It has been six months since that Tuesday morning that we drove east from Albuquerque, returning to the home we left thirteen months before. Leaving so many questions unanswered. Wondering if leaving one familiar place to return to another familiar place would bring answers or just more questions.
Scott and I have had several conversations since last September about the impact of those thirteen months on our present and our future.
So much of me just wants to forget. To deny the heartbreak of watching my husband apply again and again for work. Of watching him agonize over his ability to provide for his family. I want to let slip from my mind how lost I felt in my role as a wife and mother during that time. How even our attempts at volunteering our time felt like trudging up a slippery slope.
Part of me can’t forget as I worry that we will again face those thirteen months — or longer — in our future.
But I’m reminded of a conversation that I had with an acquaintance several years ago. She was sharing with me some of her recent struggles and how deeply difficult they had been. And then she shared what has stuck with me, although I’m sure her words were more eloquent than my memory allows.
God does not waste our tears and our sorrows.
He does not look down upon my breaking heart during difficult times and think, Sarah, get over yourself already. Move on. It’s not that bad.
He looks down on me and says, this hurts, my child. I know this hurts. But even this, I will work together for good. Look and remember and you will see that I already am.
And He is. These six months with Scott being back in seminary full time, working part-time and volunteering yet more time for ministry opportunities have not been easy. And sometimes it feels like we are simply back to square one. But living those thirteen months brought us closer together as a family than we ever would have been otherwise.
We see our life in seminary differently than we did before. We see more of the choices we make everyday and are less willing to sacrifice who we are as a family to the pressures of this life. We’re not, usually, so frustrated by the constraints of our finances.
Scott and I have a deeper understanding of who we want to be, and who God wants us to be, even though we still struggle to be those people.
And sometimes when I turn off all the noise around me and listen, He allows me a glimpse of the grace He extended through us, even when we felt useless.
It’s still a messy canvas, this life I see around me. But the pain, it’s part of the beauty that one day I know I’ll see.