But, September is coming. It is coming fast, faster than I would like. In many ways September is coming faster than I ever anticipated. I wasn’t ready 6 Junes ago when the stick told me I was going to be a mother. And just as all those sweet old people tell me in Wegmans, I blinked and now once again I find myself not ready when the calendar says “First Day of Kindergarten”. How are we here already?
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
But somehow despite searching for joy, despite praying for peace, despite taking my thoughts captive, despite speaking truth to myself, and despite surrendering to God’s plan, I still feel unsettled in the pit of me when it comes to this passage of time. And I think I always will be. I think I am finally at the point where I am okay with not being okay with it. And here is why: time is, in many ways, unnatural to us. It is a result of the Fall of Man, a consequence of sin entering the world. We were made to live forever. Our souls within us are eternal. We were created for life without end, for life not bound by the confines of time and what the passage of time eventually brings with it: death. Just as our bodies ache with the decay that comes with age, I think my spirit aches a bit from the unnaturalness of fleeting time. It is part of the Fall. I am not necessarily meant to ever feel settled about it. While, I am meant to rejoice in all circumstances, I am learning that I can rejoice (choose joy, choose thanksgiving, choose worship) in spite of not feeling settled or even happy with where I am. I am learning what a daily, even moment by moment, sacrifice of praise looks like. (Hebrews 13:15).
I have spent countless hours trying to make myself okay with the passage of time. I guess I thought that at some point I would actually like it, like really, truly like it. I don’t know how I thought that would happen. My view of time has always been a struggle for me. For so long I wanted time to go faster and faster-spinning me onto the next stage. I thought I would find happiness and fulfillment once I was living my dreams. Then once I met Hayleigh and held that sweet bundle in my arms, I felt such a shift in my desires regarding time. I began to beg God for time to just slow down.
Contentment is something I am constantly working on. And I can honestly say that overall I am content with what I have, who God made me to be, what my life looks like. I have even surrendered to the passage of time. I can actually rejoice in what is coming next, even if I am unsettled with how quickly we are getting there. I might not feel ready right now. I may never feel ready. I may always be unsettled in the pit of me by how fast life moves through this passage. But, I have come to the place where I am okay with being unsettled, because I honestly think that maybe God made us to never fully be okay with it. Maybe this, this being okay with not being okay, this rest despite feeling unsettled, this trust and surrender, this joy in every circumstance, this ease that finds itself tangled and rising to the surface amidst unease, is the peace God has for me-the non-sensical peace that transcends understanding from Philippians 4.
Maybe since aging and death were a result of sin, we are always supposed to battle against our feelings about the passage that brings us closer to that destination with each passing day. Maybe as we walk that passage, each milestone is supposed to bring us a bit of grief and a bit of joy. Maybe the bumps in the path of life and the staggering speed of the passage we walk through are supposed to cause us to ache for more-for eternity. Maybe time slipping though our hands, time passing us by as we stand powerless against it, time leaving us unsettled in our stomachs as we trudge on through that passage ahead, is meant to be Grace, meant to draw us closer to God. Maybe God created that ache in us to remind us that we were made for more, that our souls-the depths of our beings-were made for eternity, not decay.
So, each time I want to grab ahold of my loved ones and long to keep them , and us, together as we are, forever in that moment, I will also grab ahold of God who has set eternity in my heart. I will remind myself that I have found great joy in each stage of life. I will remember that without walking the passage of time, I would never have experienced all the joy and blessings God has given me to hold right now. Time has not always been good to me, or so it has seemed. But God has. He is the creator of time and He holds my days in His hands. He has used time to bring me all I ever dreamed for and to bless me so much more abundantly than I deserve. Each time I fear what lies ahead, I will choose praise instead: worship over worry. I know that while I may be bound by time, my God is not. While I may only be able to see one step ahead of me, my God can see the end from the beginning. And we do not walk this passage alone.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11.