When you woke up this morning, did you spring out of bed? Or did you roll over and pull the covers up to your ears, clenching your eyes tightly shut in hopes of getting back to whatever fantastic dream you were having. Maybe little voices, or even little feet and elbows, woke you up. The sunlight creeping between the slats in the blinds. The list of things to do that began rolling around in your head.
We all go to bed with the expectation that today becomes yesterday, and there will be a tomorrow waiting when we open our eyes again. That today sucked, but tomorrow won't; or vice-versa; or if we're lucky, we'll have two of those good ones in a row.
We go to bed mad at our spouses because we can wake up in the morning and take back the things we should have held inside. We put off reading a goodnight book with our kids because the dishes are piled up tonight and we can do it tomorrow instead. We make plans--okay, you take this one to get new shoes, and I'll take that one to tryouts, and then I can go workout while he's there, but don't forget about the birthday party, and when can we get a date night again?--and say to the ones we love that this is just a season.
Things will change and settle down. We'll quit slogging through this mud soon.
This morning, my friend woke up alone for the first time, and not because her husband left early for work or wanted to go on an early run while the sun was just coming up. It wasn't on the list--buy milk, get the car tags, become a widow--but it happened, nonetheless. Things changed, just not in the way they'd planned.
This morning, my friend was the first person I thought of, and my heart was so heavy for her and their boys--two, older than our two boys, but not so different. You see, it wasn't hard to put myself in her place. If you stop for more than a minute and let it settle, fear creeps up and grips your heart, tight and fierce, and you begin to play that game--that What if? game. The mud turns to quicksand.
And I tried really hard today, in an effort to follow all those old proverbs and modern sayings on glossy posters about grabbing life by the reins, not putting off things until tomorrow, being present in the moment. But I fell off that wagon pretty hard, and I didn't drop everything for the family Wii tournament, and I stayed in bed for an extra thirty minutes and soaked in the pristine silence of those moments before the rest of the family knew I was awake. Because life is full of the beautiful, the mundane, and yes, the painful.
I ache for you, my friend. I cry with you, I dance with you. And with you, I praise our Father who loves us enough to hold us tightly enough to ease our sobs, and gently enough to spin us around in circles, our hair flying wildly as we laugh. Because we both know that faith is huge, even when we are small.
Tomorrow, I will wake up again and think of you, and you of him. My eyes may tear again and subside, while yours may be red-rimmed and aching from the tears that never seem to stop. But I know that one day, you will wake up and finally be ready to dance again--and I will be ready and willing to dance with you.
I'll be waiting with no excuses, with a whole load of friends and 4-year-olds who want to dance with you, too, our feet moving so fast that we're breathless. But we'll still be able to sing at the top of our lungs: He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire. He set my feet on the rock, gave me a firm place to stand...yeah, and here I am!