Strange dreams are not conducive to good sleep.
When I got up, my mind strayed to last night's dream and yesterday's drama and the emotions that swirled and snaked through my head. The sting I felt after I found out my daughter had told her grandmother the name of her new "boyfriend" before she told me. Grandma knows, she said after I asked her what his name is.
The conflict I felt in knowing that she has someone to confide in, and also in knowing that sometimes that someone is not me. (She eventually did tell me, but I had to guess his name. To be eleven again.)
The frustration I felt over feeling behind on getting things done. Over going to our life group meeting without my husband. Over spending too much time in Toys R Us looking for a baby gift because Toys R Us is disorganized. Over the discussion in bible study that morning about needing people, but knowing that some of the people I need can't be needed right now.
Culminating in leaving the Toys R Us parking lot, distracting and in a hurry, with my tailgate wide open, gifts in the back.
Um...mom? AB says to me, giving me a sideways glance. Your tailgate is open.
Lord, have mercy, I say.
But I meant it as a half-prayer, half-curse.
All those unsettled, tense emotions haven't gone away today, they've just subsided. I've gotten distracted enough to subdue them, to forget for a moment that I need people, that I'm still behind, that my distraction is a hindrance and I have no peace in my soul.
A thought enters my head throughout the morning, though, and it's one that won't go away. A central theme to the bible study we are currently reading, all about that restless, unsettled feeling that won't go away.
This is no mistake.
I want to question this thought, to challenge it, to dismiss it.
Your neighborhood, your neighbors, your church, your circumstances, your jobs. This is no mistake. You are exactly where you need to be.
I'm exactly where I need to be.
I'm exactly where I need to be?
It can't be right. I'm disappointed. I'm struggling. I'm tired. I'm fighting the emotions that turn me into a negative person.
I thought things would be different. I didn't realize that running this race would be so hard, so tiring, so all-consuming.
But this race is the one I am meant to run. Giving up is not an option.
People. Our circumstances may not be the exact same, but on some level, we all have disappointments and frustrations and circumstances that leave a gaping hole in our soul, swallowing anything it can to fill it, forgetting that God is mighty and willing and able.
God-shaped hole, remember? Unique, only filled by the One who made it.
We don't all run the same race.
But we all run.
Therefore...let us throw off everything that hinders
and the sin that so easily entangles.
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
fixing our eyes on Jesus,
the pioneer and perfecter of faith...
consider him...so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.