Ready or not, med school and work suddenly started…and took me and Matt with them.
I am not opposed to change and daresay I even like it.
That said, if I’m honest (and I always try to be), then I must admit that with change comes clumsiness.
When starting anything new, rhythm and balance just don’t come automatically for me. And trying to find it while settling into our new city, new home, new school, and new job felt a little like this this past month:
It seemed like with the exception of meals and bathroom breaks and few sweet sweet hours of comatose sleep, Matt and I spent every spare moment getting acclimated to our new roles, him resigning to his office to study and me to my classroom to prepare.
One benefit (and by God’s good grace) is that neither of us felt like we were neglecting each other because we were both busy and focused and understood that these were the needs of the season. Empathy for the other came easily, and I find that that seven letter word is so helpful in a marriage.
Now, I feel like here is a good place to pause and make a note. I recognize that me and Matt’s so-called busy life may seem laughable to some – like perhaps to Matt’s med school classmate with 9 kids. That’s right. Nine. Or to the single working mom. Or heck, to the non-single, stay-at-home mom. Everyone has responsibilities that at times (or all the time) take all you’ve got. And it would be folly for me to compare. I think of that verse that says,
But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. – 2 Corinthians 10:12
So I have learned to take no interest in comparing our life situation or my larger or smaller capacity with that of others. I’m just saying that we are at our current capacity, which I believe will grow and shift as the Lord leads us through different seasons in life.
Strangely, though unbalanced and sleep deprived this past month, I was content to be fully occupied and found the challenge of it all somewhat exhilarating. Sitting at my computer with tired eyes and tired brain, a few times a little smile would creep across my face, and I would think, “I love this.” And then my mind would turn to how God created work before the Fall of man to be satisfying and in that, enjoyable.
It’s interesting to me that while I toil (I admit I don’t love that part), there is still enjoyment and sweet satisfaction to be had in work, in purposeful doing. – a taste of what our God created work to originally be.
And now I insert one of my favorite obscure conversations from one of my favorite literary characters, Jane Eyre:
“Were you happy when you painted these pictures?” asked Mr. Rochester presently.
“I was absorbed, sir: yes, and I was happy.”
Another point to duly note – The width and wealth of my spiritual inheritance becomes fresh to me when I’m stretched and challenged while toiling. These are the times when I realize that God’s grace really IS sufficient. He really DOES renew strength of those who wait on Him. He really IS powerful in my weakness. He actually DOES provide my daily bread.
And it’s in these difficulties that I tend to see Him more clearly. I wonder if that’s part of what Paul meant when he said he boasts in his weakness and what James meant when he said to consider it pure joy when you encounter difficulties of every kind. When times are easy, I tend to shy away from/gloss over/ignore those verses, secretly hoping I won’t have to endure any upcoming hardship. But when hardships come (and they do) and I experience my Mighty One in the midst of my struggle, I gain a better grasp of this truth. And there really is much joy in truth.
Ah, the paradoxes of the Christian life: Life’s not easy, but joy can still be had. We live when we die to ourselves. When we are weak, He is strong. And on and on it goes.
Sometimes Matt and I will turn to each other and say with a smile of tired satisfaction, “We’re doing this thing called life.” However imperfectly we are doing this, we are doing it. And I treasure experiencing that our God is with us and is helping us do… this thing called life.