Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Finishing Strong

Winter is over. Lent is over. Spring break is over. My trip is over. Easter is over.

And thinking about this the other day, I proceeded to FREAK OUT for just a few minutes.

Why? Because regarding all the many things which must be done and figured out for this whole "move across the country for seminary" thing, I am in exactly the same place as just after Christmas. Or so it feels.

Yeah, we have the house on the market (but few lookers and no sign of offers). We applied for financial aid. And I just suckered my parents into agreeing to take our pets, unless of course one of you wants them.

Other than that? I haven't sorted and packed much of anything. I haven't done Anna's readoption. I don't have any money saved. I don't have a clue how we're going to find, let alone afford, health insurance. I don't have a job or lucrative new freelance leads. I don't know if we need one car or two. I don't know how we're moving all our stuff (and car--or are we selling it?). I don't know how to rent out our house or when to decide if that's what we have to do or if I'd better hurry up and refinance it while Aaron has a job. We don't have a pastor to make leaving seem okay. And I don't know how to say goodbye.

Nine weeks of school. A few more weeks of wrap-up. Boxes, a truck, a plane, a townhouse . . . and what? What am I doing with myself over there in Michigan anyway?

I don't actually have a clue, and I'm kind of freaked out when I think about it. But I don't want that to be the defining feature of my home stretch in this place. I don't want to rob our youth group and Young Life kids by being so infected with my own form of senioritis that I fail to be present as they wrestle with theirs. I don't want to be so obsessive about research and details for the future that the present morning's gone, and then the week, before I've let my daughter go outside and blow bubbles. I don't want to stop caring what happens next to our church. I don't want to stop loving this place.

I want to reach the finish line. I want to run through the tape. I want to finish strong.

But sometimes--like today when we got really disappointing news--I feel like the road is way longer and rockier than it's supposed to be and I wish there was a shortcut, but there isn't. I feel like just sitting down on the curb and saying I quit.

I really need to believe the phrase that sometimes runs through my head: Now is the time to be brave. I really need those marching orders: Walk on. I really need that Easter message: "Do not be afraid."

Crazy/brilliant satirical/thoughtful Steve Taylor wrote a song in the '90s called "The Finish Line" that is clanging around in my head and heart right now. The lyrics alone don't capture the emotional power the song carries, but here is the climax--my prayer for our kids and our church, my hope for me:

Off in the distance, bloodied but wise
As you squint with the light
Of the truth in your eyes

And I saw you, both hands were raised
And I saw your lips move in praise
And I saw you steady your gaze
For the finish line

Every idol like dust
A word scattered them all
And I rose to my feet
When you scaled the last wall

And I gasped
When I saw you fall
In his arms
At the finish line

Deep breath. Squint. Walk on. Finish strong.

Here goes.


E. said...

Wendy, I'll be sure to pray for you and your family. Not an easy time for you guys and so many unknowns--which seem to be the hardest for us to deal with, don't they?

paige said...

Remembering 'one day at a time' makes things a bit more manageable for me. It definitely makes more room in my life for 'tuddling on the touch' with my tots, bubble-blowing, and cooking real meals.

Try to separate the anxiety you feel from the task at hand. It's much easier for me to sort paperwork, or call a yard service if the entire weight of the world doesn't hang in the balance while I make this particular decision.

Good Luck--we'll all cheer you on to the finish!

Anonymous said...

I wish I had some sage words of advice on how to make it all happen, but I don't. Remember, you are following God. He called you to this. Just as going to Ethiopia and returning home with your child seems an impossible task at first, so does this. Can I help you track down anything?? Like finding ins. in Michigan, or researching Oregon/Michigan readoption? Hang in there, one crossed-off item on one list at a time!

paige said...

Hey Wendy,

We haven't done Astrid Meeklit's readoption yet either. With another move in sight, we really need to get it done too. Wanna be re-adoption buddies? I want to mail our paperwork in on Monday--cheer me on, or join me and I'll cheer you on until it's done.

WMW said...

Monday, Paige?! THIS Monday? Not enough procrastination time built in for me to pull that off, I don't think...but you go, girl! You can do it, and then you can come back and yell at me for not keeping up!