Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Bit Down Despite the Anticipation of Good Things

I am looking forward to leaving for Central Bible & Leadership Institute this weekend. I am! But, I'm feeling a bit down about it as well. We had planned to drop Sean off at his grandma's house and then Trevor and I would drive on to DeKalb for a brief visit with our good friends, the Olsen family, before heading to the camp on Saturday morning. Now, plans have changed and I'm feeling depressed about the whole thing.

Grandma called on Sunday night to say that she didn't think she could keep Sean after all. Her knee (which is in sore need of a further replacement surgery) has been excruciatingly painful of late. She came over to see her Indiana doctor concerning it, but he couldn't get her in for surgery until September. I feel bad for her that she is in pain and I fully understand her backing out, but I am reeling with sadness over the loss of my vision of what this CBLI would have been like. Since it was supposed to only be Trevor and me, I was going to be able to leave him for his free time and have the entire afternoons to myself (allowing me to be in the brass band for the first time and allowing me to read and write to my heart's content every afternoon). Yes, my feelings are based in complete selfishness.

Thankfully, the camp is willing to allow Sean to join us after all. They couldn't alter the housing arrangements, so he will be sleeping on the floor in a sleeping bag (I think he thinks he's going to climb in the twin bed with me). Plus, we weren't given the housing assignment we requested (things were very tight this year and there must be a huge number coming), so we are in a small private room with shared bath facilities. This means that the boys will have to go down the hall and use the men's room by themselves for their showers and other bathroom needs. I'm a bit worried that Sean, at seven, will not be able to fully handle that.

Still, I'm relieved that the boys have taken the changes so well. I was worried Sean would be upset about going and, equally worried, that Trevor would be very upset because it was no longer his private little experience with Mom. They both seem to have adjusted to the idea. It is only me dragging my heels and feeling discouraged. They are excited because the annual field trip for the Jr. CBLI track is going to be to a trampoline park this year (yikes - now I'm worried about injury).

My sadness is also streaming up from another place within. One of my friends in The Salvation Army, Steve, just lost his battle with cancer and has gone to be with the Lord. If you could see all the messages, condolences and remembrances, photos and stories, being posted on the Facebook feed, you would know just how vast an impact he made during his forty-some years on this earth. He was a humble man and always there with a good word. He poured his life into drawing people closer to the Lord. He ministered in Haiti, where he married a Haitian woman and went on to have one son, who is now about six years old (how I pray for his wife and son as they go on without him). I was able to hear him preach during the CMI alumni event five years ago and I remember his message stirring my soul. We are all (those of us in the Central Territory of The Salvation Army, who knew him) reeling with the loss of this fine, effective young man. God used his life in a mighty way, but for reasons unknown to us decided to call him home.

When I was in college, his parents blessed me immensely by taking me into their home every Sunday. I would catch a ride to the corps with a professor from Wheaton College and then go home with the Diaz family for lunch and to spend an afternoon studying. They then gave me dinner and returned me to the corps for the evening meeting, where I caught a ride with the same professor back to campus again. His parents were such godly, generous people. I smile when I think about the fact that Steve is being reunited with his parents (who have both already passed away) and being embraced by the arms of God. So, here again, even though there is good (what could be better than grasping eternity with the Saviour) it is mingled with sadness for the loss we feel here on earth.

Seeing all the accolades and expressions of grief has also caused me to take a step back and look at my own life. It causes one to ask whether the life you are living is making as big an impact as this other life has. How would I be remembered when I pass on? So, there is a sense of frustration that my life has such little impact in the face of things. Here I sit at my little kitchen table with a keyboard and very little else to show for my time (apart from the raising of some feisty boys). I don't know how to remedy that, only that I wish my life counted for even half as much as Steve's. I suppose the thing is to give it back to the Lord and ask Him to make of my life what he wishes. After all, He is the one who has led me into this isolated existence here in Indiana, and He is the only one who could take whatever I have to offer and turn it into anything of value. As I've said before, my job is just to show up.

I'm pretty sure my blog will fall into dead air for the next week or so while I'm gone. I haven't been reading as much lately and I don't know what kind of reception for wifi I will have when I am at camp. If my only reception is during meetings and classes, then that really doesn't help at all. Know that I intend to resume regular posting once I return in early August. I pray that it will be a spiritually enriching experience for both myself and my boys. I pray that all the glitches will work themselves out smoothly and that my own emotions will allow for enjoyment. We are blessed to have this opportunity, no matter what form it comes in.

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