Ready

I don’t know that we can be truly ready for the big changes.

Even those we gear up for and plan, anticipate or lay awake with in the middle of the night look different when we’ve come upon them, are able to finger their intricacies, behold them in the real light of day.

All we really have is the moment right here, so how can we be ready?

For more than sixteen years, I’ve walked through my days with little people. First the girls I mentored, who I worked with (and certainly loved) more than full time, holding hands and equipping for life challenges, helping heal from life’s pains.

And then my own three — always at least one little girl at my side as I did dishes and laundry, as we danced in the kitchen and gathered acorns, and I tried to carve out space, searching for an ever-elusive balance of me with her.

Without realizing it, I determined the worth of my days through a melding of their responses, God’s urges and my own, making mental stock of how I was doing by how my words, expressions and actions ricocheted against little spirits and flesh.

I was always so needed.

And now there’s this house, empty (except for me) hours a day.

It is so clearly time, but no, I wasn’t ready. For the hush of quiet, for how much I’d talk myself through the hours, for the space to think my own thoughts and how strange the grocery store feels alone at 1:00 in the afternoon. For how the wind and sun against my face would take me to the edge of a curb, sorrow and mysterious peace wrapped up in the shaking leaves.

I’m not ready for what’s ahead myself, and if I didn’t have retreat talks to write and preparations to make, I might very well fill my days, fill those aching gaps with distraction, coffee date after coffee date after volunteer opportunity after long-delayed email.

But God in his infinite wisdom and love wants me right here in the quiet.

Of course, he knew that I’d be in this house, at this laptop, writing old pains while living through new aches, my need for him yawning wide.

He knew, in a way I never could, that I’d be ready to reach out my hand for his tender companionship, surrendering to the hush of grace, whipping wind and tapping keys.

Joining with Kate Motaung and the Five Minute Friday community with today’s prompt: READY.

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