The other day as I was contemplating my new life I had a thought, "this is hard." I know, you are amazed by the depth of my thoughts. But really it is a deep thought.
This is hard and when things are hard I tend to want to give up on them, abandon them, run away from them. I would rather live an easy life.
But if I did that every time life was hard I would miss out on so much.
When I was younger I spent most of my time giving up when things were hard. I didn't like to be challenged and preferred a simple existance where I could control everything in my life. But eventually I realized my control was only an illusion and an unchallenged life is hollow and dull.
While I made several small steps in hard directions in my 20's it was the snowboard lessons in my early 30's that changed everything. They were REALLY hard. Pushing through the difficult challenge and experiencing the high of conquering the hill after many failed attempts, much doubt and near injury changed the way I looked at "hard". Hard is just a bump in the road on the way to exhileration.
Yet the other day I found myself thinking how hard this transition is and trying to figure out why we should give it up, go back to the way thing were and forget this ever happened. Surly if this is the right thing to do it should be easier so therefore this was a failed experiment and we need to return to our regularly schedule program.
Of course the truth is that while comfortable and familiar the way things were wasn't exactly easy either. Life is hard and we must walk through it.
Since I revealed in past that I love the Lord of the Rings trilogy I wil quote it again,
Frodo: "I can’t do this, Sam."
Sam: "I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something."
I want to say that, "I can't do this." Actually I have said that through this transition a few times. But I remind myself the darkness will pass, a new day will come and the sun will shine again.
When we were struggling to have a child I would often think forward to the day I was holding my new baby and the struggle was over. No matter how bad you can't stay in the same place forever. I knew the struggle couldn't last. Now years later we have a precious 6 year old and it is hard to remember how hard it was wishing for another child, but I still remember the lessons and the blessings God gave me during those times.
Just like the people in Sam's stories, we keep going forward despite chances to turn back because we are holding onto something. We are holding on to God and the belief that He loves us and cares for us and has a better plan for our lives than we could ever imagine for ourselves.
Last Sunday in the sermon our preacher (coincidentally also named Sam) talked about how life was hard but "in our weakness we become strong". When we submit to God, when we admit we can't do it ourselves, we find strength that comes from the one and only God. And His strength far exceeds anything I could do on my own.
This week amidst needing to ground Jake and needing to come home at lunch one day because the childcare schedule changed and Isabelle was feeling anxious I admit I really wanted to be at home taking care of my family. I definately thought, "this is hard", but I kept moving forward. I didn't quit my job, I didn't let myself doubt. I believe this is the path God has for us right now and I believe that while I might not be strong enough to handle it God is more than able.