“How are you?” No one really wants the answer to that question, at least the real answer. It’s the “Don’t ask/Don’t Tell” of our lives. I believe in answering truthfully. If you don’t want the real answer, don’t ask the question. “How are you?” is heavy. It isn’t a passing question to fill the quiet space for me. How am I? Well, everything is changed.
I’ve been broken before. But not like this. I’ve had my joy stolen before. But not like this. Those songs that sing about nothing ever stealing their joy? Not me, joy gets stolen by the pain of this world and I have to work hard to take it back again. Today, joy at times is feeling fake. Holidays are different. Outings are missing something. Joy gets forced. Everything is changed now.
There is that one “thing” no one wants to talk about. Like in Harry Potter, we have a “he-who-must-not-be-named.” If we inevitably do talk about him we’ve found people either get that glazed-eyes look and tune out, or they look horrified and dumbfounded. Either way, no one wants to talk about him, the son who passed away. Except us.
You know who wants to know how I am doing these days? There is one who listens when everything is changed. The same one who listens when I sing worship songs terribly filled with aching tears and obnoxious noises. God doesn’t turn away from my pain. He’s the same one who isn’t afraid of my questions, no matter how ridiculous they sound. He accepts my longing for something more, something better—something changed.
He’s showing me that he’s making that place for me, “a new heaven and a new earth,” and it isn’t going to be the way things are now. Everything will be changed (Rev. 21:1-8). He is the one who is teaching me to be okay with not being okay in this change.
How am I with that change? Well, right now, I’m not okay. But I’m okay with that. My joy is found in Christ and I know He will bring it full circle again within me. He tells me that in Revelation: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief crying and pain will be no more …” My hope, my joy, is here, in this new creation, this change.
Because my God is making me, and all things, new.
My husband and I are parents of all boys. One of whom was a young adult with both physical and intellectual disabilities. I don’t always know what I’m doing as I parent these guys. But what I do know is God is teaching me big things through our trials that I probably would have never learned without them. You can find more from me at www.alifenotnormal.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter @stefmckeever.