I’m getting ready to head away for a conference for the weekend. If there were ever a year where I needed this more, I’m not sure what it is. Thankfully, I don’t have the anxiety over going alone like I did last year (mostly because I’m not going alone this year); I am really just filled with excited anticipation. Well, and a just a little bit of anxiety over leaving my sweet M overnight for the first time in the eight months she’s been home. Ok. yeah. There’s some anxiety still.
Last year, we had just said goodbye to Baby D less than a month prior. I was wrung out emotionally. The grief was still fairly intense, even through that whole weekend. I remember what it was like to sit in my grief. Feeling alone. Wondering if I’ll ever feel quite normal again. I wept during sessions, during singing, just when talking to a lady I met in the hallway. Perhaps the intensity of the rest and peace I gained during that weekend last year was in direct correlation to the intensity of the emotions I felt in the weeks and months before.
This year, I’m not coming off of that kind of heavy emotionality. In spite of those terrible two weeks or so when I was fighting the health-related anxiety, in spite of the stress of two funerals this past week and another likely to come soon, I still feel fairly stable and sound. But I need rest. I feel it with every fiber of my being. I need alone time. I need a long walk looking over that beautiful lake, just me and Jesus. I need my shared room with an old friend, my dinner table with newer friends, and prayers with friends that I haven’t yet met in person. I need to sit in a roomful of mamas, remembering that I am not forgotten. I need to be reminded that I am called, changed, and connected to the One who knew every bit about me, even the ugly stuff, even the health-issue stuff, yet still knit my very being together.
Life is hard sometimes. Whether or not you do foster care, have adopted, have children at all, struggle with health problems or habits or anything else: life is pretty hard. We have to seize joy and rest and peace where we find it, and sometimes, when we can’t find it, we have to intentionally make space for it. Even if you don’t happen to be headed to Lake Lanier with me this weekend, find some joy. Get some rest. Fill yourself with peace. You need it too.