When It Rains It Pours
Yesterday was a bad day. Not one of the terrible, awful, no good, very bad day variety of bad days, but rather just one of those “blah” days. Things felt off. I felt off. I think it’s safe to say we all have days like that every now and then. It’s just a byproduct of the stresses and tensions of life that build up over time, culminating in that seemingly all-encompassing cloud cover that blocks out the sunshiny rays of joy and happiness for a period of time. Ultimately, not something to worry too much about—as long as those days are fairly isolated events—but also not fun at all to drudge through either.
I’m really not all that surprised that yesterday wasn’t my best day. The past few months have been full of challenging circumstances, tough decisions, and heartbreaking revelations for me and my family.
I mentioned in a previous post that my grandmother—my only living grandparent and one of my favorite individuals on this earth—was diagnosed with cancer…again. When she battled pancreatic cancer nearly two decades ago, she amazed everyone (including her doctors) with her positive spirit, emotional levelheadedness, and physical fight. A diagnosis that is usually a death sentence for most brought her membership into the 1% Club of pancreatic cancer survivors. Honestly, I was too young to fully understand just how miraculous my grandma’s recovery was when it happened. Now that we’re in a similar position, however, and I’m able to play out the various possibilities in my mind, there’s some low to mid-level despair going on in my heart. Being continents and an ocean away as she and the rest of my extended family navigate this journey doesn’t exactly help, either. When my thoughts start to get bogged down with worry and fear as we await word of the results from her doctor appointments and the intended plan of action, I turn my mind back to what she told me last month before I returned to Africa: “I’m not dying of cancer; I’m living with cancer!” Dang and amen! I don’t know where that woman gets her spunk, but as soon as I find out I’m buying in bulk!
On the Lesotho side of things, my wife and I have been navigating a tough and unexpected transition over the past few months. Without going into any unnecessary detail, the long and short of it is that I needed to resign from my day job at the non-profit organization that we’ve partnered with for the past seven years. Over time, as we have grown and learned, some of our personal convictions regarding the underlying philosophies of how we do the work we were doing at our organization have shifted. It came to a point where I no longer felt I could serve in the roles and capacities I had previously agreed to in an honest or authentic way. After several difficult conversations, it became evident that the trajectories of our lives and the future of the organization were moving in different directions, so I needed to step away. After spending roughly one quarter of my life at this organization, it wasn’t an easy decision by any means. We spent countless hours conversing, praying, and discerning until we felt my resignation was not only inevitable, but also the right choice. The fallout of that decision has, unfortunately, been messier and more painful than we expected, but in spite of that, we also feel a great deal of peace that this is what’s best for all involved.
While it would be nice for our family to shift back to life in the US at this natural break in our normal, our adoption process makes it so that we aren’t eligible to apply for our daughter’s visa and US citizenship for the better part of another year. So, we’re sticking around southern Africa for a while longer and will partner with a different non-profit doing similar work with a different methodology. Starting something new is certainly exciting, but the inherent unknowns, scariness, and exhaustion of another transition are throwing a rave in the front of my mind. It’s a lot on top of everything else we’ve got going on right now, but we are grateful for the opportunities that lie ahead.
Lastly, and probably somewhat insignificantly, we are experiencing an unseasonably cold and wet summer so far this year. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about a reprieve from unbearably hot temperatures, and, personally, I love a good thunderstorm. But several weeks of the 10-day forecast showing nothing but rain, rain, rain is a little excessive (granted, the predicted weather and the actual weather clearly aren’t always on the same page, so we have had some sun). Not only does all this rain make voiceover work difficult—my humble DIY recording booth is great in a lot of ways, but it’s definitely not soundproof—it also just puts a damper on so many things (see what I did there?).
Life brings a lot of challenging storms, and sometimes we go through seasons where the sun doesn’t seem like it will ever break through the clouds. That’s where I’ve been lately. It feels like it just keeps raining, pouring, and this ol’ man ain’t snoring. Honestly, there have been days where I would have welcomed a bump on the head so I could go to bed and not wake up until things were magically easier. I think we all probably come to a point in our lives, though, where we realize running from our problems doesn’t actually work. Just ask my buddy Jonah how that worked for him!
I say yesterday was a bad day, but with most things in life, it’s all a matter of perspective. My wife recently reminded me that as long as we have a future, we also have hope. The storms won’t last forever. If I hold fast, keep the faith, and practice a little patience, I’ll see the sun again in time. There are so many things to look forward to, and a few rainy days won’t negate that. In fact, all that rain has the potential to yield so much new life and growth. And let’s face it, Christmas is right around the corner, so what better time of year to be reminded of hope for the future?!
Whether your days are gray and wet or merry and bright right now, I’m wishing you all the best during this festive season. Until next time, friends, keep telling stories.
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