God has a sense of humor while I learn to wait upon the Lord—he sends both rainbows and mosquitoes.
Do YOU Know What You Want to Be When You Grow Up?
“Discuss with your partner what difficulties you have right now,” the staff worship leader directed us.
I did an inner eye roll. As an introvert, I didn’t feel like baring my soul to a staff member I had only met a few months ago. Especially on a Tuesday afternoon. She looked equally hesitant to share. As a senior staff member (age-wise and number-of-years-at-the-school-wise), I blurted out the first thing that came to mind.
“I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.”
My partner looked shocked. After all, my grey hair, grandmother status, and 30-plus years of teaching would make one think I had passed the awkward stage of choosing a ‘grown-up job.’
As I deal with a lupus diagnosis, I’ve started to question what I do and how my body responds. What stressors do I deal with in healthy ways, and what stressors do I internalize (thus causing a flare)? Reading The Body Keeps the Score helped me realize I need to continue the deep work of healing.
But healing takes time. It involves waiting. I hope I’m not the only one who finds it difficult to wait. Somewhere between an empty nest and middle age, I find myself stuck in the land of what next.
Learning to Wait Upon the Lord
The last four months have been especially difficult. Instead of hiking and photographing all summer long, I cleaned and remodeled. At the end of the summer, I flew back instead of driving back from Alaska. The week-long drive gives me the alone time I crave after a busy summer of peopling.
Three weeks into the school year, one of my students died in a tragic bus accident on a school outing—sending all of us into a maelstrom of grief. As a trauma-informed educational institution, we focus on helping students deal with the trauma. But now, we deal with our own trauma and loss while trying to mitigate theirs.
This morning, I filled my journal with questions for God. What should I do next? Is it time to retire? Do I use all the talents he’s given me? Maybe God has something else in mind for a later-in-life career.
God Uses Rainbow to Hug Us…
I headed out the door on my morning run and turned west. A gorgeous rainbow arched over campus. Just what I needed. A sign of God’s faithfulness for my season of waiting on the Lord. God will never leave me, nor forsake me. I might not know exactly what he has in mind for me next, but I can enjoy the beauty of a rainbow at sunrise while I wait.
As the day ended, I glanced out the kitchen window and saw the golden hour had begun. The colors called me, so I decided to risk getting rained on and go for my usual evening walk.
This time, I headed east on the dirt road running around the back of the school property. I could see clouds turning color as I headed up the hill, and I quickened my pace. Within minutes, the sky exploded with color. The setting sun reflected off the clouds and tangled with another rainbow.
I waited, hoping to photograph a complete rainbow. While I waited, I tried various focal lengths and foregrounds. For ten glorious seconds, the rainbow shone in a complete arch. I turned around when the clouds moved in again and enjoyed the stunning sunset.
…And Mosquitos to Remind Us
That’s when I realized I had 47 mosquitoes feasting on the back of my legs. I spent the rest of my walk alternating between slapping mosquitoes and snapping photos of the gorgeous sky. If my younger colleague saw me, she probably worried about my sanity and not just the fact I told her I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up.
But I don’t mind. Each time I scratch a mosquito bite, I’ll feel a zing of joy. While I learn to wait upon the Lord, he’ll hug me with rainbows at the beginning and the end of the day. And give me mosquito bites to remember the benefits of waiting.Rainbows are God's hugs for humanity. #rainbow #oneword22 Click To Tweet
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.Isaiah 40:31 KJV