it is late-September here, which means we’re in that mysterious time of the in-between place–the days are still warm, but they’re also getting shorter; summer is struggling to hang on, but the truth is we’re on the cusp of colder winds and leaves too near death to remain on their branches.
autumn is my favorite time of year, and i always find myself eager to rush my way through the other months to get here.
it recently occurred to me that this is often the exact same approach i take to life as well.
i am forever waiting on what comes next, and in my anticipation, it becomes easy for me to miss out on the gifts i’ve been given in the present. i yearn for what’s down the road at the expense of where my feet are currently planted. perhaps this is why i’ve often felt to be a perpetual Israelite, wandering in the desert for years while all the while, i’m longing for Canaan. sometimes i think God might keep me stuck in seasons until i learn what i was supposed to from them; the Israelites would never have known God as pillars of cloud and fire in any place but the desert, after all. i think sometimes we need to stay in a place for longer than we want to, but the good news is that it’s never in vain. there are things we need to see + learn + feel + experience–there is life to be lived here. how tragic to try and bypass it!
never had this been more true for me than during my pregnancy. those 40 weeks were nowhere near comfortable. i was huge + hot and exhausted, swollen to the point i scarcely recognized my own body anymore. additionally, i was impatient, ferociously so. my arms had been empty for years, i had been dreaming of meeting this little one for so long, and i wanted nothing more than to finally embrace the tangible flesh of my flesh and blood of my own blood. even my birth experience was long, for crying out loud, a stretch of hard days in a late-July heatwave that seemed to go on forever.
then, suddenly–he was here, writhing and shrieking and so very alive. after all that time, all that waiting, in an instant, my womb was empty, and as i write this now, he’s already two months old.
more than ever, i understand what people meant when they’d say that time passed too quickly. had you asked me earlier this year, i would have told you that this moment, right now–a breezy September afternoon by the water, my son playing happily in my lap–was where i wanted to be.
but you know what? strangely enough, there are parts of me that miss the days i let slip away. there are parts of me that miss being enormously pregnant, feeling Atticus kick and turn inside of me. there are parts of me that miss my rounded belly, my nervous anticipation, or the excitement i’d feel at hearing his heartbeat and seeing him on a screen. there are parts of me that miss the fear i felt when we arrived at the hospital, the joy that came from gazing at his face the first time.
those are moments i’ll never get back, and i wonder if i really honored them while i was in them. i think i was too busy looking for the end to appreciate the in-between. those moments were hard + scary + beautiful, and now they’re gone forever.
and one day, these moments will be too.
finding faith is a short collection of vignettes that i am writing this fall as i live out marriage, motherhood, + my relationship with Jesus and reflect on what i’ve learned through it all. keep an eye out for part ii, coming soon.
// photo taken from Creative Commons