Watch… You Will See

On a child’s first birth­day, she has com­plet­ed her first year of life and is embark­ing on her sec­ond. I will be 33 years old in just a few days and as I age I’ve learned to reflect each birth­day on my lessons, tri­umphs and pit­falls I’ve expe­ri­enced over the year of my life com­ing to a close. Jesus was 33 when he died. There is some­thing enchant­i­ng about that. I feel old. Prob­a­bly because many peo­ple I meet are younger than me and things didn’t used to be this way. But still, I feel like I have so much life left to live. Here are my reflec­tions on my 33rd year of life and my won­ders for my 34th.  this new me

On my 32nd birth­day I hap­pened to be in Palm Beach Flori­da for a fam­i­ly reunion. Unre­lat­ed to my birth­day, we had a big din­ner on the beach with my aunts, cousins, and extend­ed fam­i­ly from my mother’s side. I had end­ed a seri­ous rela­tion­ship just a few weeks pri­or and was feel­ing down about spend­ing my birth­day alone. I was uneasy about what the com­ing weeks and months would bring as I tried to put my pieces back togeth­er again. But as I look back now, I am remind­ed that I was nev­er real­ly alone. That’s only some­thing a glass half emp­ty kind of per­son would say. After all, I was on vaca­tion in South Flori­da with my chil­dren and twen­ty or thir­ty fam­i­ly mem­bers who sur­prised me with a cake at din­ner when I thought no one remem­bered or cared all that much about me.

I returned home after vaca­tion to a cramped room I was rent­ing that was very small and yet very expen­sive, the cost of liv­ing in the NYC metro area. I was in tran­si­tion. Most of my life was boxed away in stor­age. How­ev­er, God had been gra­cious. It could always be worse. I could be home­less liv­ing in a shel­ter, in the sub­way, on the street. God gave me per­spec­tive and I was thank­ful. For the first time in my life, I had a job I loved and looked for­ward to dai­ly. In that, God gave me distraction—something won­der­ful in a world full of terrible.

Between then and now, I have moved into a big­ger apart­ment, paint­ed my children’s rooms, pub­lished a nov­el, found a church fam­i­ly I adore and made a host of lady friends (God is such a show off), applied to grad school for my MFA, and got­ten pro­mot­ed at work mak­ing my days more chal­leng­ing and excit­ing… and my mind calmer.  Of course, there is the love and affec­tion I miss. We all do need that no mat­ter what any­one says. And dur­ing my move, I was remind­ed that I didn’t have a strong man around to lift the box­es and put togeth­er the fur­ni­ture and drill the holes and ham­mer the nails. But, God pro­vid­ed. I won’t men­tion the small things here for fear that they would be tak­en too light­ly. But there were times—many—when God whis­pered ever so soft­ly that he was my provider. Actu­al­ly he didn’t always whis­per. Some­times he yelled quite loud­ly to stop my cry­ing. “Get up,” He would say, “and get back to work… don’t wor­ry about the how. Watch… you will see.”

Some­body called Child Pro­tec­tive Ser­vices imply­ing I was some­how a bad moth­er when I knew how far that was from the truth. “Real­ly God?” was all I could muster. “Be still,” he said. “Watch and you will see.” The com­plaint blew over, Christ­mas and New Year’s came, and I could breathe again.

Over the last year, I’ve fall­en down, some­times when tripped, some­times on my own. I’m tired of walk­ing this nar­row path, I’d say sub­con­scious­ly, I’ll sit right here on the ground a while. It’s a lit­tle more fun to do. There were times this year I’ve cried that life was­n’t the way I’d imag­ined it. But what I’ve learned more this year than any oth­er is that this life doesn’t real­ly mat­ter all that much. Of course it mat­ters in the sense that we only get one (or two depend­ing on how you look at it), and it’s a bless­ing and priv­i­lege to encounter God, be used by him to bring oth­ers to Christ, to love and be loved…and laugh in the mean­time. What I am say­ing is that it doesn’t mat­ter so much if we reach these minis­cule goals we have for our careers or get mar­ried at exact­ly the time we said we would, have exact­ly the kids we said we would have that get per­fect grades in school. It doesn’t mat­ter so much if we buy the house we want exact­ly at the time we dreamed we would or buy that chester­field sec­tion­al, and get that fam­i­ly dog. What mat­ters much more is our growth in God. That we see his face a lit­tle bit clear­er each year. The key is not to fight the jour­ney, but to lean into it.

After all, how would I know that God can be all things if there are some things He has nev­er had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to be to me. The very things that I desire from my one-day hus­band are the same things God is ask­ing from me. Loy­al­ty, trust, affec­tion, and uncon­di­tion­al love.  No mat­ter what it looks like to any­one else, all of my bat­tles this year have been about me and God.

Like the poet Da Truth says, “I hate what I had to go through, but I love the fact that I got to know you.” God proves him­self to me time and again and he doesn’t have to. He stoops to my lev­el and answers my ele­men­tary ques­tions: If I do as you say, will you help me? But how will I pay the rent? Who will look after the chil­dren? What about when Christ­mas comes around? What shall I do when I am all alone? What about next year—my 34th year of life? What am I sup­posed to do then?

His answer is and has always been…

Watch…you will see.

me in swimsuit

One thought on “Watch… You Will See

  1. Hey Heri­na. When I think I know you pret­ty well, your writ­ings tell me oth­er­wise. I con­tin­ue to learn more about you through your excel­lent arti­cles. Please nev­er stop writ­ing, there­by giv­ing oth­ers insight into your very spe­cial way of view­ing this glo­ri­ous life that God has seen fit to give each of us. ???

    Sent from my MetroPCS 4G LTE Android Device

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