Never Until Forever Enough.

"Please, please dear God in Heaven, PEACE and QUIET, this is all I want."

This was the plea often uttered silently during the last few weeks and months of trying to give my grieving husband space to process the loss of two brothers. Attempting such a feat requires vast amounts of energy due to the nearly circus-style energy created by the posse of early elementary aged children that move and breath in the space before, behind and all around us. Not to mention the sheer effort of staying sane whilst doing so. This thing of motherhood, as you may attest to yourself, is in itself a perpetual and precarious balancing act of grace, guts and glory. Mostly guts and grace.

As it was, dear God in Heaven decided to answer my pleas. Due to the exceedingly generous offerings of my parents and sister to watch over our offspring, I joined my man on his business trip to North Carolina for part of last week.

We barely said a word the entire drive down. Not because we were upset or had nothing to was simply exhilarating sitting in silence! I joked that I am at a very low-maintenance point of my life where "quiet" is nearly equivalent to an all-inclusive spa package (to which he only smiled, but refrained from agreeing with). We listened to a little James Taylor and occasionally he would reach over and hold my hand. An hour outside our destination, I took a delightful little car nap complete with the hazy realization my mouth was hanging wide open allowing for a little tributary of drool to collect on my seat belt strap. When I awoke, we were in Charlotte and it was Spring. It was a lovely day and I thanked God for answering my prayer. Peace and quiet indeed.

The next day I dropped him off at his meeting and enjoyed a QUIET day, meeting a beautiful lady I know in her quaint lake-side town and absorbing the warm sun. I stopped at Ross Dress for Less because it was the only store I had passed to and from the hotel, and I bought three items that I took back to the hotel room to try on for dinner. I forgot about Ross being an alternate universe where one must buy five sizes up from their "normal" buying size. And so I put my miniature clothes back in the bag to return the next day. No matter! I wasn't going to get a little poor judgement and too-tight tunics get me down. Not I...besides, there were books to read, silence to sit in!

It was all well and good, until the next morning. And here is where it gets downright ridiculous and real ugly. I sat at the desk in our Marriott Residence Inn overlooking a corporate park (concrete parking lot) having just mindlessly watched Kelly and Michael (because I NEVER do that at home), plotting my last free day as I considered the overcast skies out the window. My phone dinged and I checked my text. It was from a friend who knew I was away and also she was away with her husband...and it was a scene from their beachfront tropical resort, resplendent with plush lounge chairs and billowing, gauzy curtained canopies. I stared at the sunwashed scene for a minute and then stared back out my window with it's small patch of grass between the road and concrete slab with rental cars lined up in rows. And I could feel it seeping up, starting from the tip of my slippered toes until it got into my head. 

I struggled, even as I was genuinely so happy for my darling friend who was able to go on a reprieve of her own. I mentally sat myself down and reminded me of all the things I had to be thankful for by being on this trip...I have a husband who loves me, who treats me kindly! I have beautiful children and amazing family who offer to watch them when they see a need. My husband has a job! We were able to steal away for a few days where I was able to receive exactly what I had prayerfully asked for...PEACE and QUIET.

And yet.

It was not enough.  Fumbling around in the stink of my funk in Room 403, I heard the words come into my heart: "It will never been enough".

It is true. Even on the best of days, the highest of mountain tops, the most cherished of friend circles, the closest of marriages, the dreamiest of vacations, the coziest of homes and the glowingest of praises from good as it can get, it will never be enough. Whenever I get what I want, I want more of it or the next best thing or something else entirely. There is always the next thing.  Until forever. In eternity, where all that is unmet within me will be matched up with what God has had waiting and prepared just for me, there will be no more "next thing". Discontent will be desolate.

The thing is? I am still here, on this side of forever. I do not have to pretend it doesn't exist, put on a faux positive front when that sense of "never enough" creeps close. It is real and needs to be kept in check. It is a sometimes daily choice to disallow the part of me that yearns for more to pull me down into a stupor of short-sighted discontent.

I must guide the "never enoughs" to point me upward and onward, into the forever part of life that I have yet to experience.

"That's why I don't think there's any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what's coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reigns it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.

All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’swithin us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy."
-Romans 8, The Message

{Gratefully, by God good's grace, I was able to snap out of my funk within an hour of it's start time and we were able to finish out our time of peace and quiet with just as much gratitude as when we started. It doesn't always work out like that, but this time it did...and for my good man's sake, I'm glad!}

{Photo taken several hours after my funk and moments before a platter of the most amazing fried pickles came out to our table. And all God's people said...}
UPDATE:  I just had to share (with permission) this text I received his morning from the amazing friend who was vacationing at the "amazing" resort last week: Jeane, it's SO ironic...that same day my sister ( who had booked a very last minute trip to the same town we were in) sent pictures of the resort they were staying at...and I was overcome with this sudden feeling that they were staying at a much more beautiful place than we had chosen. They were eating lobster and filet for dinner and we were only having pork. Oh my word, I made myself sick that I would think such ungrateful thoughts and then I had the EXACT same thought that you wrote about...if I cannot be thankful for all the many gifts I have been given, nothing will ever be enough.

We humans are silly, ridiculous and downright sin-prone little creatures aren't we? And yet always and forever, we are loved and forgiven even as we struggle over our concrete views and lackluster pork. 


Anonymous said…
So good.
I am always blessed by your posts. So insightful and sweet and real. And, humorous as I shall now refer to those sized that just don't fit as miniature clothes :)

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