This Wednesday Adam and I are headed for the British Aisles. We fly into London where we will stay for a couple of days and then we will head to Southampton to catch a cruise ship that will take us to a few stops in Ireland before our final destination in Edinburough.
As I was getting a head start on our packing the other day, I distinctly remembered when Adam told me that he had qualified for this free trip 11 months ago. I did some shamefully slow math and said, “There is no way I’m going to want to leave my 9 month old baby for 9 days while I go off on vacation!” It was sad to think we would have to miss out on a free dream vacation but that was what life would be now, right? And, I felt completely content with that. I was actually excited about it. I knew the joy of parenthood would be so much more rewarding in the long run.
So, as I think about this trip I feel such a mixture of emotions. It feels like such a blessing! An extraordinary gift! But, just the fact that we are able to go at all is a cold reminder of what our life looks like now, without our little one. As it seems with everything, He is teaching us the dance of joy and sorrow.
How do I enjoy this trip fully? How do I grieve that I don’t have a reason to not go on this trip? It’s tempting to just give in to the adventure and push down the sadness until we get back home. But, I know that’s not living by faith, and I know that I won’t be able to experience what He has for me in this trip fully. You can’t numb the painful things in life without numbing all the good in life too. So, I’m left with submitting to the pain when I feel it and, what seems by far more difficult, submitting to the joy when I feel it.
Adam has referred in a couple of his posts to “our new normal”. Well, this way of living seems to be my “new normal”. I resist it sooo much though, and sometimes I feel more sad about that than I actually feel about everything else.
So, here’s to being a mess and enjoying the peaks and experiencing the valleys all the same.