I turned around this morning to see last summer

Photo by Thecleopatra
Last summer rolled into town piled high with sturdy cardboard, flimsy faith and gallons of paint. The rickety-wheeled months promised anything but a smooth ride, and I dreaded the mid-June morning when I'd have to hop on that wagon. I knew it would take me through seven weeks of single parenting, my husband 800 miles away. I knew I'd pass by a dozen goodbyes, none of them I wanted to say.  There would be nothing routine in this summer migration, no pre-dawn runs before a lazy day at the beach, no CSA, no canning and freezing for the winter, no camping, and weeks living without a single picture on the wall. Late-night packing would replace late-night writing, and I'd pack four boxes for every post I published.

But we had to get on board. So I pulled the five year old close, the three year old, too. We pressed palms together and wrapped fingers tight, and no 800-mile-wide Red Rover was going to break that grip. We jumped.

The first week in Ohio I swallowed back more anxious, Oh God what have we done? thoughts than I did calories. I lost faith, and five pounds along with it. But as the weeks edged on, His grace covered my weakness like new paint on the dingy walls of our rental house. It took no less than three coats of grace and Glad Yellow paint, but the faith, I gained it all back, and then some. The pounds, too. And the walls wore their glad layers well.

Hindsight is my favorite way to see God working, and sometimes my only way. I'm practically blind in the middle and at the start, it's true. But let me travel a year toward that same horizon, then turn around to see where He led me, and I trade dread for marvel. I shake head in wonder instead of fists in doubt.

I turned around this morning to see last summer. And I cried, this time not for the grief in leaving, but for the grace in His leading, one summer to the next.

"Looking back, you know you had to bring me through. 
All that I was 
so afraid of, 
though I questioned the sky, 
now I see why 
I had to walk the rocks to see the mountain view. 
Looking back, I see the lead of love."
-Caedmon's Call, Lead of Love

Linked today with Emily for Imperfect Prose.

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