I planned to post something else today. Something about finding beauty in the every day. I still want to write that post soon, but this week I just didn't feel like it. I didn't feel like writing about finding beauty in life because I hit a rut. A frustrated, emotion-driven rut.
You see, a plumber just pulled two very expensive feet of tree roots, sticks and sewage out of our shower drain. And it sent me into a pouty, root-filled, plumber-hating rut. Well maybe I don't hate the plumber, but I hate that he came to fix what we thought was a simple draining problem and left telling us we better start saving thousands of dollars to dig up our backyard and fix our pipe because it has a tree growing in it. I am really mad at him. And frustrations and uncertainties that have been building up inside of me for weeks are now being taken out on this poor plumber. I know what you're going to say, "Love the plumber, hate the plumbing." Just don't go there.
Okay, I'm taking a deep breath and backing away from the plumber now.
Lately, Jeremy and I have been living in a world that feels like it has a lot of doors. Way more doors than we have in our little red brick ranch. Maybe that's the plight of the 20-something, but the doors can feel a bit overwhelming at times. As we try to navigate career choices, family choices, and schedule choices, there seem to be so many doors we could potentially walk through. And lately, there have been a few doors that have been completely shut in our faces. God is working; I know that in my heart, but right now I am struggling to understand the closed doors.
There was a door that Jeremy knocked on recently that I REALLY wanted to open up. I had my fingers crossed and I was batting my eyelashes and whispering sweet nothings in my head to that door asking it to open because it seemed like the perfect opportunity.
Then Jeremy called me on Tuesday and said the door was closed. The dream opportunity was gone. Our income and Jeremy's work for the rest of the year are still uncertain. Oh...and there was a plumber in our bathroom pulling roots from the drain and ruining my life. That darn plumber.
And as I began cursing the man with the plumbing snake in the drain pipe, I realized that my frustrations were much deeper than that. Plumbing seems completely trivial, in fact. For weeks and even months, headlines have had us all convinced that the world we live in is not so beautiful. And they're right. Terrorists are driving through crowds, races are pitted against each other, politics are a mess, violence is normal. Issues much deeper than closed career doors (and exponentially deeper than our sewage pipes) are flooding our newsfeeds and streets and the lives of people around us.
In light of all of those struggles, I've honestly been trying to ignore it and tell myself just to see the beauty in the world. But this week, when a few comparatively small things broke loose in our little household and a career dream was put on the shelf next to a closed door, the weight of the world seemed to fall heavy as I reflected on what a broken world we live in.
As our bathroom was quite literally covered in poop from the mess, the injustice of life seemed to rest right in front of my eyes so that all I could see as I scrubbed every surface of the bathroom was the mess of life.
Tree roots shouldn't invade your plumbing and cause thousands of dollars of damage. Children shouldn't get sick. People shouldn't die in senseless terrorist attacks. Everyone should start treating each other with kindness.
I couldn't see the beautiful that night. My heart was too heavy with the hard stuff.
So Jeremy and I sat in silence for a long time as we ate our dinner and mulled over the hard stuff of life...the everyday stuff and the heavy, devastating, world shaking kind of stuff. It's real. We can't pretend it isn't there.
The world is still spinning crazy. There is still a place somewhere underground where tree roots are growing into my pipes. And my certainty of God's plan for my life is a little blurry right now.
But God is still on the throne. He has the end in mind. He still makes beautiful things like the peonies on my kitchen table and this evening's sunset. The beauty in the world around us doesn't negate the bad stuff, but it does remind us that it's not all bad.
Sometimes, however, we just need to sit in silence and let the sadness wash over us. It's ok to feel helpless in light of current events. It's ok to be weary of the injustice in the world. It's ok to hurt and to be frustrated and to be confused.
So I write from a place of self-soothing in order to say this:
I don't have it all figured out. And sometimes life doesn't seem fair. God is still God. Beauty is still all around us. But life is hard, and sometimes we all just need to know it, rest in His sovereignty, lock arms, and keep going.
But, if you can help it, don't blame your plumber.