Sometimes, I think it has to be big to be hurting.
Sometimes, I think it has to be deep to be aching.
But many times it’s not big or deep.
It just is.
Sometimes, a difficult trial is just an assortment of “small” pangs.
After all, there’s nothing especially tragic or heart-rending about the ordinary. But in the ordinary, I fall into the little potholes and valleys–and though I quickly move through them, they were still traveled.
And you would think that as a newly married woman, those potholes and valleys would be few and far between. Well yes, I have been given more, so much more, than I deserve. The joy I have experienced in the last 7 months is undeniable. But even so, with our first Christmas on the horizon and the promise of celebrations and new traditions, I can still stumble into a pothole. I can still find myself trudging through a valley.
Loneliness for old friends.
All are present and even if they only last 5 minutes of my ordinary, they still make an indent. They still represent a difficulty. Life doesn’t have to be big or tragic for me to struggle. There is no magic proportion of hardship before I fall to my feet in brokenness–because I can’t.
Sometimes, it’s hard to admit that I’m struggling, because it doesn’t feel big enough. It doesn’t seem important. Looking around only confirms my suspicions—there is too much happiness in my life to struggle.
I couldn’t be more wrong.
Life, this ordinary, is laced with those little pangs, those seemingly trite difficulties. And small as they may be, they are still hard. As I admit this to myself, I find that my heart falls into the ocean of God’s grace, my need crystallizes into His love, and though it’s cracked and the joy isn’t falling out in laughter—
I have chosen God.
And I have chosen well.
My decision to rely on Him for the strength and wisdom to walk through each growing pain, each bout of homesickness eventually, abruptly gives me rest.
And here I find that the smallest things intertwine and weave into the biggest things. So before my heart is crushed in anguish and I’m thrown into the trenches of something that began very small, I must lean into God’s strength, as I say to Him, “This is hard, please help me!”
Familiarity isn’t next door anymore. Life is full of change, full of new. Different is OK, necessary, and laced with all different sorts of happiness and hardship.
So yes, I am happily married. But even I have stepped into numerous potholes and valleys–and small as they may be, they are still difficult. I’m learning to look to God for comfort, grace, and wisdom. It’s so easy to look at me or my husband or my tangible life as the answer.
That is so futile.
Rather, I need God and He is the One that will help me choose a Merry Christmas even with all these little pangs, and all these little potholes.
It may be a little cracked tonight, a little tattered around the edges. But I’m choosing that kind of joy, instead of none at all.
I’m choosing God.