I met tonight with a student of mine from our previous church. I slipped him in at the last minute between my guy’s small group and bed time with my family. I’ve managed to still maintain relationships with a select couple of amazing young men despite my neglect of those relationships. God is good and he gives me purpose right when I need it most.
The student’s name isn’t Mike, but tonight we’ll call him Big Chill Mike.
When BC Mike rolled-up in his older v8 Mustang, I could immediately hear from within my house that it sounded different – he’s added a lot to it. I haven’t seen him in quite a few months. Mike came in and we sat down and talked about the complete disaster that has become his life over the last 30 days. Mike’s never had a settled home life, but this situation is really messed-up… this isn’t Mike’s blog so we’ll skip on the details. This blog is about me. I tried to help BC Mike as much as I could – mostly listening – offering suggestions and ideas where it seemed reasonable. Some situations just don’t have a good answer, you know?
Towards the end of my conversation with Mike he suggested to me what I had been hoping, “Hey, let’s go for a ride!”.
I eagerly accepted – knowing that I was probably in for a ‘show’. Mike is one of the most chill young men I know – amazingly emotionally wise and level-headed… but he’s also a 100% full testosterone, muscular, attractive, natural athlete. I knew he’d want to show-off his car and his driving skills to me but I wasn’t sure it would be quite this intense.
As we hit the road and I grabbed the roof of the car with my hand out the open window – we immediately slammed into speed before my heart could catch-up with my eyes. I was enjoying the ride… a little scared, but knowing that my young pilot was capable and knowing that my life is ultimately in God’s hands. I could have asked him to slow down or turn around at that point, but I didn’t. When Mike turned onto the interstate highway I began to wonder if I should have. As we flew down the interstate exceeding speeds that I will not put into writing, taking hard turns and changing lanes…. well at that moment I didn’t realize anything other than a pure and rich combination of joy, fear, anxiety, elation, and the sweaty hard grip of my hand on that roof/door-frame. I was completely out of control, in a situation that could easily cause me instant death, and I was somehow mostly ok with trusting an emotionally troubled 17-year-old with my life. As my multiple auto crash memories filled my frontal lobes and eventually overcame my sensory overload – I did eventually ask him to slow down, but not after quite a lengthily rush. I think he was waiting for me to beg for it.
When I returned home and settled-down for yet another difficult urgent conversation with our relator about our difficult home buying process, It was then that I realized that the ride had been a metaphor as well as an experience.
My family’s life right now is not unlike that ride in the Mustang. Our lives are moving through a hundred juggling balls – all of them flying at light speed. Things are coming at us and going past us so quickly, the turns are so hard, the highs so high, and the lows (particularly quite recently for me) … so low. Our life isn’t being driven by me, as badly as I try to make it…. and frankly, just like the Mustang, my sloppy nerd reflexes couldn’t handle it at this speed anyway. I’d wreck for sure.
Through a series of circumstances that are entirely out of our control – our family is facing:
* Home buying, packing, purging and moving in a very compressed schedule with difficult sellers and a highly imperfect process (I know this is a blessing, but we definitely didn’t ask for it this way… it’s scary… and we’re very unsure and have no resources to do it correctly).
* Parental rights termination (hopefully very soon) and adoption process beginning for the wonderfully sweet and broken Foster baby that we’ve had over a year now.
* Mourning the temporary and possibly permanent involuntary loss of a very significant relationship to our entire family.
* A multi-month ongoing battle for the life and livelihood of my mother-in-law.
* and more…
and all of it is happening, right now, in warp speed, without a breath of air, without a seat for rest, without a drink of fresh water. So who’s driving?
For the last few weeks we’ve received – not a small – but an intensely growing significant number of LARGE blessings right exactly when we seem to need them most.
It’s like that perplexing Grace puzzle I’ve written about before – it’s clearly meant to get my attention about who’s really driving and just how much He loves me… except ugh… this is scary… it’s uncomfortable… it’s exciting… it’s filled with anxiety… it hurts… and God won’t you please just tell me where the road leads and if we even make it?!
So it’s like the ride with my young friend – fear, exhilaration, anxiety, and intense floods of every emotion – only God doesn’t listen when you ask him to slow down a little. He keeps going.
So many people have done so much for us already. Thank you – all of you who know who you are. Most of all – Thank you God again for loving me when I clearly don’t deserve it – truly in spite of who I am. I don’t comprehend your brand of Love God, but I believe that’s the point of it.
I realize this is possibly the most grammatically poor and disorganized post I’ve ever written here. This is where I am right now and where my brain is. God wants me here and I trust Him. Sleep deprived, worried, sweaty palmed and holding on with all my life for the next big thing.