I was driving in the rain this weekend, feeling especially sad. My sixteen year old son is having a hard time emotionally and physically because of the effects of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and I was just feeling hopeless. Or more accurately, thoroughly DISGUSTED. ANGRY. FRUSTRATED. I was driving along, trying not to cry. Sometimes I’m just so emotionally exhausted I don’t know how I will get out of bed the next day. I was thinking these thoughts-- I just don’t want to do this anymore, things have to get better, I don’t know how much more I can take. Everything is falling apart. But IMMEDIATELY as I thought the words “everything is falling apart,” the phrase “falling into place” popped into my brain. It stopped my spinning brain cold, and I thought-- God is sending me a message.
Is it possible that when we feel that everything is falling apart, we have to hold onto our faith tightly and just trust that what’s actually happening is that everything is falling into place? I think it’s more than possible. I think that it’s the absolute truth. If we just trust that everything is going to work out, that it will. But how can we do that when our personal worlds feel like they are falling apart, or being turned upside down? The only way that I know is to literally take a leap of faith, and hold on for the ride.
In its simplest form, it’s the same thing that happens when you’re decorating for Christmas. For a week the house is a total disaster. A mess of boxes and tissue paper, pine needles and tangled lights. But you work hard. You stay up late carefully taking ornaments out of dried cardboard and tissue paper and placing them on the tree. You dust surfaces that probably haven’t been dusted since the last holiday and perfectly place snowmen and reindeer and santa clauses. And you’re ok with the mess and the chaos because you know that soon enough you will have… MAGIC.
In this last year I’ve very deliberately forced myself to think of my life this way. I don’t know the future, so I’m trying to get ok with the mess that I sometimes feel in the present, and be excited to watch the future unfold. The chaos is necessary as part of building the next beautiful chapter. The problem I have is timing, and this is where I am consciously trying to strengthen my faith. I’m so IMPATIENT. We’re not talking a week here. We’re talking already a year that I’ve been waiting for my son’s experimental treatment to move forward, all the while watching him get weaker. So I struggle with my own advice sometimes. But when I do, I remember a book I read recently by Dr. Wayne Dwyer, “There is a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem.” This book resonated with me for many reasons, but the biggest lesson I took from it was the reminder that impatience is counter-productive. It keeps you mired in frustration, waiting for the next piece to fall into place, and causes you to miss the blessings of the present. So the path of self-improvement for me is to continue to practice having faith in God’s timing. When I deliberately think to myself, “it will be fine, all of this is in God’s hands,” I stop worrying. How can I worry if I truly believe that (which I do). And after last week, every time I feel like everything is falling apart, I’ll tell myself it is really falling into place, and soon enough, I’ll have...MAGIC.