No Time, No Miracles
365 Days of Miracles
As I’ve been reflecting on 2018 (read: I’ve been hoping and wishing it would disappear along with all of its epic drama and challenges) I’ve been thinking a lot about miracles.
2018 was a year of miracles. 2018 was a year. Boy was it a YEAR. I mean it was a humdinger of a year. And as much as the self-indulgent part of me, the oh-so-willing-drama-queen, would LOVE to beat you in a game of Misery Poker, the part of me that won’t go down without a fight keeps focusing on all the goodness that’s coming from our battles to stay sane, and one word that just keeps coming up for me is “miracle”.
So that got me thinking about miracles. You ever notice how miracles don’t usually come along when things are going just ducky? Like the other day in the next town over (true story, I promise) a man was just leaving the hospital parking lot after being with his wife and their newborn baby. He gets into his car and blammo! It’s on fire! Like real fire coming out from behind the dashboard. Uhhhh, that’s not good. But (and I have NO IDEA how he had the presence of mind to do this after his wife just gave birth) he had the clear mind to think, “If this car goes up in flames in this parking garage next to a bunch of other cars, then a bunch of other cars are probably going to go “POOF!”too……I’d better get this car out of here.” So against all the safety rules you learn in fourth grade, the guy drives his burning car out of the parking garage, gets out of the car safely, calls the fire department and they come out and put out the flames. The guy’s a total hero because he saved all those other cars from going up in flames too. The obvious miracle is that the guy wasn’t injured or really seriously hurt while he was driving his flaming Beemer out of there, but here’s the headline-grabbing miracle: a local Beemer dealership heard about the story right away and they gave him a replacement car. GAVE. HIM. A. CAR. Now, I don’t know for sure if it’s a new BMW, or a used one (and hopefully it’ll have functional turn signals, unlike most of the Beemers out there, wink, wink), but isn’t that a really cool miracle? Guy’s car is totally gutted due to some weird fire, he’s got a wife and a newborn baby to think about now and boom, now he’s got a replacement vehicle, all paid for. Wow.
So, our year was kind of like that; fire after fire after fire. So. Much. Angst. Beginning the second week of last January, and nearly every month of this past year there has been something going up in flames in our lives every month. Some sort of disaster either involving our kids, or our livelihood (the faith based non-profit we run) has slapped us silly every few weeks, including three visits from a plumber within the span of twelve days over the Christmas holiday (including Christmas Eve and two days after Christmas). But here’s the deal, with every single trial and trauma, we’ve had a miracle to go along with it; we’ve had friends step up to the plate and have been the voice of sanity and reason when EVERYTHING was going haywire (and I do mean EVERYTHING). We’ve made some really good trustworthy friends who have not only NOT judged us for the circumstances we’ve had to endure publicly, they’ve been compassionate and so understanding. We’ve gone through some significant rejection (and that’s been a huge them since moving back home three years ago), but in the midst of it, I’ve reconnected with someone who technically isn’t family, but who completely understands and has walked what we’ve experienced. She’s a gem of a person who is kind, honest, sincere and completely selfless. I love her dearly and she will ALWAYS be family to me (Pro Tip: if you’re reading this and either you’re hung up on the words “step” or “adopted” when it comes to siblings and parents, or you were raised by parents who always stipulated someone’s relationship with you with some sort of formal title that created emotional distance do yourself a favor and do whatever it takes right now to get over it. You could very well be missing out on some powerful and loving relationships that could very well make you a better person. I’m tempted to stay up on this soap box because the view is oh-so-good and I’m oh-so-short, but I’ll show some restraint). Maybe if everything had been going oh-so smoothly in that area of my life I would have missed reconnecting with her. I’ll take her in my corner over the alternative any day of the week. Another miracle.
You know what I think the key to miracles is? I think it’s time. I think the miracle is not only the miracle, I think the miracle also resides in the thing we call time. I don’t know about you but I want pain over with as soon as it starts. Do I want God to just wave His magic wand and make everything better before it’s permanently horrible? You BET!! A thousand times YES. YES I want God to save me instantly from every discordant phrase in my life, and you bet I don’t want my kids to go through stuff, even if it is of their own doing. Guess what? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob doesn’t work Iike that. The God who created time allows us to grow WITHIN that thing called time. We cannot fight against His creation. Well we can, I mean I’ve practically made a career out of it, but in the end fighting time doesn’t work in our favor. It doesn’t serve us. It doesn’t save us. It just prolongs whatever it is we’re supposed to learn, and may actually prevent the miracle from even taking place. I want everything neat and tidy. I don’t want the known universe knowing just what a flaming pit our lives have been. That’s so hard.
Time. God gives it to us so we can give it back to Him. 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, 52 weeks in a year. It’s a million opportunities to place our dumpster fire of a life in His hands in hopes that He can make something good of it.
We’ve literally had so many dumpster fires this year I’ve lost track, but I can never lose track of the miracles that have come up right as we’ve needed them. The year hasn’t been good or bad. It’s been a year. A segment of time in a dimension of the universe that is temporal and temporary. I have learned that nothing is permanent. I have learned that prayers don’t need to be fancy. Ever. I have learned I have nothing to offer to God, but that He has everything to offer to me, beginning with peace in my heart, no matter what’s going on. He is after all, “I am”. I have learned that there is victory in laughter. As in, I’m going to laugh every single day, not in a “I’m denying that I’m in crippling pain” kind of way, but in a “I am not going to let this insanity steal my joy” kind of way. I have learned that there is HUGE victory in hanging on, that staying in place is often the ONLY way to face the onslaught of life’s storms and that staying put is a form of victory. I have learned God’s plan for someone’s life doesn’t require my knowledge of the plan or approval of the plan. God is God whether I like it or not and whether I understand it or not. But there is huge joy in knowing that He is a God who provides relief and provision in the form of friends, sanity, puppies that come out of nowhere, home warranty plans, car insurance that covers everything when you get t-boned in a parking lot, and incremental growth in young people that can only happen with time.
Time to cry. Time to laugh. Time to sing. Time to mourn. Time to celebrate. Time to ponder. Time to wonder. Time to connect. Time to disconnect from that which is (or who is) not wiling to be part of the miracle. Time to hang on. Time to let go.
Goodbye 2018. I’m probably not anywhere near ready for 2019, but I hope I’m always ready for God to show up in a big way.
- Posted in: children with disabilities