Practicing Parents

Great (un)Expectations

~by Charity Marrone

blog fortune cookie

May all that is unforgiven in you
Be released.

May your fears yield
Their deepest tranquillities.

May all that is unlived in you
Blossom into a future
Graced with love.

John O’Donohue ~ To Come Home To Yourself

I came across this blessing during a time of good writing flow. My story was opening up to me, and I was ready to share it with beautiful words and imagery. Our life had been in transition since November, mainly due to our decision to scale back so that my husband could begin doing work of his heart. That meant we would need to seriously make some changes in the lifestyle that we currently lived, being well provided for financially, at least.  A quite comfortable, safe, secure, LoVeLy life in community. Our friends and family were thrown off by how positive I was and that I wasn’t worried. Always a worrier, since the day I was born…well, since the time I believed that I needed to be my own protector and provider…it wasn’t me, certainly, not that me. It was a truer me, and that was all I needed to be prepared. Surely, goodness and mercy will follow!

The decisions we were making were not typical of our ways up to this point. Basically, we were living day to day, minute to minute fully on God to provide for us. For worriers, which I had been, making decisions doesn’t come easily, so to be so laissez–faire with some fairly significant changes could be seen as careless and irresponsible at times. Two more characteristics of who I am to the core, careFULL and RE-E-esponsible. I believed that it would be okay because we were putting our trust in the Lord. Surely, Goodness and mercy will follow.

Until April.

For some reason April was the month I was looking forward to, my Estimated Time of Arrival, our lives would be saved just in time. We weren’t going to lose everything, we were giving it all away. This was going to be our resurrection with Jesus. I was certain with my whole heart that He was going to do it without relocating our family. Time was running out and soon it was the 11th hour.

I know how this part of the story goes. Surely, goodness and mercy will follow?

Then the 11th hour and 59th second.

Oh, no. I know how this part of the story goes

He doesn’t take the cup away?

He doesn’t take the cup away.

Clock strikes 12

Oh, no…this was not Easter? It was April but it wasn’t Easter.

…it was Good Freaking Friday.

We packed our boxes, a family of 5. Absolutely no place to go, but the boxes were packed. We just needed a place to transition, a place to rest, so that we could get on our feet again. We had offers from other families to come stay with them so that is what we did.

Five years have passed, since I began to share this experience. It has been such a hard place for our family. It didn’t get better, things were not okay at all, it became overwhelming, isolating, and we were lost…for a while. It seemed it would never end, and it was increasingly more difficult to find things to be grateful for. Except for one thing. There was always something to be grateful for. Not in the candid way that you ought to be thankful for what you have. It wasn’t what we had that mattered, it was what we were not carrying around anymore. Some people would nicely say, “At least you are making it.” I began to be honest with them and say, “Actually, we are not making it. It’s really hard and we are doing our best to get through it.” Being vulnerable allowed others to meet us where we were. Each move became less unsettling and showed signs of provision. It was a long redemptive road to rediscovering how to live differently. Puny paychecks grew to a thriving business. We are no longer struggling financially and every need has been met abundantly. Our greatest concern was simply making it through together as a family. Not only have we grown closely as a family, our marriage is secure and we have a true sense of what it means to be home. When things get hard now, and in the future, we will not be the kind counting our blessings. Although, thanks to John O’ Donohue, mixed blessings has a new meaning , and our deepest tranquility came after our fears had been realized and lived out. Still, we will believe that SURELY, goodness and mercy will follow.

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