I had a buddy with me all day today....Samuel! He had to stay home from school because his fever didn't break until sometime in the night (and the whole 24 hour rule thing...) but he felt pretty good over all today, just minor cold symptoms. It was a typical virus but thankfully, mild! He came with me to drop off E at preschool and run some errands. Boy, can this kid talk!
We had to go return something at Kohl's and we came across a life-sized Olaf! Samuel wanted a picture with his arm around him to show Eliana and Zakkai:) This Olaf only costs $250!
I was really affected by something today and it took me by surprise. I was doing a quick scroll through FB (I really don't like FB overall but I can't stop checking it everyday! Darn that non-erasable app on my phone!) and I saw that one of Ben's former professors got tenure today and they had a big celebration at the school, which was well deserved, of course!
But I was surprised by the sudden tears in my eyes and lump in my throat. Half happy for this professor, who has worked so hard for this huge accomplishment and half sad for another reminder of our broken dream. Once upon a time it should have been us.
Sometimes people think or even I think that Ben was the only one left with a broken heart this past year. And it was broken. But it was my heart, too. I put in just as much time and sacrifice as he did over the past 9+ years and we have absolutely nothing to show for it except a dusty doctorate degree that sits propped up on a dresser. It's a miracle it is even out, as it was shoved into a drawer for most of last year. A painful reminder of brokenness and the ashes of a long-time dream.
Now, that is not to say we don't have joy now because we do. We have a lot of peace, too, about where we are now. We are in a place of healing and being loved by our Savior in a way we've needed for a long time. So, it's a good place to be. But that doesn't mean it isn't a painful place to be and that's hard for people to understand. That's hard for us to understand! How can you have joy and pain at the same time? It's hard to fathom but we know it when people make comments or ask innocent questions or former schoolmates ask Ben questions about what he is doing currently or why he wasn't at the big annual conference a few weeks ago and our eyes meet and we know each other's pain without even having to speak it aloud.
I guess the thing to be thankful for is that even though it didn't work out like we hoped or thought or wanted, even though we have no idea if it ever will work out, we can trust that God loves us and He is a Redeemer and our time here on earth, our experiences, our suffering doesn't go to waste. Most of the time faith is trusting even amidst unanswered "why's" and knowing He loves you and letting that be enough.
So I am choosing to trust even in the moments of unexpected tears and painful reminders and to put my hope in Jesus. He is, after all, the "Reason for the Season" and I am so incredibly thankful for that! And really thankful that our boys, especially, are really starting to understand it on a new level. So many blessings...