The last few days have been a whirlwind of activity and emotions. I seriously wonder how much more of this ride I can handle. Two of our four kids have chosen to live far enough away that going to visit requires some planning and a hotel stay. One is only three hours away. Still, to spend any quality time with her and her husband, it takes more than a trip there and back in the same day. The other lives nine hours away. That trip is far less do-able, especially as the season turns to less favorable driving conditions. It was the latter with whom we spent the last few days.
Our trip started early Saturday morning. My husband and other son had loaded the bookshelf our son asked us to bring along with the five boxes of books I had boxed. Several rounds of heavy rain–so heavy that the road was completely obscured–and nine hours later, we arrived at our son’s future in-laws home where we had been invited for pizza. Conversation around the table was sweet as we spent some time with those who will be part of our family as we will be part of theirs. Darkness engulfed and we needed to head back to our hotel. After coming very close to meeting a deer and two raccoons, we arrived at the hotel and collapsed in exhaustion. The next day would be busy as we would move our son into his new apartment.
Sunday in Indiana found the weather to be ridiculously hot and humid. Thankfully, we had few things to move and plenty of hands to help. Moving, shopping for needed items, and dinner took up the rest of that day. Once again we drove back to our hotel exhausted. I also found my emotions becoming raw as I realized that once again, in a few days, I would be driving away and leaving my son behind, this time in the apartment that he and his future wife will share together in seven months. Monday was spent doing more of the same as Sunday with some anger and frustration thrown in–just to make it all that more difficult for me. Now we had two cars as we were bringing home one that we had left with our son for the summer. My husband led the way as I followed behind, struggling to drive due to a combination of physical pain and emotions that were so raw that I literally thought my heart would break in two. Another bout of wickedly heavy rain and we once again collapsed in exhaustion.
Today was spent driving back, my husband leading most of the way. He had the GPS and, more importantly, he tends to not have the heavy foot that I have; a speeding ticket was the last thing we needed. I thought of the weekend and each time I did, fresh tears stung my eyes and rolled down my cheeks. Between the pain of my momma’s heart and the pain of some physical ailments, trying to hold back the tears was as senseless as trying to keep a cat from chasing a mouse. Since I had to make the drive alone, it was too easy to just let my heart break over and over. I had turned on my playlist knowing the majority of songs that would play would be worship songs. I hoped that worship music would ease the pains that plagued me.
At one point, a song that has become quite popular began to play. I have heard this song hundreds of times. We have sung it at church. The song is titled Oceans. As the words poured from my van speakers into my ears, I heard them in a different way this time. One part in particular struck me. It goes like this:
“You call me out upon the waters,
The great unknown, where feet may fail…
“Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
That my faith would be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior.”
Those words…those words…well, they just described exactly where I was at that moment. I had spent the last few days with my feet failing me. I struggled at times to walk and fought through the pain it caused. I wanted to be the mom I had always been and couldn’t. I had let my son down. Emotions took over and I was sure he was glad to see me leave so he could be free from the emotional mess his mom had brought to Indiana. I cried even more as I struggled with that feeling of failure. I hit the replay button on the song–I needed to hear those words one more time. Really hear them. As I did that, I thought about the waters on which God has called me out. They are scary waters. My feet do fail me–sometimes literally. But then I heard the next line–“That my faith would be made stronger”.
That my faith would be made stronger.
That my faith would be made stronger.
I don’t feel like my faith is being made stronger.
I feel like a failure.
I feel like a disappointment to those around me, especially my family.
I feel like a disappointment to God especially.
But isn’t it deep waters that teach us how to swim? If we can always touch the bottom of the pool, we have no reason to swim. We can walk out of the pool then. But if we find ourselves in a place where we cannot touch the bottom of the pool, we need to put in the effort to swim to reach solid ground.
Perhaps God has really brought me to these deep, scary, uncomfortable waters in order to strengthen my faith.
If so, I can only hope that He also provides the strength to swim these waters. My feet are failing.