After one of the longest, coldest, snowiest winters I’ve experienced in Pennsylvania, the temperatures have abruptly made an about-face and headed north. The sunshine I could see but not feel just a few weeks ago is now deliciously warm on my skin. With the return of morning birdsong comes the promise of a changing season, and the reminder that no matter how deep the snowdrifts, spring always comes back around eventually.
This means it’s time to dig out our warm-weather clothing to replace our winter wardrobes. As I mentally prepared for this task earlier today, my mind wandered down a familiar path to the inevitable question, “The next time we have to do the clothing swap, will our baby be home?”
Dates can be funny things. On the one hand, they’re concrete and serve an essential purpose in planning or commemorating events. One the other hand, when you’re waiting for important news that feels like it will never come, dates begin to lose their meaning. Life is divided into two categories: B.D. and A.D. (Before Dossier and After Dossier). Everything else blurs together in a haze of hoping, dreaming, aching, crying, trusting, guessing, calculating, analyzing, venting, and praying.
Right now we’re three months A.D., with absolutely no idea if we’re almost up to bat, waiting in the locker room, or still sitting in the stadium parking lot. We might hear word of our approval in another month (very unlikely), three months (mmm…maybe), or seven months (please, God, no). Like spring, the good news is bound to come eventually. But right now those snowdrifts are looking impossibly deep.
There’s no denying it: not knowing is hard – much harder than I expected. But in spite of the frustration and longing for something to happen, I sense myself acclimating to the wait and even surrendering to it on occasion. It’s sort of like unconsciously slipping into a rhythm and then falling back out again as soon as you realize you’re grooving. I can’t force myself to keep the beat, but it sneaks up on me now and then, and those brief respites of acceptance are oddly refreshing.
Two years ago I suffered through one of the hardest years of my life and ended up in a cold, black, lonely pit. Oh, how I wished I could just climb back out and move on with my life! I wanted the healing to be done yesterday, but as weeks and months passed, I finally had to accept that recovery takes time. The war I was fighting wouldn’t be won in a day or a month, or maybe even in a year. I had to face it battle by battle, trusting that victory would come with perseverance. And perseverance requires time. Lots and lots of time. It also requires trust. Lots and lots of trust.
Maybe the rhythm is felt when trust finds its stride and forgets to fret over dates and schedules and the myriad unknowns. No wonder I only groove with it for a few beats at a time…I like to wear all those unanswered questions around my neck like a string of worry beads.
But for tonight I’m going to slip them off and try to find that beat again. Because when all is said and done, Someone has already counted every day, hour, minute, second, and nanosecond of our wait, and none of this is foggy to Him.
Spring is His specialty.