Have you seen the movie Gravity?
This is J and me, tethered together in outer space floating the month away, all hott and adorable like George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, while we forge a panicky plan to stay alive and the entire world roots for us.
Oh, minus the hott and adorable part, and minus the staying alive. And minus the whole world because only about 26 people read this regularly—but I’m positive the 26 of you are rooting for us. And minus the outer space. Oh yeah, and minus the panic for Jeff.
Add back in the panic for me, because this is how I do the unknown: I NEED MORE OXYGEN. WHERE THE F IS THE SATELLITE? CAN ANYBODY HEAR ME? PLZ SOMEBODY HOLD ME.
We finished with World Next Door on March 1st, and set out to finish The Rest of Our Lives beginning April 1st. We are now 10 days away from April 1st and The Rest of Our Lives has not yet arrived. (Mortgage doesn’t care.)
Where are you, lives?!
We have a half-built plan in Indy and a half-built plan in Wisconsin, and are in the middle of an interview process with Tiny Hands in Nepal.
Each plan is missing at least one essential piece. Also the entire world screaming at me, BUT YOU HAVE TO ENROLL IN HEALTH INSURANCE BY MARCH 31ST!
Even as I heard myself casually mention recently that we have learned to stop writing our own stories and trust whatever God brings our way, my left hand was wrestling my right hand to rip the pencil away as it furiously drafted out screenplays for the next month and/or ten years (proving, obviously, that I am full of shit).
The screenplays involved things like loads of cash and house remodels and flexible jobs and infants.
I am so anxious to start that life.
But then by the afternoon, those dreamy options seem so ordinary compared to the low-paying and/or support raised *extraordinary* social justice project overseas, namely the logistical nightmare that would be Nepal.
How would we rent the house? Where would we store our cars? Wait. Would we sell everything? How long would we be there? How will we raise the money? People will stop answering mail from us.
(Ironically, though, through our experience with Tiny Hands, we began sponsoring a little kid in an HIV/AIDS home started by our friend in Nepal, and this kid would be potentially down the road from us if we did end up in Nepal. Our kid could be our neighbor. Who gets that opportunity?!)
So, on a Tuesday I want an ordinary life that isn’t possible yet. And by Friday I want the Nepali life that isn’t possible yet. And I am equally terrified of both lives.
J told me he was having similar thoughts, but his devotional yesterday prompted him to root out the lies in his life causing anxiety. Turns out, anxiety is living as though something scary has happened even though it hasn’t. Duh.
So he uprooted those scary lies that aren’t true yet.
Boys. So practical.
Here’s how my coping went: I did not panic despite the ER not having a position for J in Indy and my Indiana clinical license not having reciprocity in Wisconsin. I did not panic when the renter in Wisconsin gave notice to vacate in June. I did not panic when Nepal went from a distant unlikely opportunity to a real quick one.
I did panic when I realized our master bed might not fit in the Wisconsin bedroom. That was the last straw. The panic found its way out in the middle of heavy Chicago traffic when some a-hole cut me off, and the road rage melted into tears at the exact moment I collected my original chicken sandwich from the Chick-fil-a lady. They don’t even have Chick-fil-a in Nepal.
EVERYTHING IS OUT OF CONTROL.
The next night, I checked my journal and saw that on the exact date a year before I’d shared this prayer upon our departure for Rwanda.
I read it as though it was written for me today. Could this prayer be true right now?
…We pray for good departures,
in the way our ancestors left Egypt,
that we may leave the grind of productivity,
and the hunger of ambition,
that we may leave for a place of wondrous promise,
visited en route by bread from heaven and water from rocks.
We pray for big departures,
like those of our ancient parents,
that we may leave where we have been
and how we have been
and who we have been.
To follow your better lead for us,
you who gives new place,
We pray, each of us to travel in mercy,
that we be on our way rejoicing,
arriving in wonder, love, and praise.
Yes, I choose that plan. I’m going to choose that plan every 30 seconds because that’s how often the question marks crowd in.
God will take care of us, right? Bread from heaven and water from rocks and all…
(This should hold me for the next 15 minutes or so, anyway.)