I recently decided to stop being afraid.
I was driving in my car, a list of anxieties running through my mind on repeat, the knot in my chest growing with every breath.
Michel leaves for good on Monday. Good as in until he is a resident. This could be one month or it could be a year. The not knowing is so wonderful. Not. I recently learned that my lungs cannot function naturally, without the assistance of steroids, for more than 9 days. I really, really, really, don’t like being a nanny to three families. One, sure, two, maybe, but three? No. I go to Haiti on Monday. Only for 5 days. I’ve never been so torn about traveling to that little country. Levi is everywhere. Curious and wild and aggressive in a very Johnna-like manner. He wants to spend all day exploring, driving cars or eating cars, and shoving bugs into his mouth. I don’t have the lungs for this. But God I love it. Oh, and did I mention writer’s block?
It all seemed to pile up, day after day, minute after minute, until I realized I was holding onto all this fear, all this anxiety. The amount of what ifs that I explored were criminal. I arrived at a point where I literally just stopped and wondered, ‘how am I going to do this without Michel? How will I have enough money, have enough time, have enough breath?’
Of course, this happened while I was driving. I pulled my car over and sat frozen. Took deep breaths. Steadied myself. I got out and climbed into the backseat with Levi. He was sound asleep, completely unaware of the chaos inside of me. I wanted to take his little hand but I know better than to touch him while sleeping, unless I wanted to wake the sleeping tiger and pay for it the rest of the day. So I just stared at him and finally, finally, let God in.
The Holy Spirit came, as He always does, and began to unravel me. My problems are very little, when put into perspective. But I can’t disown them, they are mine and they are real to me. But they must have their place. They cannot control me, or my relationship with those around me. The Holy Spirit often feels like water to me, washing over me and through me and within me. As I sat there, in the silence, clarity arrived.
And then joy.
The knowledge, again, that everything is ok hit me like a truck. Everything is ok. How could it not be? Jesus, I wasn’t trusting in You! I was taking it all on myself, my favorite thing to do apparently, and not handing it over day by day. I will keep breathing. Michel will eventually come back. Money will come, it always does.
I don’t have to be hopeless, in fact, I can rejoice in what’s to come.
I had decided last week, after talking to a great friend, Kristine Cronin, that I will be returning to school for Speech Language Pathology. I’ll have possibly 4 years ahead of me, a Master’s degree to get, but after that, I can do something I love, and it will allow me to provide for my little man. I can work in a school setting, and this way have time to do my lung treatments, and only be gone while Levi is at school as well. All these things combined make me so excited for what’s to come. I sat in my car, looking at Levi, promising him I’ll take care of him, I’ll fight and overcome and achieve. I’ll bust my ass to do whatever I have to do, to breathe, to provide, but mostly, to be present and joyful in his life.
Sliding back into the driver’s seat I felt empowered. I felt fulfilled. My worry was gone. Jesus took over.
So now, as the days get closer to change, while I’m scrambling to get accepted for this fall and still nannying and translating and trying not to eat my face off from stress of Michel leaving, I often pause and remind myself of all the good that is coming, that is already here. Life can get overwhelming, but it’s never an excuse to stop living in gratitude for what we do have.
There are tiny miracles waiting to be seen, to be lived, every moment. I have a 14 hour work day today. My miracle for this moment? Coffee. Hot, glorious, delicious, coffee.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Mt. 6:34.