I’d rather be…here now.
That’s not entirely true. Some days, it’s not even remotely true. The truth is, I’d rather be just about anywhere other than here now. Not so much geographically, though I have seriously considered moving our lives across the country in hopes of outrunning my troubles (even though I know perfectly well that never works). This particular case of here now, is one of time. Given that I can’t go back in time and change my past (even the not so distant past), I would give anything to be on the other side of here now –where I could connect all the dots and see that everything had its perfect purpose.
I remember last Mother’s Day vividly. We were at church celebrating all the generations of mothers, expecting mamas, new moms, and everything to great grandmothers. At the end of the service I was greeted with phrases like “you’re next, mama”. Just hearing the name mama being proclaimed at me was so life giving. It was a name I’d never been called but KNEW I wanted. I could happily picture myself standing there a year later with the most perfect little life wrapped up in my arms.
And here we are, a year later. Another Mother’s Day I’ll never forget. One I wish I could magically alter in the memory archives.
Jonathon and I had plans to be in Portland on Friday and I asked him if we could extend our stay for the whole weekend. With Mother’s Day on Sunday, I really just didn’t want to be at home, or even at church. I couldn’t bare the idea of hearing words like “you’re next, mama.” Not this year. Such innocent, well-intended words would only crush my aching heart. So we stayed away, and my heart ached from another city–because you just can’t outrun pain, even on vacation.
The idea of “be here now, isn’t new. I’ve heard these words for the past 15 years (my whole church life). I’ve been taught to be content in all things. While I know these words to be a familiar phrase, and one I’ve tried to practice, I feel like I was just hearing them (REALLY truly hearing them) for the first time in February. Like sound waves penetrating the surface and traveling to the core of my being–echoing from the inside out. These words had a mission to etch themselves right into my pain, where every deep dark feeling would remind me of their message.
I was in the middle of ANOTHER episode of overflowing tears. Where I was trying desperately to write out every broken feeling in my journal, and falling captive to the overwhelming wave of emotions that so often washed over me. I remember Jonathon holding me close and offering all the comfort he could. I settled in and felt the air coming back into my lungs as the salt dried to my cheeks. He hugged me tight and told me a little story about a car he had seen while out running errands. He said “you know how some cars have license plate covers that say things like ‘I’d rather be…shopping’ or ‘I’d rather be…hiking’? Well this license plate ring said “I’d rather be…here now“. He told me how that really spoke to him. And even though now was a hard place to be, it’s where WE are, and he wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Oh the tears. They came, and with a furious force. I wanted to be anywhere else, or rather anytime else. I wanted to go back just a couple short weeks to when we were still expecting our first baby. I wanted to go back to the place of exciting anticipation of wondering if it would be a boy or girl and what name we’d choose. I wanted to go back to my 30th birthday party where I was surrounded by my best friends, knowing each of them would play a beautiful part in that little ones life. I wanted to go forward to September when I was supposed to hold that perfect babe in my arms for the first time.
But HERE NOW, was empty, filled with a life sucking atmosphere of loss and confusion and grief. Here now was completely unbearable, and yet it was telling me I had no choice–I’d just have to learn to breath again. Because even if I’d rather be any where else, here now is all there is. It’s an interesting idea to think you can choose to be here now. And yet, it’s not a choice at all. So, you can either embrace it, or join Anne Shirley in the depths of despair.
I’ve been waiting to write this all out because I had this idea that one day I’d understand all the pain, and have a really valuable lesson to share. Besides, not many stories are written from the middle/conflict, without a resolution. So I’ve just here been jotting down notes, feelings, life lessons, and waiting, month after month. Wondering when I would share this part of my story and how it might look when that time came.
And then there was Mother’s Day. Oh how I hoped I’d be telling a special Mother’s Day story with a redemptive surprise, filled to the brim with new hope and expectation. Instead it was another month filled with as much hope as I could cautiously muster, crushed by the growing weight of disappointment.
And now I’m back at the front lines yet again, trying to find enough courage to put hope back on and trudge through the ups and downs of another month. But here now is where life has me. I can’t ignore it. I can’t wish it away (though I’ve tried). I can’t get in front of it, or even get behind it. It’s just here. It’s just now. Filled with beautiful and painful moments alike. With time, I’ve begun to see dreams and promises floating around the atmosphere of here now. Little sparkles of hope breathing life into my anguish.
In the mean time, I’m just learning. Learning to find comfort in the middle and even in the conflict.
“And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5: 2-5
So even in the midst of deep hurt, growing frustration, and even anger, I choose to cling to grace, peace, and persevering hope.
I choose to be here now.