Journal for Christa— (from June 1, 2009)
When I graduated from college, Jay figured it would take him two years to finish his Master’s. I think that is where the concept of “two years” came from. In two years we would move out West and become teachers.
But, before two years were up, I was pregnant with Joy; and the caveat of teaching, we knew, was that I would have to work as well. So, after Joy was born, it was “two more years” and we’d move out West and begin teaching. But once again, before those years were accomplished, I was expecting, and we stretched—very slowly—two years into ten. Those were often discouraging years.
It wasn’t that we were unhappy. The years of babies are never regained—mirrored in grandparenting somewhat—but never regained. And it wasn’t that we felt “out of God’s will” because we weren’t. But, out upon the horizon, just beyond our reach, beckoned the ideal image of changing lives forever. And it so seemed it would never come.
The spring after Melody was born, Guy and Terry (friends who were co small group leaders with us) insisted that we go off for a weekend. Childless at the time, they packed their bags, came to our house, getting a weekend crash course in insanity.
Jay and I went to an inn isolated in the rolling hills of north Georgia. We played tennis, swam in the pool, and mostly sat in rocking chairs on a wrap around porch, which looked out over serene views of the Great Smokey Mountains. We were reading and editing a book Jay had written, totally engulfed in our own world.
One afternoon, with typed manuscript in tow, we were descending the few steps from the porch when two older ladies passed us. They stopped and inquired, “You two are teachers, aren’t you?” Taken aback, we both blurted, “yes,” having never taught a single day in our lives beyond student teaching, but we were teachers.
Now, after teaching almost 25 years, that memory makes me smile. For there was plenty of time—days, months, and years, stretching out into weariness—if only we had then known. Youth has a way of rushing things: always seeking the next phase, peeking around corners, anxious as a toddler, certain it’s missing something just beyond its fingertips. It is the great myth of youth.
Do not get discouraged in the days you seem to be marking time. The days of each life are numbered, and there are just the right days to accomplish God’s purpose. Live and wait—for when the time is right, you will know it—and that path, too, will open up before you, like the first rose of spring—fresh as the new day it is…