There are two kinds of people on this planet: those who live by a clock and those who are late.
An over simplification perhaps, but generally speaking, people fall into one of two categories: the “on time is early” crew and the “chronically tardy” crew.
It’s probably no surprise in which category I land. I was born with an internal clock that is almost audible. I despise being late. On time means five minutes early, and if you arrive just on time, you’re actually late. In fact, few things can cause me more anxiety than thinking I’m going to be late. So to compensate, I over communicate the fact to whomever I’m meeting. Thirty minutes prior, I’m texting them telling them I may be five minutes late….and then I still end up beating them to the destination!
Thankfully, Patrick and I were on the same side of the clock world, so it made for a happy marriage.
Digging down deeper into the clock awareness world, in order to be on time, you are always thinking about the next thing. It’s like living with a constant level of anticipation.
Whether the next thing is something fun like a vacation or not so fun like a work deadline, I am always thinking about what’s next and how I must prepare for it. In order to avoid last minute pressure, I have my list of what to do, organizing my weekly schedule so I can squeeze in each thing…to be ready…for whatever the next thing is.
For most of my life, there have been exciting events to look forward to, most of which were related to sharing life with my husband and watching my family grow. It’s just human nature that regardless of our stage in life, we all look forward to the next thing, whether it’s the weekend, a special trip or a child’s next milestone.
Now that my kids are away at college (where I want them to be) and my husband is with the Lord (where I am thankful he is well) I find myself in uncharted territory. I am walking a twisted path, humanly alone. 26 months into it, the intense darkness has lifted somewhat, leaving a fog where I can see a just a few steps in front of me. I have no fear for the future, but I have no hopes or dreams either.
Perhaps this is the way most people live their lives. I’m not sure. Maybe my life with Patrick was just extra special. That’s why his loss is so hard because I miss the companionship and joy to of sharing life with my partner.
As I continue to be silent, still and wait for the Lord, I wonder, can I live like this…with nothing exciting to look forward to? I know there will be special life moments down the road, especially if/when my kids get married and have children. But those events are seemingly in the distance.
Right now it just feels like I’m the energizer bunny…I keep going and going and going; All the while carrying a weight of sadness in everything I do.
Then I speak truth into my thoughts. I can live like this, I will and I must. All with God’s grace, comfort, and strength. This broken path is the one He has designed for me. He is with me and He will carry me until I have completed all He has called me to do. He’s not asking anything of me that He hasn’t already done.
Focusing only on the here and now is shortsighted and selfish. I can choose where to put my focus. I must be proactive in changing my thoughts back to Scripture when they naturally stray.
So instead focusing on any joy or satisfaction this world can bring, my concentration needs to be on God’s Kingdom and eternity. There is a wealth of Scripture that I need to repeat to myself often:
- Psalm 73:25 & 26 Earth has nothing I desire besides the Lord. My heart will fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
- Psalm 84:11 God is a sun and shield; No good thing will he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.
- Isaiah 26:3 God will keep me in perfect peace if I trust and keep my eyes on Him.
- Isaiah 40:29-31 God is everlasting. If I hope in Him, my strength will be renewed and I will not grow weary.
- Jeremiah 29:11 God’s plans for me are for my good and His glory.
- Lamentations 3:22-24 The Lord’s mercies are new every day. He is faithful and He is my portion to help me with whatever I need to accomplish that day.
- II Corinthians 4:17 Our earthly troubles pale in comparison with what awaits us in Heaven.
- Philippians 1:6 God began a good work in me and will be faithful to complete it. He’s not done with me yet.
- Philippians 4:8 Think only on things that are true and in line with Scripture.
- Hebrews 10:35 & 36 I need to endure with confidence and that will bring great reward. His coming is sooner than I think.
- Hebrews 11:1 Faith is firmly believing what I can’t see. I know that this world is not all there is.
- Hebrews 12:1 I need to fix my eyes on Jesus, who already walked this path. He started, finished and endured the cross for my sake.
- I Peter 1:7 Trials test the genuineness of our faith and it will result in the praise, glory and honor to Jesus Christ.
- I Peter 4:19 Let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to our faithful creator and continue to do good.
- 2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given me all that I need to live a godly life on this earth.
- Revelation 21:4 God will wipe away all our tears in Heaven.
Even if this earth never brings me anything as great as my life with Patrick was, there is something far greater in my eternal future; Something that will make all the tears, suffering and loneliness worth it. And that something is based on Someone…Jesus Christ.
Talk about anticipation!
(I’ve always been a Jeremy Camp fan and his newest album did not disappoint. This is one of my favorites.)