It has to be this way right now.

The past few weeks have been kind of tough.  It’s been a humbling time where I wish I could speed some things up or change other things entirely.

I’ve spent a lot of quiet time thinking, watching the snow fall and blanket the trees.  I’ve switched from my hurried pace and transformed into very slow, very quiet, very deliberate days.  My to-do lists have become very very short.  One thing that seems to make the cut each day is some time spent facing myself, rather than running from my thoughts.  In doing so, I think I’ve finally gotten the answer that’s been trying to come through for months:

“It just has to be this way right now.”

I’ve gotten that answer twice before.

The first time, it was after months of effort and preparation without a very great outcome, or at least what seemed like it at the time.  I was exhausted, sad, and defeated.  I can remember months of begging friends and strangers to come and help me out for just an hour, but for many (not all, bless their hearts), it was too much to ask.  For some, it was busy soccer schedules, for some, it was my high intensity that I’ve never quite learned to temper, for some, it was fear, but at that time, I hadn’t yet learned to love and face all of those things in us as humans.  At that time, I felt nothing but heartbreak, defeat, and exhaustion.  I can remember lying there, tears creeping out of my eyes as much for myself as they were in love and sorrow for the women in Congo I was trying to help.  I prayed there on my mat before ending the event I was leading, and the answer came quietly, “It has to be this way right now.”  It ended up being a turning point in my life that enabled me to do things based solely on my heart and soul, and regardless of what others thought.  What a gift that pain ended up being.

The second time, I was in labor in our car.  It was the last time I ever would be.  I remember it was night time.  I was tired.  It had been such a long pregnancy.  The little life in me felt so bright and important.  It was very late.  I can still remember in a muted way the lights in the darkness and the quiet sounds of the road, the feel of the blankets underneath and around me.  The upcoming delivery was so hard and the following months were some of the hardest I had ever known.  But in the car, when I could see the lights of the hospital in the distance, I can remember praying, and hearing those same words. “It has to be this way right now.”  Everything that has happened since then has so dramatically altered my life that I wouldn’t have it any other way, even though it has meant dreams left behind.  Those dreams placed on the altar have given me more of myself to find.

So I don’t know what this answer means right now.  But I know that right now, in these snowy woods, I am being blessed once again as things may not be happening the way I had planned or hoped.  But I know that it has to be this way right now.

2 Responses

  1. Teresa Richmond

    Ohhhh, Dearest Ann,
    I wish I could just throw my arms around you right now…and just hug you till forever. {: }
    We will all, I’m pretty sure, know enough of those pains to bring us to our knees. But we will also, with that pain, be given enough loving arms to make it through; to help us not drown in the inevitable tears that come. ((hugs!)) and Love!

    January 25, 2018 at 7:46 pm

  2. Jamie

    To see a hillside blanketed in the white of winter
    is to know a particular ecstasy of beauty.
    But to share it…
    to walk the gray winter woods and find
    buds which will resurrect their
    beauty in May…is to partake
    of continuity.

    I love how you are so willing to share the most vital place of life within you…your heart, your fears and anguish, and JOY.

    May God continue to bless you with peace and the sure knowledge that the future is as bight as your faith.

    Love you my dear friend~

    January 26, 2018 at 8:03 am

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