The One Thing You Didn’t See Coming

Earlier this week I saw a meme that said “Homeschooling, Day One: Trying to get this kid transferred out of my class.” I laughed. And laughed. And laughed. It was funny for those of us who have been thrown unexpectedly into the deep end, but it wasn’t that funny. That should have been my first clue.

Wednesday, I unexpectedly saw a friend in person. What would have been taken for granted two weeks ago was a gift, even as we were careful to maintain a healthy distance, greeting each other with smiles rather than the usual hug. The brief moment where I breathed a bit easier as she laid her gloved hand on my jacketed shoulder should have been my second clue.

That afternoon, I received an email from one of our friends at church, checking to see how we were doing. Reading, I choked up. That should have been my third clue.

Obviously, sometimes it takes me awhile to get what God’s trying to show me.

I’ve spent my week smiling and reaching out to encourage those around me. I’ve taken care of my son while my husband is 3,400 miles away. I haven’t been sure when or how he would get home. But as I always do, I keep living my life. He’s always traveling. It’s just a fact of life and I’m used to it.

This is a new world, though, and I didn’t realize how differently I was reacting. I didn’t realize how much a subtle, low-level fear was impacting me. I’ve been praying, singing hymns and worship songs, and meditating on Scripture. I thought I had it under control. Until a friend called early Wednesday evening.

If I’m honest, if I’d realized she was checking on me I might not have answered the phone. I would have shot her a text, promising to call back later. But I thought she was checking to see how my son Mischa was doing, so I answered. I could talk about that. He’s actually doing pretty well.

When this friend asked how I was doing, I paused. My breath caught in my chest. I’ve been laughing about the craziness all week, briefly mentioning my “concern” about my husband to only a few people. I’ve been trying to reassure everyone that Mischa and I are fine. They don’t need to worry about us. They have enough on their plates. We all do.

I laughed this time too. This was the kind of laugh that covers tears, though. If I didn’t laugh, I’d cry. And I finally realized I wasn’t OK. Not by a long shot. I finally realized how scared I was—that my husband wouldn’t be able to get home for a long time; that I might never see him again; that I would be alone, doing the single mom routine.

I’m an OT professor. I know all the verses telling me not to fear. God is near. But I didn’t even realize that I was scared. God knew, though. He was giving me small moments of respite and comfort when I didn’t even realize how much I needed them. He used His people to remind me I’m loved. And I’m not alone, even if it feels like it. Neither are you.

Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.

Hebrews 13:5 (cf. Deuteronomy 31:8)

I hadn’t planned to share any of this with anyone. Not even my husband. I had another post about the prayer for healing in Psalm 6 almost finished. And then Casting Crowns’ song Oh My Soul came on.

Oh, my soul
Oh, how you worry
Oh, how you’re weary, from fearing you lost control
This was the one thing, you didn’t see coming

And no one would blame you, though
If you cried in private
If you tried to hide it away, so no one knows
No one will see, if you stop believing
Oh, my soul
You are not alone
There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know
One more day, He will make a way
Let Him show you how, you can lay this down
‘Cause you’re not alone

Casting Crowns

As I listened, I felt the Spirit prompt me to share all of this. I’m still not crazy about the idea. I’d like to say I’ve got it all under control and that I’m fine now. But I’m still very much a work in progress. I don’t have anything under control, but God does so I’m continuing to take my fears before the throne moment by moment. I’m breathing a bit easier.

Sharing this story is an act of obedience. It’s me being honest with God and with myself, praying that maybe it will help you. I guess my hope is that if you are feeling alone or scared, if you are feeling like the carpet has been pulled out from under you, that you will be able to admit it and take it before the throne. That’s what I’m doing, over and over.

Last week I suggested that we think about how we could love our neighbors in the midst of the craziness. What I realized this week is that while I need to love my neighbors, I need to let them love me, too. So my prayer for you is that you will experience God’s love and that of His people today. I pray that you will realize you are not alone. I ask that God will help you see where you are and give you the ability to lay any fears and pain at the foot of Jesus’ cross. May He pour out His Spirit on your dry bones and may we all love each other well.

PS – My husband made it home safely yesterday afternoon. Thank You, Lord!!


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