You have driven down roadways in great need of repair. You persevere through the potholes and the bumpy, rocky pavement. Then you cross a county line and suddenly the road stretches out in front of you, a smooth, black, freshly paved ribbon of asphalt. You let out a sigh of relief and prepare to enjoy the quiet comfortable ride ahead. After that less than enjoyable stretch of road you just left, you are now content to believe that you have made it through and you will never again have to endure the torture of rocky roads with potholes that could nearly swallow your vehicle. That’s what you think right? No? You mean you don’t believe, now that you have finally found a smooth path, that you will never have to experience the frustration of a rough road again?
That sounds like nonsense doesn’t it? Who would be dumb enough to think that? Then why do we look at life that way?
Why do we struggle with a rough time and then hit a smoother stretch of life’s road only to be upset and disappointed when hard times come again? Do we really think that somehow we suffered and paid our dues and now it will be easy street from here on out? Have you heard yourself say, “can’t I EVER get a break?”
If you’ve been following this blog over the last couple of years, but particularly the past five months, you know we have had an extremely rough ride. There were times I thought our vehicle would be swallowed for sure.
But we’ve crossed some line and now things have smoothed out a bit. The terrain alongside this road doesn’t really look any smoother, it still contains the same issues it did. Serious illness, challenging finances, struggling relationships, and change (which has always been very difficult for me). The issues haven’t gone away. In fact, there are new ones to deal with. We just said goodbye to a son moving 1300 miles away. I know they will all move on and live their own adult lives, independent from me but it’s never easy to have them move so far away. And another big change for me is that my youngest child becomes an adult this week. My job of parenting, which has lasted 34 years, is coming to an end. Not that I will no longer be able to provide guidance for them, but the rules have changed. I have to hand over control to them. I have to let them fly.
All that said, we are enjoying a relatively smooth road at the moment. Randy’s health issues have stabilized for the time being. We are looking forward to a wedding in September and anticipating some wonderful family time (and the special blessing of getting the rare family photo with all of us present).
But that doesn’t mean life will be a breeze from here on out. We know there will be bigger and more difficult challenges ahead. We have made a decision, as a family, not to dwell on the future which is unknown. We are choosing to focus on the present and to be ever so grateful for the blessing of good days and a family who stands together. If you had seen us on Saturday, standing on the front porch, blubbering and praying and hugging as we sent David off to his new adventure in Iowa, you would have seen that we are truly grateful.
This life is not an easy one, for any of us. We need to remember to pray for one another whether we are walking a rocky stretch of the road or a smooth one. After all, our family is not that much different than yours. We all have moments that are unspeakably hard. But we also get those smoother moments. No guarantee how long those will last, so we are trying to make the best of each day. Isn’t that how we are supposed to live anyway?
“I will go before you and make the rough places smooth; I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through their iron bars.” Isaiah 45:2 (NASB)
“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:4 (ESV)