Life is life. It goes on in spite of everything. I go grocery shopping, wash socks. I write lesson plans and order curriculum and spend too much time online. We go to church, to the library. It’s just life.
Except my heart is in two places. Even as we drive northward to church on Sunday morning, a part of my heart is heading east in a big white van.
On Monday, we go to the fair while she drives still further east.
This is one of those surreal moments of life– to know that while we’re basking in our little family tradition at the Iowa State Fair, my sister is journeying farther from home than she’s ever been.
I love these times with my family. I love seeing the joy on my kids’ faces at the wonder of the world.
I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but here.
And yet– I would give my left arm to be there with her right now, just helping her through.
I’m not sure when life got so complicated. Being a grown-up is ridiculous sometimes.
I thought about it last winter, when we lost our baby. How in spite of my grief and emptiness, life just kept going on.
And how now, I walk daily with the weight of the should-haves and the should-bes.
The truth is, I should have a new little tiny one right now. Or I should be ginormously pregnant and miserable.
And I should be there with my sister, helping her, right?
After my first miscarriage, I read the book Loving God with All Your Mind by Elizabeth George. She talked about the should-haves and the should-bes.
I have to be so careful not to live my life in the place of the should haves. Because that place is not a true place, not a real place.
And we are supposed to think about whatever things are true.
The harsh truth is, my sister is moving to Spain, I am not pregnant, and a whole lot of other unpleasant stuff that I can’t ignore.
The good thing is, these realities are not my only truth.
A beautiful day for a trip to the State Fair– that is truth as well.
A comfortable home– food to eat– clothing– running water– indoor plumbing– all truths of my daily life.
A husband who loves me and tolerates me and spoils me rotten– truth.
Three amazing, beautiful, hilarious, smart, awesome kids who love me even when I forget to wash their underwear– truth.
A church family. Friends all over the country, and the world. Parents and siblings and grandparents and cousins and aunts and uncles and nieces and nephews. People who love me– and, most importantly, a Savior who loves me and who gave His life for me– this is truth. This is reality.
Yes, my heart is in two places today. This is truth. But an even great truth is this– my heart, and my sister’s heart, are in His Hands today.
There is no better place to be.
Not even the Iowa State Fair.