Toben and I decided we need a term for the opposite of deja vu. For those times when (instead of feeling like something has happened before) there's a feeling of something that's supposed to be happening that isn't.
Pretty much the feeling we had all weekend around here. I felt like I was waiting for something, that there was something just out of reach that was supposed to be, a shadow of reality not quite materialized. Hmm...like a trip to Arizona, perhaps.
Anyway, we're back to real life around here, and it was good to wake up this morning at home as planned, right where we belong, looking ahead to a new week. I'm hoping Audrey feels the same way when she wakes up later. This weekend kicked her tail and left me feeling very much like this as a result:
If you're a mama, you get it. Do NOT mess with my girl.
And being faced with questions I can't answer, her feelings of disappointment and rejection turned inward so she thinks she did something wrong, holding her while she cries and her heart breaks with the exhaustion of plans being made and cancelled, made and cancelled...well, yep, that picture pretty much sums it up.
God did work a whole lot of good out of the circumstances of this weekend. How do I know? I made a list this morning. (Of course I did.)
And the thing is, the list doesn't erase the heartache, it just sits next to it. The good God works out is an AND, not an OR. So often, I think we feel like we have to deny the bad to find the good. And I just don't think that's right.
The cross of Christ was something God worked hugely for our good. But that good didn't erase the agony of it. The pain, the sorrow, the separation was real, and to deny it would somehow cheapen it.
We don't have to pretend like everything's alright when it's not. But we can say that in the midst of the not alright-ness, God is still faithful, still good, and actively working good.
In Lamentations 3, Jeremiah (who most believe to be the author of the book) remembers his sorrow, recalls bitterness, acknowledges affliction. We sometimes forget these verses:
I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
And jump straight to these ones:
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Funny isn't it--that we know the end of this verse so well. But there's something to be learned from the beginning too, I think. Somehow God's compassions seem even greater when they follow on the heels of "well remembering" the things that have hurt.