This last weekend I traveled home to Denver for my mom’s 60th birthday. We haven’t talked much in the last few weeks — me needing just a little bit of space to process the life change I’m surfing down — and I knew that the distance was making her sad.
To boot, my baby sister (not such a baby anymore) is studying abroad in Uganda, and so my mom receives a smattering of pixilated FaceTime calls, and a brief update every so often.
With such a big birthday approaching, my dad and I knew that she was feeling isolated — lonely with her girls so far away, geographically and emotionally.
So we hatched a plan.
Booking a last minute ticket, my dad picked me up from the airport, arriving home just a few hours before she did from work. He’d fed her some lines about having lots of things planned, but refused to tell her anything, something that frustrated her to no end.
When the back door opened, we slapped a gift bow on my head and I rounded the corner into the kitchen.
There was one stunned beat of realization before she crumbled into tears. She blanketed me in a hug, soaking the shoulder of my sweater completely through.
It was a gorgeous weekend — wedding errands, and dinners with best friends. My family and I took a walk in our favorite park, my puppy trotting alongside. We ate rich food, and told stories that don’t get told when we’re having a quick phone call or texting about bank accounts or wedding plans.
It was delicious.
But when I’d get home at night, another part of me would wake up. It was like the charming, fun-loving, in-the-moment side of me fell asleep, and a wired, testy, anxious version of me woke up with a zing.
I stayed up late, scrolling through my emails and instagram account again and again. I googled job listings, and applied for several late at night (which in hindsight doesn’t sound like the best idea). And then I’d scroll through my Zillow app, searching cities all over the country for the place that might be mine and Carl’s first home.
But more than anything, I worried.
Sitting straight up on my childhood bed, my mind looked like my laptop—a thousand open windows, my desktop covered in stacks of half-finished articles, wedding plans, and job applications.
And finally at one, maybe two in the morning, I would put my iPhone away, only grabbing it a few more times to see if any jobs had been posted in the last 30 seconds.
Yesterday morning I woke up only half rested and more than half cranky, snapping at my sweet mama when she accidentally interrupted a train of thought. I applied for more jobs, and distractedly scrolled through my emails again — after all, something could have changed in the last five minutes.
And this is just not the way I want to live.
In the middle of my morning stress-fest, my puppy clawed at the back door asking to be let out.
I got up, let her out, and then watched her through the glass door for a long while.
She romped around in the snow (yes, snow, welcome to spring in Colorado), and then found herself a spot in the sun. She sniffed around, romped a bit more, and then asked to be let in, promptly falling asleep in a patch of sunshine on the wood floor.
That is the way I want to live, because that, to me, is what trust looks like.
Chloe trusts us. She trusts us to feed her, to let her out and back in, she’s not shy about asking for what she needs, and she doesn’t worry when it takes a moment for her needs to be met. She rests, she plays, she is very much in the moment, and she loves us in heaps and heaps.
Now, I get that she’s a puppy, and I’m a human, but I think there’s something to be said for this.
The bible tells us not to worry. It says that God knows exactly what we need and that we can trust him to take care of us.
It tells us to ask and we’ll receive, to knock and the door will be opened to us, to seek and that we’ll find.
It doesn’t say to freak out and to scroll through your iPhone until your thoughts are frantic, your nerves are frayed, and your eyes are blurry.
That’s not one of God’s recommended remedies for an out-of-control season of life.
Instead, he tells us to trust him.
And so today — ever imperfectly — that’s how I am trying to live. I’m trying to ask for what I need, and not worry when it takes a minute for things to shake out. I’m trying to enjoy the moment and lay down in the sunshine, knowing that God loves me, and knows exactly what I need, and that I can trust him to take care of me.
Have you ever found yourself frantic, frayed, and blurry? How did you learn to trust God in those moments?