveal Jesus and let people know that genuine, real friendships still exist, that problems shrink in the face of what’s really important, and most importantly, that hope, redemption, meaning, and eternal life are alive and accessible, and can be found in the Name, Jesus. What a beautiful name it is.