And then 'that thing' happens that requires the first mile of you. And it doesn't matter what it is, what yours was versus mine, or ours versus another, because it's ours. One is not better or worse, even when we say things like "it could always worse", to try to make ourselves, or others, feel better. It's the mile you've been called to walk and it's hard. It hurts sometimes. It can bring unexpected joy, and unbearable grief, but you walk it because that's what you've been called to do. And, because they need you to.
We've been on a few walks during the last almost six years as parents, some short and intense, others mild, but stretched out for a while. But they've all tested us, worn us thin, made us stronger, strengthened the ties that bind. They make us fall into bed at night exhausted, and frustrated and motivated us out of bed the next day, pulling ourselves up by our boot straps, not willing to give up, or give in. It's these times, I think that God makes us humble, and gives us strength. He renews our hope and gives us courage. He whispers, if you listen, that He is with you and will never forsake you (Deut 31:6), that He is your strength and your shield (Psalm 28:7), and that He will comfort you as a mother comforts her child (Isaiah 66:13).
The current 'walk' we're on has been a difficult one and for now, has no end in sight. I know it will come, just not sure when, or what that may look like. It has taken all I had, in the beginning, to breathe, and now it takes all I have to trust. Trust in those around us, trust in a system I don't fully understand, trust that God will bring truth and justice. It's taking all I have to be calm for my kids, and family, to show restraint when I want to completely freak out. Obviously (as you can tell by the things I share on this blog), I'm not one to hold much in, so this restraint I speak of is stretched thin, but I will hold on, because it's the mile I'm walking right now. And they need me to.
I have no way of knowing what all this walk may require of me, of our family, before it's over, but I will keep walking. When the trials come, and they will come, share your burdens when you can, and bare with another when they let you.... high five, give a hug, say a prayer and keep walking, because they need you to.