I dread hard things. I think it is the unknown that I dread the most. I don’t know how the hard thing will feel, and I know that my emotions tend to get me into a lot of trouble. What if I can’t handle it? What if it is interminable? How will I stand strong?
This week my son is facing a hard thing. He is experiencing a first in his very young life – a week without his sisters.
As the third child in a homeschool family, my son has no idea what life is like without siblings. Rarely are both of the girls gone without him, and even if they are it is for short periods of time. Typically his biggest frustrations revolve around them still working on school work after he is done or them deciding to play something girly when he wants to play with them.
But this week the girls are off at camp. He nearly cried when that van pulled away yesterday morning, taking them from him. He really did not think that anything would be okay. He dreaded the hard thing facing him.
Then came the rest of yesterday, and it was really good. First thing in the morning I gathered up the edits I needed to work on. I then asked my son where he was going to play. He picked a spot, and I grabbed my bean bag chair and plopped down right beside him. As he played with his Legos, I worked on my edits. He would show me his creations and we would chat every now and then. He even told me it felt like we were having date time, even though I was working! Later I got some snuggles and we played together a bit before lunch.
He played through the afternoon and then we went for a swim before spending a little time with Daddy in the evening. It was a good day.
Today he has a friend over, and they have already enjoyed a delightful hour and a half of various play. I think I hear Legos clinking right now. Good ole Legos.
Today will pass quickly, and then we’ll face tomorrow. I already have a few things planned that we can do together, some productive and others fun. Then Friday morning we will get up and get on the road early so we can go see the girls as they and their fellow campers present all they’ve learned this week.
Is it an easy week? Nope. Are we all having to change our normalcy with the girls gone? Without a doubt. But is it bad? Hardly! It’s actually been quite good so far.
I realize that not all hard things turn out so easily. But, when I put it into perspective, I realize that this is a pretty big deal for my not-quite-seven-year-old, just as our hard things are big deals for us. And when we rest in Christ, our hard things really do turn out more wonderfully than we expect. They might not be easier than we expect. In fact, they might turn out to be even harder than anticipated! But, they always end up more beautiful than we could ever imagine.
God goes much farther to walk us through our hard things than I have gone to walk Steven through this week. He draws us to Himself, opening up opportunities for us to do the very thing we were created to do – worship and glorify Him with the entirety of our beings! That’s the knowledge I want to walk in as I anticipate hard things. They will still be hard. But they will also be beautiful because they will draw me closer to Him.