I said two prayers this morning. The first started with a list of things I was pretty sure I couldn't do by myself. In typical fashion, the entire theme of the prayer revolved around how worried I am about...well, everything. I mean, my "worry spectrum" runs from one end (the weird processed cheese I use to make Nora's mac and whether or not it was created by humans and if so, what kind of humans) to whether or not I've chosen just about every wrong turn available to humans (including using processed cheese). I was listing my worries and finding myself growing increasingly more anxious as I went on. I stopped. I started again. "God, to all this not knowing about the future, Yes. Yes to being alone. Yes to my fear of teaching. Yes to not knowing whether or not I am helping Nora in the right way when she has meltdowns and nightmares. Yes to decorative gourds. Yes to getting older..." I could go on, and I did. I said yes to every single thing on my list of "I am afraid of [blank] happening or now that [blank] has happened, I don't know how to manage the reverberations." I stood up feeling less like that image we've all seen of a colt trying to stand for the first time, all knock-kneed and shaky, to someone who could at least pull her boots up and stand upright. I'm not saying I felt happy about my fears. I just verbally acknowledged them, through Him, as being necessary somehow. I suppose the simplest way of saying it is that I said Yes to the trial. Honestly, I'm tired of thinking of my life as a trial, and would like to somehow crawl out on the other side of this worry habit with the capacity to abide, remain, commence peacefully like Paul who says he's fine in all circumstances. Whoa.
So, tonight I happened upon James 1:2-3: Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
I'm still a long way from feeling joy when I experience a trial. On the other hand, if I hadn't noticed that the west side of the basement had flooded, I wouldn't have seen books hanging from a clothesline, and I know for certain that Nora and I wouldn't have read the "Charlie Brown Christmas" book tonight. I wouldn't have fallen in love tonight when Linus takes the stage and tells us, "Glory to God; Peace on earth; Good will towards men."
Yes. Yes. Yes.