Our daughter’s wedding is less than two weeks away, ten days to be exact! To say that planning a wedding during COVID is stressful doesn’t begin to come close to what it’s actually like. It seems like there’s a new snag to deal with every day. However, our family has come to realize that for every bad thing that comes up, something good outweighs and outshines it. And each time I become frustrated and want to scream, Ken reminds me that Rebecca’s wedding day will be a beautiful celebration of love no matter what.
No matter what.
That’s a phrase I keep repeating to myself. No matter what we face, no matter what obstacles or stumbling blocks we hurdle, no matter who is there or not there, our daughter and the love of her life are getting married in a union blessed by God. And that’s really all that counts, isn’t it? They are being married, and God is involved. All of these snags, all of these inconveniences, all of these worries and fears, perhaps they are God’s way of reminding me to stop trying to be in control, that He is involved, that He has this under control, that all I need is to surrender to Him.
I need to surrender and to remember that from the day they met, God has been involved.
My patience is being tested to the end! For the past week, I have been living in chaos. We’ve been in our home for over sixteen years, moving into the house between Katie’s fifth birthday and Morgan’s birth a month later. My father-in-law built my kitchen, and it was a beautiful kitchen. But, as with all things, it was time for an upgrade. The floors throughout our first level were in terrible shape, as happens with cheap flooring and a houseful of kids and dogs. The kitchen cabinets were showing a lot of wear, and Ken and I were ready for a change. Rather than do the downstairs in bits and pieces, we dove in headfirst, ordering new cabinets, appliances, and floors, all at the same time. And we still need to think about paint!
I’m pretty sure I’m the most impatient person I know, and I have a strong need to always be in control. Imagine living for almost three weeks without countertops or appliances
(not to mention the first week of not even knowing where to find a spoon). Now imagine that you are only beginning week two. I sit here and type along with the cadence of saws and hammers and crewmen calling across the room to each other. My upstairs office is away from the mess but not from the noise. Our microwave is precariously perched on the disconnected dishwasher in the garage, surrounded by flattened cardboard boxes, dismantled cabinets, and the other appliances. This is where I make my oatmeal and tea every morning. The contents of my kitchen are spread throughout the downstairs, including on the front porch and in the sunroom. I know that I will go to bed tonight with the sound of incessant banging ringing in my ears. Oh, and the chirp of the smoke detector that keeps alerting me to the overwhelming presence of sawdust in the house.
Today’s responsorial psalm for the Mass is from the 40th Psalm. In the psalm are the lines, “In the written scroll it is prescribed for me, To do your will, O my God, is my delight.” In the midst of all the chaos surrounding me, I am reminded that I cannot always be in control and that I should bow joyously to God’s will. Sometimes, I have to let things happen slowly, to let situations come about of their own accord, to deal with the dust and the dirt and the noise of this everyday life without trying to make things happen in my own time and in my own way. I have to remind myself to delight in what God has in store. And it’s so, so hard.
Patience is a virtue. We hear it so often that I think we forget that there is truth in the saying. I know I do! Perhaps God enjoys throwing us curveballs, blocking our path, or forcing us to endure long, drawn-out trials, both large and small, in order to remind us that we are just one small presence in this world. We are to live our lives for Him and for others, finding patience when we are being tested and acceptance when we cannot be in control. I know that, by the end of next week, I will be overjoyed with my kitchen. Until then, I need to bear all things and be satisfied with each small step, looking forward to what is to to come. God is in control in all ways and in all things. I need to remind myself, when my stress level rises, that He has this.
Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You too must be patient.
Amy Schisler is an award winning author of both children’s books and novels for readers of all ages. She lives with her husband and three daughters on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her books, Picture Meand Whispering Vines, are recipients of Illumination Awards, placing them among the top three inspirational fiction books of 2015 and 2016.Whispering Vineswas awarded the 2017 LYRA Award for the best romance of 2016. Amy followed up her success with, Island of Miracles, which has outsold all of her other books worldwide and ranked as high 600 on Amazon. Her next children’s book, The Greatest Gift, is now available. Amy’s novel, Summer’s Squall, is on pre-sale and will be released on December 1, 2017.