Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
Rudyard Kipling :
In 2008 I lived in the heart of the ghetto with my friend Laura. Laura and I had met through friends on Ash Wednesday, I greeted her at the table we were going to eat at and earnestly told her she had a smudge on her forehead ( I thought it was make up). She laughed her crazy laugh at me and explained that she was Catholic and it quickly came to my attention that every forehead at the table had a smudge that mirrored hers. In the months that followed Laura and I enjoyed getting to know each other at ballroom dancing classes and over meals with friends. She was engaged to be married to the youth pastor of the church until about three weeks before the planned nuptials when he backed out. Timing mysteriously worked out that I was going to move out of my studio and we decided to live together.
It was a testament to Laura’s faith that in a time of disappointment and heartache, in a time when everyone would have understood if she collapsed, in a time when all of the plans she had made for her future fell to her feet, she stood strong and persevered. Even in a few months that followed, as things kept falling around her she would handle it with such a measure of grace, she would laugh and joke that God had a great sense of humor.
Both of our lives were uncertain in that season. We worked so hard for the little we had but had you asked us, we felt like we had it all. There was always a laugh to be had, always music filling the house, pushing out any space sadness could linger. We had nothing and yet we danced. We were fumbling through our early twenties and having a ball!
In the last week or so everything has been topsy turvy. Because of so many outside influences literally every big part of my life is changing on September first. In spite of the insane amount of uncertainty looming in the future (something I used to be crippled by) I am finding so much peace. I know now that the sweetest seasons follow the times when our best laid plans are dismantled. I know that if God had a plan and his hand in the lives of two foolishly happy, dancing girls, drunk on wine in the ghetto, he certainly can be at work in all of this chaos. As a matter of fact, I know that all of this can only be changing to present both Q and I with awesome opportunities.
Like those years on Rainbow Lane, I am so grateful to share these challenging season with Q, someone who can dance during a challenge. Sometimes life goes wonky and all we can do is turn up the tunes and shake it out! I am thankful for seasons in the past that have shown me how much opportunity for growth seasons like this provide. I am excited to see what is to come. As for August, I can only hope for grace for each day:)