26 January 2016

After the storms

It's amazing how the longest and most draining days are sometimes followed by a sharpened sense of clarity and calm. It is comparable, perhaps, to the moments following crisis and disaster: whether manifest in a literal quiet or an internal calm, it seems many accounts of survivors of environmental (earthquakes, massive storms) and emotional (divorce, loss) describe this feeling. 

My "storms" have been small, but frequent these past three months since Jonathan was born. A week ago, I became weighed down by an intense feeling of what I think I will call despair. I won't go into too much detail, but I despaired over the person I had allowed myself to become much of the time for my husband. (Meaning how I acted when I was around him, away from others.) Of course it also reached into other areas of my life, but he received the brunt of an intense negativity that usually refused even the tenderest of efforts to be consoled. A week ago, I decided to turn that negativity around for good. 

Cue one of the most frustrating and challenging weeks I've had since Jonathan's birth. It has been moment after moment of acute awareness of a very real enemy who opposes our joy and peace on this earth and wants to wear us down by throwing challenge after challenge our way. From the most benign annoyance (a schedule change in my childcare for the first time since returning to work, but NOT a lack of it) to the relatively serious (water leaking through the light fixture in the nursery, prompting the necessity to replace our roof), I have truly felt that enemy taunting my decision to be more positive. 

I am sad to say that several times, he succeeded in getting me down. But never was I ignorant to exactly what was happening, and that the process of becoming more positive in all circumstances will certainly require "real world training"! This, in itself, this awareness of the opportunity we have to learn from each situation no matter our actual reaction (i.e. whether it was the reaction we'd hoped we would have or not!), has me sitting in one of these quiet moments this morning. I am weary, and I am not always positive, but I still want to keep trying to be and that, in my opinion, is right where God wants us to be! While we should seek to learn all we can from past situations, all we can control is how we react to the next one. 

May you find a moment of peace and quiet today, no matter how big or small the storm you have just been through.

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