Greg and I are getting ready to travel in a few days, taking our oldest kid on a special trip to Paris. SERIOUSLY — to PARIS!
And can I just say? There is not a lot of Parisian fancy-schmancy in my life these days what with a house more redolent of little boys than Nutella crepes. You’ll understand, then, why I’m only excited to go and not one bit worried about leaving my littles behind.
I’m a total wreck. That’s right. Because as much as I love to travel — and I DO, as I keep reminding myself — I tend to spend my away-from-the-tinies time thinking about death, death and also death. Mine, Greg’s, and theirs. It’s the never-ending mental death spiral. Gah!
I am SUCH a joy as a traveling companion. Greg just LOVES it.
In my defense, though, worrying gets a bad wrap, doesn’t it? Because worrying is productive. Let’s look at the evidence, Greg. I’ve worried for years and years and our kids are thriving. And that’s scientific proof; worrying’s not pretty but it works.
Besides, if not worry, then what? Prayer? Oh, blurg. Please don’t misunderstand. I love Jesus. I do. And not only because of that whole water-to-wine number, although I will say, Good one, Jesus; that miracle was RAD. It’s just that, when it comes right down to my faith and my doubts, I don’t trust God to answer my prayers the way I want them answered or to be the wish-granting Fairy Godmother I long to have. It’s OK, though; I promise. Don’t worry. God’s a big kid and can handle my petulance and my teeny, tiny issues with prayer and death. We’re still on speaking terms, and I suppose the silver faith lining can be found in that space.
Still, when I fly across the globe away from my tinies, I find myself whispering, Please.
Please keep them safe. Please do.
Then I saw this quote from Anne Lamott:
“I have to tell you (and me) what my pastor Veronica said when I asked St. Andrew for extra prayers when I was flying across the world. She said when you’re on the plane, it’s a little late for beggy prayers: instead, it’s time for trust and surrender.”
And I thought, oh.
Trust and surrender.
Well, that just sucks.
And it’s beautiful.
Kind of like life. And faith. And all of our journeys.
Both terrible and stunning.
So off we go. To live this high risk / high reward life.
I’m not making any promises, friends. I mean, I rock worrying. But I’m going to give trust and surrender a shot. Even though it feels like the first step of prayer.