It is funny how some books seem fun when you are reading them to your kids but as you live life you find the message of the book to be so deep in such a simple way. Over the past couple years I cannot tell you how many times I have thought about the book "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" by Michael Rosen.
Over and over they come to obstacles and over and over they say, "we can't go over it, we can't go under it, I guess we'll have to go through it."
Life is hard. We come across mud, rain storms, snow storms, obstacle after obstacle. Like the bear hunting group in the book we can either turn back or we can go through.
Last night I told my husband that I would like to fast forward through the next 2 months. Yes those would be the months with Thanksgiving and Christmas. I would like to skip through them this year because while there will be joy and celebration there are so many hard things surrounding the holiday's this year. There is so much planning, so many relationship issues to deal with this year, the financial responsibility of our day to day life is challenging but add in Christmas and it is overwhelming, And on top of it all we are at the end of my Father-in-Law's life. Last night he told us he believed he had reached the end. I don't know that we are quite at days but we are definitely at weeks. Few weeks. He will not see Christmas with us this year. And with his death will bring so much emotion and responsibility. Things we want to experience and do but which become another thing on our already too full list. After a year of what I have referred to as "pre-grieving" the time is near.
So I would like to fast forward to January. Wake up one day with all these things taken care of. Hard experiences experienced, hard conversations had, inexpensive yet imaginative gifts made, bought and delivered. Don buried, problems solved and the walk through life continuing. Life will still be challenging in January, we will still be grieving, we will still be financially tight and life will still be hard but, it is the deviations that can really throw us.
But that is not how it works. We can't skip it, can't fast forward through it. Can't go over it, can't go under it, so I guess we are going to have to go through it. And truth be told, I wouldn't have it any other way. We learn and grow through these times. Bond as a family, experience love, joy and God's peace and presence.
The verse on my kitchen chalk board right now is from Is 26:3 "You will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you." Life might be hard but I do continually experience that peace in my life as I trust the Lord. No reason to think that will change as we go forward.