Last spring, The Westie Crew met up with a bunch of friends way out into the wild blue yonder to camp at one of the most remote, yet absolutely beautiful, campgrounds in Alabama. It's called Payne Lake, and as you can probably guess, the whole park is built around a serene, picturesque, medium-sized body of water.
Right around daybreak, the flowers on top of the lilypads would gracefully burst open so I was determined to get a photo of these lovely things in all of their glory before the blistering sun caused them to clam up within themselves again.
This is the first shot I took:
It's blurry, but you can still see how pretty these delicate beauties are. I only have a little point and shoot, and I've learned that if I'm not standing on one foot facing north while the stars are perfectly aligned, I'm not going to get that extreme close-up without blur, so I adjusted my shot by zooming out just a little. Quite the pro, I am. ;)
If you are familiar with a standard camera, once you've honed in on your image, usually you can press the shutter release button just a little and it will auto-adjust the settings to get you the sharpest possible picture (well, at least for people like me). Once I made those modifications, this is the picture that I ended up with:
I LOVE this photo. In fact, it is my desktop background here on my beloved laptop. It's just so crisp and clear and it makes me delight in God's beautiful creation even though I can't behold that particular scene, in person, every day. I'm also reminded of a wonderful time with people that I love so that makes me happy.
Last night, Mark and I took the Crew and my mom to Mississippi to drop off our camper before the big move (which, incidentally, takes place on Thursday). After we put it where it will be stored, we drove on over to the apartment so that we could get a feel for the potential set-up, and to simply see where we'd be living for the next 6 months.
I don't know if it was that we'd just left our church for the last time, which had me pretty emotional already, or if it was pure exhaustion or what, but all of a sudden, the reality of this move hit me square in the face and I kept thinking:
We are leaving Alabama. And this apartment is utterly miniscule. Not only that, but it smells weird. We are on the third floor which is *extremely* high up, and I am terrified that someone is going to fall off of the balcony... or what if there is a fire? And did I mention all of the TINY? My kitchen is the size of a closet in our present home and I'm not even kidding...
Anyway, I sucked it up and tryed, with everything in me, not to be an ungrateful pansy. After all, it's FREE. And TEMPORARY. But then we walked out to the parking lot and I caught a glimpse of my license plate which reads "Sweet Home Alabama" and I bawled. Then my Mama bawled. Then we went to Cici's Pizza and ate about 40 cinnamon buns and bawled some more.
But, as I laid here not sleeping in the wee hours of this morning, I remembered my picture. I've realized that the first view of this new chapter in our lives was saturated in provision and protection. In other words, we were just thrilled to have employment. The move was pretty far away so I didn't have to, and actually could not, process fully all that this new chapter would entail (I'm sure I still don't). Things were sure, but still unclear.
Now, I feel like I'm in that place of auto-adjusting. A place where the view is extremely blurry and perspectives change about 50 times in rapid fire. The house that we've been so comfortable in is looking more and more like it's shell. Plans are being made that we most definitely would have been a part of, but obviously cannot, because we'll be gone. All that we've been accustomed to is about to change. Different church, different faces, different scout troop, different job, different home, different e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. And it's hard.
I know better than to rely on my emotions, though. I know things will be more than alright. I know that God has a plan that is as beautiful as the crisp and clear picture that I love. And I know that I'll get there because I definitely trust Him with this and wouldn't go anywhere else BUT to Mississippi, because He's made it so clear that this is where he wants us. But, I also know that my Father is compassionate. He knows our frame and He knows that change is tough sometimes, even when it is moving toward His will.
I think of Jesus coming up on the scene of poor Mary and Martha, in John 11, after their beloved brother had just died. He was about to perform one of the biggest miracles of His ministry to the glory of God, and He knew it! He knew that they'd be a million times more than perfectly fine in mere minutes, yet, He wept. Why? Why would Jesus cry when he knew he was about to bring Lazarus back to life? Because He loved them. He knew that they were nothing more than dust and that, in that moment, they couldn't possibly understand, so He he had compassion for them. Their pain, as temporary as He knew it was, hurt Him. What love.
Just like Mary and Martha's pictures soon became crisp and clear and unspeakably joyous, I have the foresight in Christ enough to know that ours will too very soon. Yet, for this moment, I'm so very thankful to have a Jesus who knows our frames as we go through our adjustment period. A Jesus who loves us and stores our tears in a bottle when we are hurting. I can't imagine doing "life" without Him. He is so good.