I used to think I wanted life to be easy. I pictured my perfectly behaved kids in my pottery barn house with no problems and eating brownies a la mode in bed over a good movie (ok I did that last night). I remember thinking to myself oh wont that be magical.
Sometimes I look back at our life before kids, before chaos, before schedules and sound machines, and I think man that was easy. Or I think about college, where I never scheduled an 8AM class cause that would require a bedtime before 3AM and I liked to stay up watching friends and hanging out with my roommates (I was a real over achiever back then). I think back on those times and I say man that was so easy. Yet, I was so ready to graduate and get married and get out of college, my best friend and I have joked that if we could go back to the college version of ourselves we’d scream “slow down… you have the rest of your life to be a grown up”. Somehow though I thought marriage and babies would be like Johnson and Johnson commercials… it isn’t, it’s more like The Walking Dead. I joke… some days it really is magical and some Saturdays I smile and look at my life and wonder how on earth I got so lucky. The lie is this though in every season… the next stage will be easier.
In high school I thought it was college. In college it was college for a brief moment then it felt like marriage. In marriage I thought it was babies. In babies I think to myself that it will happen at graduation… of my last child. Life never starts being easy, we get moments of reprieve, lots of joy (if we choose it), but I don’t think this life was meant to be easy. I think it was meant to make us different, shape us more into our maker, teach us how to serve, learn to love the ordinary, and love in the greatest trails. I think God isn’t so much concerned with our ease but with our endurance and for some reason character comes in the hard times, in the tough choices, in the everyday battles. Character is built one lesson at a time.
My husband and I have been in a tough season, his work is extremely busy right now, I am pregnant and hormonal (enough said), our toddler has become…well… a toddler, and life has just been a little upside down. I am working hard to serve my family in the ways only I can which means I run my house well, put dinner on the table, and make our house the least stressful environment for my husband to walk into. That might not sound like the picture I had in my early twenties and some days it’s not easy but its teaching me to run the race God has set before me, and to run it well, when its not glamorous and there’s no round of applause at the end. Because isn’t that the real test of our heart, how we handle life when no ones is watching or praising us. It’s teaching me that easy isn’t what’s important. This won’t always be our life, I know a day will come when I would kill to have hungry mouths to feed and a little more chaos. For now though it is… and I can choose to rise to the occasion (generally I play eye of the tiger every day around 5pm for that extra burst of endurance (auburn fans will get it)) or I can complain. I choose to be thankful because I know I wont walk out of this season the same way I walked in.
The Christian life is a constant changing of seasons, the ebb and flow of dreams and desires, and the reality that our greatest joys in life typically come when we are serving others. I have let go of easy because I know that’s not the goal and what a boring life it would be. Joy comes in all different ways, in all different forms, and I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if Jesus had said, “sorry God the cross is too hard… I want easy.”
And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.[a] Because of the joy[b] awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people;[c] then you won’t become weary and give up.