01 June 2011

Today I Believe

It's one day at a time around here right now. We're waiting on paperwork from the state on at least two different fronts, and they say the envelopes should arrive and yet they don't. I call and call and I might as well be talking to the wall, as effective as I am. My husband can't work in his new field without some of this paperwork, and so we're in a holding pattern. Again.

Lord, you have always given bread for the coming day,
And though I am poor, today I believe.

I'm tired. Pregnancy does that, and allergies and waking up and not being able to go back to sleep. I stare at the ceiling, wondering if it's better for the baby if I take the medicine or if I don't get the rest that I need. I imagine horrible things in those dark hours, tragedy and loss and things getting worse for us and not better. And when I do sleep I dream, strange sagas that don't seem much better than lying awake. 

Lord, you have always given strength for the coming day,
And though I am weak, today I believe.

Sometimes, it's hard for me to see any life for us but this one, this constant treading water, taking several steps forward only to take other ones back and find ourselves at the starting point once again. I trust, I grip God's hands when they're offered and pray, "Please, please, please," even when I don't know if it goes beyond the walls of my room.

Lord, you have always given peace for the coming day,
And though of anxious heart, today I believe.

I forget that we're fighting an enemy, that this life is a battle and every day, even the good ones, are days when we should be ready for attack. I forget, and I get weary, for carrying a sword is hard work. It looks glamorous on TV, I suppose, but the reality, this redeeming and transforming every moment that we're called to do, is a much more serious, mundane task than it appears. 

Lord, you have always kept me safe in trials,
And now, tried as I am, today I believe.

This world is not my home. I know that now, in ways that I didn't know it before. It's not my home, and I don't want it to be. But that doesn't mean I shouldn't see the beauty, shouldn't love the stolen moments when my girlie smiles her toothy grin and he takes my hand across the table and we watch her, overcome with joy even though there's no good reason. 

Lord, you have always marked the road for the coming day,
And though the way is hidden, today I believe.

And so I hope, not that it will be easy, but that we will learn to see beauty where we stand, wherever we stand. If I give my children nothing else, I want them to know that circumstances are just that: circumstances. They're not to be ignored or brushed over, but accepted and grieved and lived in and made meaningful, but they're not the end. Never, ever the end. 

Lord, you have always lightened this darkness of mine,
And though the night is here, today I believe.

We can only embrace and transform our lives and our circumstances when we see them as part of the whole, when we remember how temporary and transitory they are. They form us, if we'll let ourselves be formed by them, but the end of the story is always the same. Joy. 

Lord, you have always spoken when time was ripe,
And though you be silent now, today I believe.*

* The prayer is from Celtic Daily Prayer, the prayer book of the Northumbria Community.


Sharon Wang said...

Oh Sarah. I can so relate to the not sleeping at night. It is so frustrating, isn't it? It can be so hard to appreciate this world when we know there is a better one, a perfect one, awaiting us. I like your thoughts on accepting circumstances. I have a missionary friend with three teens, and when the kids were young, they had some health problems that nobody seemed to be able to diagnose correctly. Eventually they got them figured out and are doing fine now. But she recently told me that one thing her kids said helped them grow in their faith was by watching their parents live through hardships and accepting them. What a great gift to give to our kids. And to ourselves.

kirsten said...

A fitting meditation for real life: life in the waiting, the now and the in-between.

In spite of circumstances, it is good thing to say, Today I believe.

alittlebitograce said...

I was touched by how you wrote this; sharing first your struggles and then the prayer choosing to walk in faith in this hard areas. I think I need to pray this prayer! Praying for you!

Chelsey said...

You're so right -- circumstances are never the end -- joy is. Thank you for the reminder...

emily wierenga said...

friend... i love your heart. i love this prayer. and i'm excited to meet with you in person and pray over these things with you. until then, as my friend told me, rest your mind and your body, even if sleep evades... love to you. xo

christianne said...

I've been keeping this post unread in my Google Reader for a little while now, always trying to come up with words fitting a response ... but they don't come. Mostly, I just feel awe at you and your reflections here. I feel so much of the tension of life in contrast with faith. I feel privileged to watch you hold the tension between them and share the experiences with us.

terri said...

hi sarah. first of all, ugh. life can be such a struggle sometimes. i wish there was something i could do.

but i love that you still have a voice. the way you speak makes me remember things that i've forgotten. thanks for that.

i hope you'll be entering a lighter, more spacious place soon. you deserve it.