Posted By Hope
It begins with one step. One foot in front of the other. This is what it felt like to start over.
After ten years of marriage, I found myself unpacking in a tiny one bedroom apartment in Charlotte. Not in the nice part of town, but not exactly in the bad part. I used up every bit of fight I had left as I unloaded the trailer with the last of my furniture. The drive out of my old neighborhood was a mixture of loss and hope. As I opened the door of my new place to begin moving all that was left to begin again, I began to run out of strength. It was the last half load that was the hardest. I remember carrying in a box that was heavy and as I carried it through my living room and out onto the patio storage, I began to cry and felt like I couldn’t make one more trip out. As the tears began to fall, I stopped in the doorway and couldn’t fight them anymore. I felt a small whisper tell me to keep going. He said, “Just take one step at a time. Just one step Hope. One step gives way to another and you make your way to that last box.” I made my way through the living room and out to the trailer and picked up more and carried on slowly and with tears. With that last box, I depleted the reserve tank and collapsed into a spent, crying mess. As I sat there recovering on my couch, I realized that I had kept going for another hour, with the strength from one step at a time.
That wasn’t the last time He gave me rest in that concept. There were moments of such loneliness and rejection when I felt so completely lost in my divorce that I questioned if He even remembered me. I cried so often and for so long that it felt like I would always be sad. That the idea of life turning over a new leaf or that cloud having a silver lining was not for me because I had sinned by going through a divorce. For me, the hope of full joy did not apply any longer. That season ended. Thankfully that was not the case. I just needed time. What He taught me in that place was that we prepare for what is next, in the now. He carefully showed me the concept of one step at a time. I didn’t have the strength for more than that during my broken season, so I listened. As I began to heal, I saw that the concept applies to every season. Even when it’s good.
As I face the challenge of doing life as an awkward semi-quasi-partial parent, I apply this principle often. When I get selfish, when I get rejected, when I am overwhelmed and when I just plain don’t want to do this anymore. In my planning, in my waiting, in my hope and in my fear, I recognize that all I have light for is the step I am currently taking. Living like this means that I have no idea where the journey will take me, but I know from experience that I’m not alone and the destination isn’t the part that matters.