"You make it look so easy!" This crazy life looks easy? I am so thankful people are gracious enough to tell me that I make caring for Evan look easy. But hold your horses, folks. Most days are a marathon that we have to pace ourselves to get through. This life? It's way beyond me.
But I totally get this. Many people who do things often enough are able to make them look easy. Surgeons. I watch the surgery channel and think, "I could totally do that in an emergency." If you ever have a medical emergency and I am around, YIPPEE! Let the surgery begin. American Ninja Warrior. I watch that show and think, "Puh-leeease. I could do that with my eyes closed." Then I go to the playground with my kids and try to just hang from a bar for about fifteen, three, seconds. Ouch. NASCAR Drivers. How difficult can it be to drive a car around a circle 500 times? Then I drive to the doctor's office an hour from my house in rush hour with the distractions of kids and all that goes with that. Plus I have the air-conditioner blowing my hair back like I'm a movie star. The second I start to feel a little warm I can change the temperature. If I get sleepy, hungry, thirsty, potty break, I can pull over. But those guys (and that one girl) make it look so easy? Or how about pastors? My grandfather used to complain about paying his pastor too much because he only worked one hour on Sunday morning. I guess it could look that way ... at least until you really get to know a pastor. You will quickly come to know it's not such an easy gig. It's a 24/7 job shepherding us sinners. No thank you.
On the surgery channel I'm seeing the final product of a skilled surgeon's years of practice and schooling. When watching both American Ninja Warrior and NASCAR I see the cut and edited versions. I don't see the years of training, tears and failure that went into their final television successes. And pastors, that one hour is the result of weeks, months and more of their lives poured into so many other lives. We are only seeing a glimpse of what God has been doing behind the scenes in their "job."
Our life is not much different. What we present when we go out is our best effort. It's what we have been working toward for some time. We have probably been talking this moment up for a while. Gearing Evan up, getting him prepared for the event that you see us attending. You know, so everyone will think we are 'Perfect People.'
HA! Let me include you in on our secret ...
It's work. Leaving the house is difficult. (Heck, being IN the house is difficult.) Travel is difficult. Hotels, school, restaurants, crowds, stores, loud places, movies, CHURCH, they are all difficult. But just like every other job that looks easy from the outside, what you see is the culmination of so much preparation. If we continually turn down your invite, please don't be offended. We just know the possibilities of disaster are there. If we suddenly leave early, most likely it's because we saw one of Evan's meltdown triggers coming. Or some other disaster was about to blow. Please know we are just trying to protect our Evan.
Please don't stop inviting us to your fun. One of these days may work! Target shopping has been disastrous for about a year for us. Until recently, for whatever reason, (God & much prayer) Evan has decided Target is semi-fun again. He's cooperating a little more. Yay, Target again! (Although, my husband may have been secretly enjoying the Target ban.) We just went to a party too. Whaaat, you say? Yes, Evan had a blast. Of course, they completely understood Evan's need to listen to Kenny Chesney music the ENTIRE time. Compromises, people.
Wanna know another of my secrets? I cannot do this on my own. You think I mean my husband? Well, yes, but no. Of course, my husband and I rely on each other in ways we never dreamed by raising our children. But we both know none of this is happening without the hand of God in our lives. One of my favorite songs of late is TobyMac's Beyond Me. Toby sings, "You gave me the stars, put them outa my reach." God has given us so much to reach for with Evan. But so many things will only happen with God's doing. It will never be about me. It will always be about what God is doing in Evan. It's way beyond me.
It's not easy. It's beyond me. But with God, he helps me make it looks easy.
As I was writing this Tim Challies published an article that was really encouraging to me. It also was about things being 'Beyond Me.' I hope his words are as helpful to you as they were to me. You can read his article here.