Sometimes I travel through time. Usually in the middle of the night, when I am awake with babies on either side of me, not daring to move lest I wake them and lose the few precious moments I have in my life to let my thoughts flow without interruption. During the days, the needs take over, and I don’t have time to be anywhere but here, moment by moment, wrestling with all of the daily tasks of raising a family and making a living and trying to do the best I can at existing on earth in this human body.
But in the middle of the night, I go to the past. To my childhood, where I was a girl who was waking from a nightmare. My eyes opened in the dark and I climbed out of my bed and stumbled my way, crying, to the bed of my mother and father. They woke easily. My mother sang to me. She told me that I could only think about one thing at a time, and if I was scared, I should try to think about happy things. I took blankets from the closet, made myself a soft pallet on their floor, and went back to sleep, dreaming of my next birthday.
Sometimes, when the house is dark and quiet and all the little ones are sleeping and still, I go to the future. To the many-possible-endings of the history that is now being written for us. I think about my children, who may wake from nightmares that are all too real. I think about everything I read on social media today, and I apply that to the future. And my gut reaction is fear.
It’s going to be okay.
These words form in my mind, and I am not sure if they are from the voice of my Mother in the past or my own voice in the future, or if the are breathed by the Holy Spirit himself. But I listen.
It is so easy to get lost in the ifs of life. What if this happens… Or, if only things could have been different…
But even in the longest run-on sentence of chaos, pain, sickness, death, disaster, war, violence, and bleak uncertainty, we can not quake beneath the quivering question mark. We cannot be pinned down, paralyzed by a two-letter word. We belong to a kingdom that is eternal and sure, not wavering, not set in the tension of the present moment. We look for God in every tense of our lives, and when we search with all our hearts, we will find Him. He has never left us. He has never forsaken us. He never will.
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