We're less than 24 hrs away from getting off of this moving roller coaster ride. But last night, as I was driving the kids home from their AWANA awards ceremony (which we used to live just directly across the street from...it was surreal to drive 35 mins.north after being so used to such a ridiculously short drive) the stress of tying up loose ends and the emotional parts of taking those final things out of your first home overwhelmed me once again. As the tears began to flow, I was filled with both thankfulness and hate. Thankfulness because of how God has done all of the moving in this process...beginning to finish. And hate, because as I look back, I'm slightly embarrassed at how I've handled these past three months.
As stress has compounded over each new card that's been dealt to us, I've found that my faith is a lot weaker than I thought. My patience a lot more thin, sometimes it resembled tissue paper. And my plate was piled higher than I could manage to carry efficiently.
I'm a notorious station flipper while driving. I'm so picky about what I listen to and I will flip, flip, flip through until something catches my attention. I stumbled upon a familiar melody but I couldn't quite catch what song it was until about 10 seconds in. It was a Snow Patrol song from about 10 years ago. One of my favorites. Coming from one of my favorite albums while in college. Snow Patrol is like catching up with an old friend. And as I was listening, I automatically think back to a time when I really thought my life was stressful. I thought that 18 credit hours, marching band, having no money, keeping up with a long distance relationship, and being in spiritual leadership was too much sometimes. I thought paper writing, keeping up friends and staying up late working on a group project was a lot.
But in comparison to now, well, there really isn't any grounds for comparison. What I thought was stressful as an older teen/early twenty-something really was just a lot of circus-like juggling. It was leisure and deadlines and staying up wayyyy too late and waking up early. Sure, some aspects of college can be overwhelming, but I was understandably naive about what real adulthood held. And I took this time for granted. And I thank God and Snow Patrol for the reminder last night.
Coincidentally, immediately after Snow Patrol, one of my favorite songs from childhood came on sung by the notorious Phil Collins. I still love Phil Collins. His music is timeless and almost every song reminds me of the time when I was almost completely innocent. In fact, when I hear anything Phil Collins, I think of those times when my dad would have the garage up and his songs would be blaring through that ugly giant brown radio he had. I would ride my bike up and down our gravel driveway and swing on our metal swingset at dusk with corn fields all around.
That time too, I took for granted. I've always been the type that looked forward to the next thing, the next stage, the next birthday. I wanted to grow up so badly...so quickly. I wanted to be an adult and stay up late and make my own rules and have my own house.
Never fully satisfied with whatever stage of life I'm in, I constantly look forward to the next thing...the next event on the calendar, the next time I get to _________ [fill-in-the-blank].
So I regret. I regret the time I wasted looking ahead when I should've been savoring the now. Even now, I regret the many consecutive days these past few months I spent allowing this process consume my heart, my attitude, my thoughts, my emotions. I regret it all. Because now, 3 months later I am left with a version of myself that I do not like. A battered and bruised, exhausted and drained type of me.
I'm thankful for the reminder the radio gave me last night. That whatever season of life you're presently living through, that you be all there. That even through the stress and trials, you don't lose focus on what He (God) has for you in this time. That you would be so taken with Him that you have no reason to look within yourself. To miss yourself entirely would be ideal because once we begin to look at ourselves, selfishness, pity, and possibly depression may come in the midst of these times of trouble.
Lesson learned. Next time, I hope I pass.