My brother and his wife are two of the most unshakable people I know. Now, I’m not currently writing a Disney script to illustrate their flawless marriage and love story because I know that what they have requires a lot of hard work. I mean, my sister-in-law deserves some sort of crown jewel for living with my brother for all these years. Living with him for the amount of time that I did nearly drove me to the brink of insanity. I know that they work hard to be strong, but they ARE strong. Sunday, we were sitting around the table at Easter dinner and I heard my brother utter the word “uncertainty”. This is not a word my brother uses very much. He always seems to be so sure and convicted from everything from religious theology, to the idea that strawberry ice cream and peanut butter are a fabulous combination. He talked about the difficulty of not knowing what was coming, and the almost crippling feeling of not knowing how to plan. I listened to him talk about contingency plan after contingency plan. If this happens, then we will…but if this happens, then we should… My rock solid brother and his wife are struggling with the unknown.
As they struggle with one aspect of uncertainty, I started thinking about how hard it is to live with a blank slate in front of you. They just want to know. Are they moving or not? Simple question, right? They just want to know so that they can plan. No matter what the answer, they just need to know.
As I began to consider their struggle, I started thinking about how much uncertainty any one person can have. I live with a lot of uncertainty. When I am looking into the future it is in soft focus. Uncertainty. Unknown. My daughters health, my career, school, love, direction. At what point does uncertainty and the unknown become paralyzing?
I’ve spent so much time begging and pleading to God for answers, and direction. I’ve been specific and directed in my prayers, waiting for answers. I’ve been faithful in my search for certainty. The truth is, I know that even when you are sure of certain things, it doesn’t always work out that way. I know that unexpected events are thrown our way. Tragedy, loss, illness, also an unexpected promotion, winning the lottery, meeting someone at Chipotle…all of these things can change your course and direction. Tragedy and ecstasy can all change our vision for the future. Despite the knowledge of the curve ball, the false certainty of planning is somehow comforting. Life has a way of derailing our plans all the time, and yet we are immediately creating a new vision, a new contingency plan. I’m beginning to realize that sometimes God speaks to us in our planning. Sometimes, He uses those plans to show us where we should go, and I believe that when we are headed in the right direction, we are content…solid…peaceful.
Sometimes I have to just trust that after my plans are derailed, I can allow the Holy Spirit to penetrate my mind with the new vision that God has for me. So today, I’m resting comfortably and breathing deeply as I rest on the solid and open my mind up to the next place God wants me to be.
There are still so many places of uncertainty in my life, but there are places that are solid. As I allow God to direct me, I’m certain of one thing. Strawberry ice cream and peanut butter are not a good combination.