This weekend, we received an invitation to a wedding, and to a bridal shower for a wedding that will take place in March. We were at my sister's wedding a few weeks ago, and my niece's a few weeks before that. A sweet friend of Jill's is engaged, and I've heard whispers that there are others who are considering the walk to remember. It appears as though the world is pairing up, planning, and including us in their joy. This totally rocks, by the way.
And then I have recently watched others call it quits. The stress is too much or the chemistry is off. The demands are too large and just snuffed out the underlying embers. The pain of being alone seems easier than the work it takes to keep it together. The timing is off, the maturity level isn't what it needs to be, or something just changed one day that can't be changed back.
One extreme to the other.
I think that there are times that life seems like the average of all things good and bad...and other times we seem to be on one of those rides at Six Flags or Disney World that drop you a gazillion stories in an extraordinarily short period of time. Kind of like going from praying for rain to filling sandbags.
I know that all of us have daily joys and a lot to be thankful for in this life. And we should focus on that joy. Sometimes it is difficult when we are experiencing emotional whiplash from the constant and violent changes from one extreme to the other. It is at those times that we should be most aware that we just have to enjoy what we can and forgive ourselves for being a little off of our game for a short time.
I know that it is often said that when you are thrown off of a horse, that you have to get right back on. This is true, I believe, to some extent. Yes, we do have to face our fears and not let one negative experience rule our lives. On the other hand, sometimes we need to take the horse to the barn, go to the house, take a long soak, and rest before we try it again. All of us are different, and each of us has our own unique way of managing major disappointments.
I am thrilled that we have been involved with so many people who are making lifetime decisions about who they will marry and what they will do with their lives. I expect that this will only increase in the coming years as my children graduate from college and head out into the great big wide world. However, there will also be times when I will be listening to someone ask me why they can't find who it is that is meant for them or why their path isn't illuminated in the midst of all of the sweetness and light that seems to be surrounding everybody else.
I can't answer that other than to say that sometimes we have to march in place so that something can clear out of our way. Sometimes there is a wreck on the highway of life that has to be cleared and assessed and we are left behind the mess not really seeing what is blocking the path. Maybe that time is to bring healing to someone who needs it before we meet them. Sometimes it is because there is growing up that must be done before they are ready to meet us. Other times it is geography, finances, focus on school, bad decisions that have to be turned around, or something in us that needs changing before it all comes together.
But it is always worth the wait.
Life is full of extremes...calm and drama, boredom and excitement, joy and sorrow. The existence of one proves the existence of the other. While we hope to spend more of our life on the happy side of the fence, in actuality, we spend the majority of it as an average of the two. Or at least that has been my experience. I love hearing good news because I love moving the needle of an average existence toward the extreme of joy. It certainly beats the alternative.
If you are struggling today with feeling the rush of wind as you whip from one extreme to the other...just try to enjoy the ride. Put your hands in the air and trust that God is in control of it all. There's nothing to fear, and any delays will most assuredly be worth it in the end. If you are happy beyond measure...enjoy this time of blessing in your life. And if you are waiting for things to get better...trust that they will be at some point in time. Just trust and pray.