Carrie in the roses on her very first birthday.
This morning, I feel like I've just woken up from a very long sleep in a very dark place. It's taking me a minute to fully come-to and remember where I am. I can tell that my writing has gone musty and frayed with misuse like the quilts I stack on my hope chest during the summer. I need to shake it out and put it to use.
This summer—this interminable summer—is finally fading away and leaving me as completely ready to see it go as I ever have been. I wore it out like a good pair of jeans. By the Labor Day horse show in Tennessee, it was soft and broken in and unfit for public wear. So, I let it go. And felt grateful. I spent two weeks at the beach at the end of August recovering from pneumonia and enjoying beaches that spread out like Caribbean travel brochures under an uncharacteristically cool sky. I made it to Lake Martin for a weekend and reveled in the way the water smells (and unfortunately, tastes) like decades of fishing and skiing and lazy Bourbon drinking. It was a beautiful summer. And it surrounded one of the hardest times of my life.
This summer, we seemed to go from difficulty to difficulty. My pregnancy became decidedly high-risk somewhere in mid-July and I've already been in the hospital three times. Our Golden Retriever has been diagnosed with untreatable lymphoma. And our spirits have been tried with any number of smaller troubles and clogs that probably wouldn't bear mentioning even if I could remember them all. It was a strange fusion of sweet and sour. To say the least.
But we have thrived in this rocky soil and we find it hard to attribute it to anything other than the grace of a benevolent God and the trials he wields like a surgical scalpel to dissect our sinful spirits. Whereas I began the summer in a perilous state of unbelief and rebellion, he has used difficulty to bring me back to faith and to further reveal and heal the collateral damage caused by too long a time in too dark a place.
These last few weeks (days?) before the baby's arrival are pearls He has given me to savor and admire and enjoy. And I am grateful.