Most of the time I am strong enough for all the uncertainty that is lapping at the edges of our lives these days. Most of the time when people ask me how things are going with James gone, I can answer that they are going pretty well and I mean it. As long as I don’t watch the scary shows late at night and remember to do the things he takes care of, things are fine. As long as I use this time wisely to invest in other friendships and to get lots of important things done, my time is full and well spent. Because you get used to things, even bad things, and I am generally one who feels that you might as well make the best of wherever you are, so I am trying to find the positives in this time. Girls’ nights, quiche for lots of meals, no judgement when I binge on Bachelor in Paradise or host Miss America viewing parties, fewer distractions at home – all of these are good things.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
But then a hard day comes, and it takes my breath away, and I find myself fighting back tears in church because that is when I miss him the most, his hand holding mine during hymns and his voice reminding me to stop talking during the service and pay attention. (Yep, I’m totally a church talker.)
Praise Him all creatures here below.
Or he comes to visit and then leaves and it is like ripping off a Band-aid over and over again. Because you can get used to anything, but when you remember how it was before the getting used to it again hurts more every time, even when you think it should get easier.
Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts.
And I’ve been thinking about all that lately, about the stress of so many things that I am fighting back these days, about the pain of fresh Band-aid rips that still surprise me, and about singing hymns alone in church. There are so many types of songs we sing. There are the Lenten hymns, the ones of solemn penitence. There are the Advent hymns of waiting and preparation. There are the songs of worship and deliverance and salvation and doctrine.
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
And then there’s the Doxology, one that I can’t seem to get out of my head and heart these days. It’s a short song, a simple song, a song of quiet strength and faith. It can come out almost in one breath, one tired, sad, emotional breath. And the next one comes steadier, as does the next, and the next. The Doxology is a song for the everyday, for every minute, for every experience. It’s the one that we can sing when we aren’t eloquent and we have nothing else to say other than acknowledging that God is there and deserves our praise. Sometimes that’s all we can do and it’s enough. We are always strong enough for that.