Friday, July 13, 2012

The light switch life

It's Friday.
Today is the day and I have nothing to say.
A post I wrote two days ago will explain my current melancholy mood. I'm hesitant to put it out there, but I feel that people need to see the real side of our life, one with some bruises and breaks, as well as all the color and fun that typically flows off the pages of this blog.

Here goes...

It's Wednesday. Only two more days left with Allie this summer. There has been an ache in my heart and a tightening in my throat since Monday, dreading the day she would ring the bell on our deck for the last time this summer.

(Side story: We have this bell on our deck. It's small, it has a rather weathered patina, and the top is adorned with a graceful hummingbird. It's been there since we occupied our house in January of 2011 and Allie loves to ring it. Why? I don't know, but it's her thing. She's the only person who rings it. Every time she walks up or down the porch steps, she rings it. Now, I have come to expect that cheery jingle any time we come back from running errands or are leaving to go out to dinner. It has brought me many chuckles and smiles this summer as I've continued to fall more in love with the quirks and personality and beautiful heart of our Allie.

Ahh... how do I stop my eyes from filling with tears, especially since she's still here?! I have been dreading the jarring silence that will fill our home once she is gone. Granted, being married to a hilarious, energetic, musician never leaves our house silent and we constantly have visitors... but, you know what I mean.

There will be no Allie laughter though the house.
No waking her up each morning to get her ready for the day.
No packing her lunches.
No family devos on the sofa, sharing our thoughts about Jesus.
No small shoes left in the living room, or small clothes in the laundry.
No art supplies scattered on her floor or lists on her marker board, outlining the various activities she wants to do during her upcoming sleepover.

Her room will remain untouched, her books unopened, her footsteps merely an echo through our halls, until two months from now when she will bounce up the steps and ring the bell on our deck once more.

As Allie heads back to Alabama, I fear her absence will cause a giant, blackhole-like void in our life and I pray it doesn't crush us. Why does it have to be this way?! My heart is overwhelmed as I try to make sense of things and deal with the pain of what I call "the light switch life."

Definition of "the light switch life":
anything in your life that starts abruptly at 100% and then ends abruptly at 100%... over and over and over again. (Much like the use of an actual light switch.) 
For us, it's parenthood. We are constantly switching back and forth between being parents of an 11 year old and practically being newlyweds again. It's strange... and confusing... and this summer I feel like we have finally caught our stride, knowing what "life as 3" really looks like and feels like on a day-to-day basis. It's a complete blast.

But the switch will soon be turned off and we will be left in the dark once more. Ok, that was a bit overdramatic and melancholy, but you get the picture. It stinks. And as much as I hate the thought of her leaving, my heart is heavy for her too. How does an 11 yr old rationalize being raised in two very different worlds? I am so thankful that Allie's mom and stepdad are believers in Christ, but our homes are different in a lot of ways. Often I find myself agonizing over this for Allie, wondering what it will mean for her future, and the comforting words of friend of mine come back to me like a fresh, fall breeze.

"All of this is a part of Allie's story, God's story for her life. Nothing is forgotten by God or overlooked. He will work all of this for her good and His glory."

I know this is true. I have seen God move in our life in incredible ways. I know he has heard my tiniest of prayers and blessed me in ways beyond my own comprehension. I know He, above all, has Allie in the palm of his hand. She is such a dear, sweet child. I know without a doubt God has amazing plans for her life. It's just hard... to not worry or fear or overly anticipate the future, especially one you have limited control over.

But that's just it. The root of my problem. A desire for control. Ya know, I never dreamed I would be a stepmom, but I think one of the many reasons why God wrote this as a part of my story was so that I would trust him and allow him to have control. I can be such a control freak sometimes, fooling myself into thinking "I can do this" on my own. It's a painful lie that leaves you in a heap of trouble when the truth of your inadequacies rise to the top.

God is sovereign over all. I cling to this truth during our light switch life more than ever before.

A few months ago, Zach wrote an incredible song actually titled Sovereign Over All. It was birthed out of my sister's journey with brain cancer and now it comforts me in the silence of my home that feels torn apart for the next little while.

Here are the lyrics. (Hopefully you can all hear this amazing song when Zach's worship album releases this fall.)

Sovereign Over All by Zachary Kale & Andy Cherry

I ask for blessing
but what I need is healing inside me,
to know that you are with me, beside me
always

You see my hurting
and bring about the death of my needing
and hold me through the pain I am feeling
you are...

Pre-chorus
You're all I need
You're all I need

Chorus
When the waves are all I see
And I don't have songs to sing
You are in control
sovereign over all


It's by your mercy
that you've already come to my rescue
I come to find that Jesus it's been you
I need

Pre-chorus
You're all I need
You're all I need

Chorus
When the waves are all I see
And I don't have songs to sing
You are in control
sovereign over all

When my world is torn apart
even in my broken heart
You are in control
sovereign over all

Bridge
In all my fears
and all my failings
you are God and you never change
you stay the same

In all my fears
and all my failings
you are God and you never change

Chorus
When the waves crash in on me
and I have no melodies
You are in control
sovereign over all

When my world is torn apart
even in my broken heart
You are in control
sovereign over all
You're over all

It's by your mercy
that you've already come to my rescue
come to find that Jesus it's been you
I need

I think I will let the sweet melodies and truth of this song fill the silence in our space and remind my aching heart of God's abundant love, provision, and purposeful plan, even amidst sorrow and pain. After all, no one can switch off the love and light that Christ Jesus brings to our life. 


When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12

4 comments:

  1. I will be sending you lots of prayers over the next few weeks as you adjust... You are such an amazing step mom... I LOVE reading about your's and Allie's adventures! Allie is a blessed little girl... and you, a blessed step mom! :-)

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  2. Sweet transparent surrendered words! May the God who Made the sun moon &stars give your mommy heart peace as you trust his hiding of allie's steps

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  3. God is never wasteful, always purposeful, always 100% God. i have seen Him work situations to His Glory over and over and over. i am confident that you will see a might work of His hand through these years. and even though your feel like the light switch is off... your letters, your phone calls, but most importantly YOUR PRAYERS are keeping the lights on. in many ways... love you!

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  4. as my heart and eyes become filled after only the first couple of lines...I say thank you. this will bring about healing to many...it has for me. truth. love ~tanya

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