The sun is shining. I’m trying to position myself close to its rays as I write. Cate had four friends over last night for a sleepover. They surround our dining room table, groggily eating breakfast (I won’t divulge how late they were up). There is laughter. It all feels normal. Which is a relief when there is so much about life that is the opposite.
Last night, hidden away from the noise of our house guests, I found myself thinking about control. At various points in my life I have been made all too aware that control is not in my hands. By that I mean, I couldn’t/can’t fix everything and make it look the way I want. Except for maybe how clean my house is. Which is why I’ve become a tad obsessive compulsive about keeping things especially neat. But I digress.
I’ve been reading a book by Kate Bowler titled “Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved”. It is, among other things, an exploration of suffering and surrender. Maybe not a surprise that such a topic would speak to me. Take this: “What would it mean…to give up that little piece of the American Dream that says, ‘You are limitless’? Everything is not possible. The mighty Kingdom of God is not yet here. What if rich did not have to mean wealthy, and whole did not have to mean healed? What if being people of ‘the gospel’ meant that we are simply people with good news? God is here. We are loved. It is enough.”
This made me think of my mom. She was not wealthy, but would have described herself as rich; not physically whole, but definitely experienced healing in other ways. Though I could see how beautiful her surrender was, I still hated that she had to go through so much. To borrow again from Kate Bowler, she was a “superhero. But I wish [she] didn’t have to be”.
I can’t help but wonder why everything is happening as it is right now. Why does MS exist? Why are we going through so much as a family? Just in case you’re wondering, those are rhetorical questions. I don’t think there’s an obvious answer, and even the most well-intentioned attempts can do more harm than good. All I know is to work on what’s right in front of me to do, to relinquish the idea that I can fix it all, to remain rooted in my faith, and to remember that I am loved. WE are loved. In the eye of this storm, that truth, along with sunshine and teenage chatter, brings much comfort.