“I felt like everyone got court side seating to a difficult game I didn’t feel prepared to play.”
I was sitting in my beautiful friend’s office describing life early last school year. It was there that I first uttered aloud to her that my father-in-law had cancer. Where I confessed fear of mothering strong, representing my family name well, and being a good witness to the inner faith that sustains me when that which meets the eye appears to be falling apart. It was there that she responded with the words of grace I would later claim for my 2016 verse of the year.
“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” Phil 4:5
She let me cry and struggle, but she also spoke to my gifts as a mother and leader.
And that was what made this day’s visit fun.
I’d come in thanksgiving. We were on the front end of summer. The outlook for my father-in-law was encouraging. And, I’d just received the call to my dream position in my home congregation. Work that would intertwine my heart for promoting strong family and identity in Christ with my love of education. She was a reference, and I couldn’t wait to say thank you and let her know that I was going to utilize all those gifts that she’d articulated to me to be the good in this new life high.
My girls helped me decorate this office to make it feel home - the result a precious mix of elementary classroom and fanciful class. Perfect for the birth through fifth grade families I serve and warm + inviting for all who enter.
My desk was moved, a large, framed photo of my girls was hung, and a few toys made their way in for the kids.
I thought I was done until the girls offered their two cents.
“Your window wall is boring and that’s the first thing people see when they come in, ya know.”
Target dollar spot string lights and a Hobby Lobby wall hang to the rescue.
For a window that looks out upon this.
Gary died the first day I sat in the chair overlooking the court and my words to my friend echoed loudly in my mind.
You need not be afraid of the game. I’m in it with you.
What do you say when life throws you off your A-game? How do you respond in the unknown?
From a holy conversation in one office to the sacred view in my own, I’m reminded to just get in the game. To always do my best and let go of the pressure to define moments won or lost.
God is near.