That you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those outside and that you may lack nothing.
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
My husband and I aspire to have a quiet, simple life without all the complications, ensuring our son has a meaningful life. But nothing about life was simple. It has been complicated as we have had to pick through the complexity of transitioning our special needs son into adulthood. Injustice wanted to raise its ugly head again. You can work so hard to feel like so little has been accomplished. (to process any feelings of injustice if you are a caregiver read my book Hope Wins with a new journal embedded in it here https://amzn.to/3CP30ba)
Can you relate in the context of your circumstances? It may feel like a hike up a mountain top where you are hoping to reach a job opportunity, a school placement, the proper disability support, find suitable accommodation, and the funds required to provide for your family. Or maybe find the right aged care facility for your loved one, mental health service, or even a loving community to connect to.
We often feel like we are our son Justin’s hope carriers carrying his hopes and expectations so that he can take his place at the table of life. To enable him to participate in church and the community or gain employment. And when we have finally arrived at some of these destinations, exhausted and sweating to that high place where others in our circumstances may look at us and aspire to be like us, there is one thing we often encounter. Those people who have not had to struggle to get where we are. They arrived in an air-conditioned luxury tour bus. They were a group of people who had not had to do the work, having been driven up on an access road, their picnic blankets already spread out, and their party underway. It can feel demoralising as we, too, desired the effortless simplicity of the journey. It seems unfair. Some of these thoughts were taken from Michelle Obama’s book, ‘the light we carry’ not a political statement but I did resonate with them.
Some, even other Christians, will say, we didn’t have enough faith, I was trying too much, and the breakthrough should have come more effortlessly, and perhaps they are right. Like there is something wrong with me because it has been a hard journey. The flip side is that there is something to be said for taking the journey, trusting God at each step of the way, and allowing Him to come into those places of hurt and pain and to bring a deep restoration of the heart. The instantaneous does not always develop the character and perseverance which enables real hope to overcome uncertainty.
I am reminded by the Apostle Paul to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus. Our journey is our journey. To aspire to lead a quiet life and trust Him with the work of our hands, He will provide. He will use the trek and strengthen you for having made it, for carrying the backpack’s weight. He carries us when it is too heavy like in this poem https://www.praywithme.com/footprints-prayer.html
Learning to give the burden to God and seeking His guidance on uneven and rugged terrain when navigated well has made me agile, and I may even feel better for it. I still want it to be fair, and I may never understand the inequity but as I have worked for these skills, and been carried by the grace of God, something is forged deep within that can’t be taken from me. The journey is character-forming and can be used forever to give hope in hopeless situations and to comfort others with the comfort I have received as with God by our side we climb the mountain. of life. I said at the end of Hope Wins it was tempting to write a glory story and have us all standing on top of a mountain as a family, we are nearly there, hope is overcoming and I do believe the triumph stories will come. In faith, they will be written in my third book, but the reality was for us we were not driven to the top in a luxury tour bus, we look forward to the breakthrough and I thank God for it!
What mountain do you aspire to climb, and how will you get there? Whatever the journey, whatever your circumstances, trust God He is with you, your trip will not be wasted.
Until next time,