Monday, June 22, 2009

Life Back Guarantee

I'm sitting on my couch with the tv tuned to Jon and Kate Plus 8. They are announcing (on the show no less) their future plans for their relationship and family. I go back and forth between being heartbroken for them and wondering whether or not this is, in fact, the greatest publicity stunt of all time.

But I don't think it is.

I met Jon and Kate in 2007, before their show was a People Magazine focus and their kids were officially potty trained. They spoke at a local church, and I had a few minutes with each of them. They were precious people, and it breaks my heart (and angers me beyond belief!) that they are facing the challenges that they are with their marriage. While I agree with others that they should shut down the show and focus on their family, I still can't drag myself away from this window into their stormy world.

Less than a month after my encounter with Jon and Kate, my marriage ended and life took an unexpected turn towards pain, anger, disappointment, rebirth, direction, and fulfillment. I had no idea at the time that the most painful night of my life would turn into the most enriching and rewarding experience I have had thus far.

Fast Forward.

Today I went to work. My boss is out of town on vacation, so he invited another chiropractor to stand in for him. She is in her mid to late 30's and was extremely pleasant. I would never have known that she was in the midst of the most horrible pain one can imagine. However, during the course of the day and the conversation, she let me in on her experience of watching her little girl pass away just a few short months ago. She was 4 years old, sick with a chromosomal abnormality, and she died of pneumonia. As Dr. L briefly told me the story, her eyes welled up with tears and she excused herself to the bathroom.

Lately, it seems that God is speaking to my spirit through many loud, clanging, signs that there are no guarantees. Life doesn't make many promises, and I've spent too much of mine planning for and worrying about things that either never happened...or made me stronger when they did.

OS and I are talking about "the future." They are the kind of talks that make me well up on the inside with gratefulness to God for his grace and faithfulness....and they are the kinds of talks that cause each of us to gather the fear from the depths of our toenails, hold it in our hands, and ask "is this going to hurt me?" It's next to impossible for either of us to have these talks without either the gratefulness or the gathering.

But there are no guarantees. And as God gently urges my spirit toward that mantra, I'm seeing over and over the importance of living today. Enjoying today. Singing our song today. Loving today. Embracing today.

We aren't promised tomorrow...and when tomorrow works its way into today, we aren't necessarily promised a pretty package. We ARE promised a God who will never leave us or forsake us. We ARE promised the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. We ARE promised to be lifted out of the mud and mire and our feet set on a firm foundation. We ARE promised that no matter what hand we are dealt, we don't have to play the game alone.

I hear God's gentle whispers to love in abundance today, because the only thing I know to be true is that when tomorrow comes, it will be different...a kind of different that I can only affect with today's choices.

So today I will choose to love.

Thirty minutes have passed since I tuned in to see Jon and Kate face tomorrow. But now there is a storm blowing outside. My power went out long ago. Sirens are screaming to the scene of a nearby accident....and I am curled up on the couch with only the glow of my computer screen and a bit of battery left.

I'm lost in thought over what Jon and Kate might do. Will they work it out. Will they give up? Will they choose to love? And I'm lost in thought over Dr. L...who smiles over so much pain...pain that she didn't ask for or deserve....but pain that she is wearing daily. And I'm lost in thought over this man that I have fallen in love with. Will it be forever? Will we have the kind of happiness that I dream for us? Will we continue to sing to each other as the new wears off?

And I realize that none of that matters. Be it joy or pain, whatever we have today, we may lose tomorrow or gain tenfold. There is no such thing as a Life Back Guarantee....we get today once... and the memory for a lifetime.

So today I choose to love.


Nelle said...

Watching the show last night broke my heart. Not only because both parties are clearly suffering, but because their children have to be succumbed to this. I know it was never deliberate and both parents want what's best for the kids, but the fact that it was displayed on TV for the whole world to see just seems...wrong. Because now there is physical evidence, taped, no less, that these children can have access to. Their parents divorce. It's really sad.

But I feel for both Jon and Kate. I don't think either of them expected their lives to spiral this way and when they realized it, they were too far gone.

You're right - it is all about faith in God. I'm happy you choose to love despite the turmoil you've endured in past relationships.

Nelle said...

I have tagged you for the Lovely Blogger Award!! Check out my posting

Lora said...

beautifully written, and thank you SO much for sharing :0) I needed that reminder.

Anonymous said...

I know this was written clear last week and I'm obviously behind however I still had to say it.

This inspired me today. It was beautifully written and so very true. We have to risk the pain, trials, and saddness to get the love, happiness, and blessings. You make the right choice.