A lot of good, caring folks in my life have naturally assumed that once the terms of Steve's bail were modified and he was allowed to return to Utah in early July, everything would be hunky dory in Jamieland, that "normal" life would immediately resume, and that "all of this messiness" would be behind us.
This has certainly not been my experience and, fortunately, was not my expectation. Steve and I have a lot to work through individually and as a couple - figuring out how to live as a married couple again after 6 months apart, getting to know the different people we've grown into as we tackled our individual challenges in the months apart, coping with the cognitive and emotional side-effects of Steve's medications, living with the pending legal decisions, learning (over and over and over again) to trust God and accept his love, learning (over and over and over again) to accept love from each other.
This journey continues to be anything but simple or rosy.
And I do believe that God is with us. I do believe that he's refining us, causing us each individually and as a couple to reflect him with ever increasing glory.
It feels like it costs all of me, everything in me, to live with this kind of faith. And I kind of think that's how God wants it.
A dear friend gave me the book One Thousand Gifts a few months ago. It's been both balm and challenge for my soul, and this passage, this image continues to stick out to me:
When it gets dark, it's only because God has tucked me in a cleft of the rock and covered me, protected with his hand. In the pitch, I feel like I'm falling, sense the bridge giving way, God long absent. In the dark, the bridge and my world shakes, cracking dreams. But maybe this is true reality: It is in the dark that God is passing by. The bridge and our lives shake not because God has abandoned, but the exact opposite: God is passing by. God is in the tremors. Dark is the holiest ground, the glory passing by. In the blackest, God is closest, at work, forging his perfect and right will. Though it is black and we can't see and our world seems to be free-falling and we feel utterly alone, Christ is most present to us, I-beam supporting in earthquake. Then he will remove his hand. Then we will look.I don't know if it's true. I don't know if the world falling out from under my feet every day, every week is really God tucking me safely into a cleft of rock. I don't know if my feelings of abandonment truly are the exact opposite: God passing by. But I have enough faith in my heart and truth in my head to think that it just might be possible.
Then we will look back and see his back.
...God reveals himself in rearview mirrors.
One Thousand Gifts