the ever distant horizon

EP distant horizon

As hot as the days are in July in Texas, I still find myself leaning against the oven while we make dinner. My sister has just come home from work and is unloading groceries. Her husband should be home soon. They’ve been living with us for one of out the three years they’ve been married.

“All those things we talked about the other day, ” I say, glumly. “Aren’t happening. None of them.”

My sister looks up from the task at hand. “I know.” She says sympathetically. “Next time we all get together and talk about the future, let’s all talk about things we know are about to happen!”

“Like, ‘I’m going to go take a shower’?” I joke.

“Yes!”

It has been a year of waiting for all of us. We have no word from Meggie or the adoption agency. The summer days draw out long and warm, like southern slang. We can hardly beat the sun up before it’s beating down, the cicadas singing like the sizzling of our skin. The hottest days are the stillest ones. The days when no wind of change blows through, no leaves rustle in a friendly breeze. The hottest days are the ones in which the sweat just sticks to your skin and the grass seems to succumb to the persistent heat and dry up, frightened stiff.

We wait motionless, hoping we’ll hear the steps of change coming down the road, but the quieter we get, the stiller we stand, the longer we wait, the louder the silence rings in our ears. No word. No word. No word. Eventually, the feeling of anticipation dies down.

We’ve been through this before, but we don’t like to remember how long it took last time. We joke about how we used to think this time it would be different, quick, easy. “But it’s us.” I remind everyone cynically. We do everything the hard way.

No word from Meggie while other kids come home. No move-in date while other homes pop up in town. No new baby, no new job, no new prospects, no new news.

I look out to the ever distant horizon and have to remind myself that nothing has fallen off the horizon like a sailboat. Everything is still there. It’s just that the horizon is further away than we originally thought. I can still see it all there, gleaming in front of the pink sun with tantalizing promises of turning pages, but the chapter goes on and on.

And yet, just when I think nothing can change, that we’ve hit a scratch on the CD and we can’t move on, I see something creeping past. The month of July slipping through my fingers. The “baby” brother’s brown eyes looking down at me. The “baby” sister reading Nancy Drew aloud over the car’s AC as we drive home from the grocery store, barely stumbling over a word.

I have to grab myself by the shoulders at this point and tell myself, things do change. 

They’re changing all the time, all around you. Perhaps there is no easy-bake solution to your seemingly urgent issues, but things change. Perhaps they do not change like you think they will, perhaps it isn’t your own personal paint-by-number life, and instead a more abstract masterpiece, but things do change. Perhaps not when you snap your fingers, perhaps not without a good long sigh of a summer first, but things do and will change.

We go back to the grocery store and fill up the big fridge again. We will eat and get hungry and shop and eat again. Especially that baby brother who is growing like a laundry pile. We all go to our dental appointments and my mom says she shouldn’t be there, she should be traveling by now, but there she is. We pray with fervency and we get lazy and bummed, and then we pray in panicked, antsy, midnight cries. And most of all, we wait.

But we wait for something.

Because things change.

You see, the short-lived pains of this life are creating for us an eternal glory that does not compare to anything we know here.

2 Corinthians 4:17 (VOICE)

5 Responses to the ever distant horizon

  1. Aunt Dee July 25, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

    Perfect! I love your writing Caroline! And to think, that Jesus loves us that much and wants to actually use us to further His kingdom. He counts us worthy of His calling, and that by His power He may fulfill every good purpose of ours and every act prompted by our faith. So it is, He will continue to refine us into His image. It’s no easy task!! And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose. We would never want to take the easy route! I love your statement, but it’s us, we do everything the hard way. By the way, that’s my statement! But God is so faithful to use every bit of that “hard way” for His glory!! We are in life school and it’s a “Christian School”! It’s hard but it’s all so worth living the life He called us to live!! It’s wild, it’s crazy, it’s hard, it’s exciting but oh how I love being different from this world we live in. Praying for our sweet Meggie to come home soon, safe and healthy!! Love you all!!

  2. Lindy Ireland (@lindyireland) July 25, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

    The weight of glory….

  3. Rachel Kazanski July 25, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

    Oh, my dear Caroline! Oh, my heart! Cling to our Father! Cry in His arms and beg Him to bring Meggie home! He will bring her home, He will. And He will hold you until she is!

  4. Natasha Metzler July 25, 2014 at 10:33 am #

    Ah, this. Yes, I have lived, am living, this.

  5. jessiquawittman July 25, 2014 at 12:36 am #

    Thank you. This was especially poignant for me. This summer has went so slowly while remodeling the house and waiting for Baby #3. Like you said though, things DO eventually change, then we look back and marvel at the waiting process. :)

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