I am not sure how it happened.

Maybe it is because I entered a new decade this year.

Maybe it is because my baby is about to be one and I don’t know if we will have another.

Maybe it is because this is an election year and I have never felt so disheartened by American politics.

Maybe it is because I suffered through a faith earthquake a couple years ago and aftershocks are still rumbling through when I least expect them.

Maybe it is because I don’t have the place or the mental space to invest my organizational energies, a  business card to grasp in my hand when my identity feels shaky.

Maybe it is because I am walking the gravely road of grief with someone I really love, and I feel not-enough, wishing I had answers where there are none, just dust in the sunshine and no end in sight.

Maybe it is because my heart breaks for the world, for young mothers, for refugees, for child soldiers, for orphans, for the unborn, for politicians, for the privileged, and I want to change it in big ways, but cannot even seem to change myself in small ways: do more yoga, do less nagging, read more scripture, spend less money, get more sleep.

Life has never felt so monumental or messy or mundane.

And lately, my only anthem, over and over is: I don’t know.

The three words I have always tried to avoid, wanting to have all the answers, to be the go-to, the know-it, wanting to cling to black-and-white in a world of crazy and color.  More and more: I don’t know.

Why didn’t God answer my prayer for him to wake up, just one more time?  I don’t know.

Why doesn’t he want more for his life?  I don’t know.

Why doesn’t she accept us as her family?  I don’t know.

Who are you voting for? I don’t know. 

Why cancer at 21? I don’t know.

What are your schooling plans for your children? I don’t know.

Will you still shop at Target? I don’t kn–just kidding, I totally will.

There is freedom in realizing you don’t have all the answers and you may never have them, but it is also terrifying. Really terrifying. Shedding the skin of who you once were reveals a layer that is glowing and raw and unprotected and every time someone touches it, it stings: a hot & naked nerve in the cool air.

Sometimes I’m scared of a new perspective because it might mean I was wrong before–or at best, just naive. It might even mean I will be wrong again.  I would prefer being consistent, being right.  But my fear of these things is less than my fear of not staking my camp where it is needed: where people aren’t desperate for certainty, but rather for vulnerability, for story, for community and hard work. That’s where I want to be, where I need to be.

What does it look like for me, right now? I don’t know. 

Maybe it looks like changing another diaper, trying my best not to raise my voice, finding a new song for our daily dance party. Maybe it looks like getting on the floor and playing with these littles when I want to do a thousand other things.

Maybe it looks like opening the Psalms even when they make me weep.

Maybe it looks like showing up with a good book and a bottle of wine, hoping that carries her through another night alone.  Maybe it looks like reaching out to hold my husband’s hand rather than handing him another to-do list.  Maybe it looks like pumping milk for a newly adopted babe instead of standing behind a pro-life podium.

Maybe it looks like trusting church, over and over, opening my hands in worship when I want to keep them clasped shut. Maybe it looks like sharing my weakness, my worry, when I would rather look strong. Maybe it looks like inviting the neighbor girl in, asking her about school projects and best friends and what she had for lunch.  Maybe it looks like rest, or research for a cause, or a good long run.You know what? I don’t know.

But I’m getting awful comfy in the discomfort of it all.


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