There’s this cycle of rut, as I unaffectionately call it. Where life goes up and down and then plateaus before jumping up or down again. In that long, or sometimes short, season of sameness, it feels very much like a rut. This time now, after George’s Birthday is a lot like that. There’s nothing new to trigger a down day. There’s not really anything exciting on the horizon to engage my heart in leaps of joy. There’s just every day life. Mundane, ordinary, normal, life. And before George, I longed for ordinary. I waited what seemed like endlessly, as we moved often and felt needlessly unsettled more times than I can count, for life to be just normal. Ironic. Now, some of the most painful days are those that Are ordinary. When his absence is felt the most whole heartedly. Because I know that I will always miss him on holidays and anniversaries, but when it’s a day for running errands or just doing the basic stuff of life, it hits me that there’s only one child climbing in and out of the car. Or that Audrey wants to play her princess board game, for the thousandth time this week, {and she plays wrong by the way} and she wants to do it with me, because who else is she going to play with...

It cycles like this: I start by feeling guilty for lacking imagination and desire to play with my almost 4 year old. I tell myself I don’t have anything better to do - the house is clean, dinner is prepped, etc - so I get down on the floor and we set up the board. And we pick, or rather she assigns, princesses to be used as our game pieces, and the mundane of life takes shape as a board game filled with all the magic of Disney.  Then as we spin the “clock” as she calls it, and we take our spaces on the path to the end (because it’s a game that my 4 year old can understand, there is no strategy, no real rules, just following the path from start to finish), I miss my son. Because even though he would only be 2, and he would likely not cooperate with her all that well, they would have each other. He could wreck her game and she could fuss at him for doing so. And in the end, nobody wins or losses, because that wasn’t the point anyway. And then, with all my might, I try to put aside my cynical, adult brain, and just enjoy the spinning clock and the various twists in the board game path; silently counting down until we have both arrived at the finish.

That board game feels an awful lot like a metaphor for this season. I’m not trying to earn points or complete tasks, I’m just trotting along this path of grief, trying to get to the finish line of this chapter. And I have no idea what this chapter is really even about, so there is no definitive finish. There’s just me and God.

He knows what’s coming ahead. He knows the details of this chapter; how it ends; how it progresses; what the next chapter looks like. There’s a big part of me that wishes I knew the “cure” to this season so that we could move on. Will another baby bring with it the close of this chapter? What if we call this family of ours complete? Would that jump us forward out of this cycle of rut? But in the end, we just have to live. We have to trust God’s timing, seek His will, and process all of the shit that causes us to stumble into these moments of rut. I know that there are days where it feels like my life is exactly the same as that board game. No point. No purpose. No strategy. Just following the varied and random wishes of the spinning clock. Except those are all lies. Lies that Satan is telling me to drive a wedge between me and the only reason I’m capable of getting out of bed each morning. Lies that cause my heart to hurt just a little more, so I might be a little more angry with the God who could have changed the outcome and didn’t. Lies that make me feel worthless or undeserving of the one living child I do have. Lies. Powerful, exaggerated, harmful, lies.

My God is good. And faithful. And steadfast. And never tires of my mood swings. He never gets frustrated by my need to go over this disappointment with him for the millionth time. Unlike me when Audrey pulls out the princess board game, God not only gets down on the floor with me, He takes delight in the monotony. Because he takes delight in me. And that’s enough of a truth bomb to spark joy in this aching heart. It’s just the right truth to combat the lies that make the mundane so painful.

There are still days where I wish I had a more clear definition of what this chapters ending looked like. Certainly days where I wish I was let in on more of the details of the plan God has for me. Thankfully, even when I ask over and over for answers, God doesn’t get angry and punish me. Instead, He stretches his arms a little longer and embraces me a little more snugly. And even though I don’t have all the answers today, I’m comforted to know that God does.  For this moment, that’s enough. Maybe tomorrow it will be more than enough? If I know myself at all... I’m going to have to believe that enough is actually enough. And prayerfully, intentionally, take more delight in the mundane.

“but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” - 1 Cor 1:24