Today has been a day of emotional sorting. Sorting through a whole bunch of unrelated things that are all related because I’m feeling all of them at once.
My son’s band teacher was killed in an accident on Saturday night. She died trying to save the lives of 50 students. She did it. Did I know her? No. I had spoken to her, but didn’t really KNOW her. This is my son’s first term in Junior High. He really liked her. And so, while I am on the edge of it all, I still feel affected by it. And affected by the knowledge of the hundreds of people who are much more acutely affected than I am. And I guess I just feel a heightened awareness of the fragility of life and the blessings of it.
I’ve been sorting through some of the natural disappointments of life which feel so big in the short run even if they aren’t in the end. Sorting through the humbling reminder that God has a lot of much bigger needs out there than mine, like all the people mourning the loss of a loved teacher right now. Teetering between feeling ashamed that I have my own small concerns to bother the Lord with and feeling grateful that he cares even though my cares might be silly.
Sorting through a pile of fears that I didn’t know I had until I became a Mom and my kids started growing up and each of them unveiled their own set of challenges. Sorting through all the questions about how to respond, how to help, how to be sure it’s the right thing to do and not a decision made out of fear. And wanting to be certain that my fears won’t prevent us from doing the right things.
I guess today was kind of a going through the motions day while my mind and heart was sorting, sorting. I wish I could say that I have it all sorted now, but I don’t. In fact, I think I’m ending the day with more new questions and no answers. But I’ve been reminded that it doesn’t work for me to tell God how to take care of things; he has a plan all his own and a way to take care of things and achieve much more than I can dream of. I just have to have the courage to give him my fears and exercise faith.
I’ve learned that much of life’s sorting is done while our bodies, or hands at least, are on autopilot. Often when I’m processing things I end up cleaning, preparing food, ironing, and so forth. Some people go for a walk or a run. Sometimes my husband goes skateboarding when he’s got things to think through. Today I ended up in my sewing room. This is what my “sorting” produced:
A baby blanket for my little one.
It’s made with that soft minky fabric that’s so perfect for babies.
I bought the last of a bolt a couple of weeks ago, thinking this would be the perfect little blankie for her.
I love the pleats. I think it was the monotony of the pleats that made it the perfect activity for me today.
Not to mention the fact that spoiling her a little sort of eased the sorting my heart has been doing over yesterday’s haircut. And the fact that I’d really like a big one of these for myself.
So here’s my question. What do you do when you’re grappling with life’s questions? What activities help you to sort through it all? Do you have something you consistently do, or do you end up doing any of a number of things? Just curious.