Less than 24 hours after Ben’s face and hands were burned, his face was so swollen his left eye could barely open. The doctors and nurses at Vanderbilt’s burn unit kept telling us to give his skin two weeks to heal. In a single moment looking at my boy who didn’t look like himself, two weeks seemed so far away yet like not enough time for his wounds to heal and his new skin to grow.
But they were right.
It’s not that I doubted them, they’re experts. But I couldn’t see very well beyond that single moment.
Since then, we’ve been overwhelmed by both hard and good moments.
Really, that’s the essence of life. Circumstances happen and sometimes startle us from our normal. But then goodness gets mixed in with the hard parts. For that first week after Ben’s injuries, I pushed down emotions because I needed to take care of him and the rest of my family. The second week my emotions overflowed more easily, and they’re still overflowing.
Time is fickle and fleeting yet
offers perspective on what God has done.
On Easter 2016 after church and lunch, my family of five explored the 33 acres we had recently purchased. A renovation was almost underway and we wouldn’t move for a few more months, but Greg reached out his arm and took our picture in front of our new-to-us house. For me, that moment held so much hope of what was too come as we set our on this country living adventure together.
I made my family assemble in similar pose this past Sunday before we went to the breakfast potluck before our church service. It was Easter again and time was nudging me to pause and remember.
I remembered I was a little nervous about moving to the country – where friends and stores aren’t quite as convenient. But then I think about how friends have showed up for small group, nights filled with Settlers of Catan, lunches with other adoptive moms, and when my son was healing.
I remembered how Rachel learned to climb stairs before we moved and how I was grateful for a single-level home for my fearless girl to explore. She walked in the living room four months after we moved in and hasn’t stopped getting into things yet.
I remembered how dreams change and God binds together his people.
I thought about how we didn’t live here in the spring last year. We stopped by to check on things periodically, but living here as the grass and trees are becoming greener and flowers pop up in places I didn’t expect is lovely.
Many adventures and surprises can happen in a year, or even two weeks. People grow and change, the kids outgrow their shoes and pants and then lose teeth, and the baby becomes a toddler with more hair. There are good days and hard days, but God remains unchanging with us during both.
Take a few minutes to look beyond whatever moment you’re in. Remember where you’ve been and where God is leading you. Remember how the hard days didn’t last forever and good was mixed in even when you may not have expected it.