Flickr photo by DorkyMum, creative commons
I woke with a start, out of breath, trying to get a foothold on reality.
What did it mean?
In my dream, Ben was graduating from high school. We were all there, dressed in Sunday clothes, ready to take our seats in an arena I didn't recognize. But then I was on the main floor, trying to figure out which line to get in. There were masses of people everywhere, all moving in different directions, seeming to know where they were going.
I was lost. Where was I supposed to be?
"There you are!" called a voice. It was Catherine, my friend from high school and roommate my first two years at State. "Daddy brought the bookcase," she said, slinging her backpack over her shoulder. "I've got to run to Bio, but you gotta go up and see it. I don't know how he got it in the elevator but it looks great in the room! See ya!"
The dream went on, zipping all over the space time continuum, until I woke with a gasp in the dark. Where was I?
Faint lines of light had turned the wall in front of my bed into a fuzzy sheet of notebook paper. I rubbed my eyes. It was light from the street lamp outside, let in through the blinds. That's right, I was at my parents' place at the beach.
I began to get my bearings. Sam had spent a few days with my brother and his family. I'd picked him and cousin Luke up on Wednesday, and now we were at my parents' place at the beach. We'd head back Friday afternoon. It was Thursday, right?
I laid my head back on the pillow and tried to slow my racing heart.
What a crazy dream. Was I the mom or the graduate? I even showed up halfway through as mom of three year old Ben, chasing him as he ran across the brickyard, clip clopping in his cowboy boots, his yellow hair flying. I looked to my right and 20 year old Sarah materialized beside me, reaching her hand out to grab at the nape of his flannel shirt. Then I was student Becky again, and Ben was a just cute little kid, probably some professor's son. Maybe I'd have kids one day.
No wonder I woke exhausted. I'd flip flopped my way through the entire movie, trying to figure out where I was, where I was supposed to go, what I supposed to do.
Was God trying to tell me something?
I closed my eyes and remembered who I was.
I'm Becky. Mom to Sarah, who's taking a trip at the moment to check out graduate school. (Graduate school? How could that be? She's about to start her junior year in college, and it's good thing she's thinking ahead. But could she be that old? Could I be that old?)
I'm mom to Ben, who is about to start his senior year in high school. Next Thursday I'll go with him and watch the photographer help him with his tux and take his senior picture. In a few weeks he'll start working on college applications. The year will fly by, just like Sarah's did.
I'm mom to Sam, who starts middle school this year. Middle school.
How could life be moving this quickly? What happened to the years?
I'm still the same person who brought those babies home, one by one, gingerly walked up the steps to the porch, still feeling my stitches, holding them close, smelling their baby heads.
I'm thrilled for them, for all these new adventures, but I'm feeling a little little motion sickness as life whips by. It's all a little discombobulating. What will their lives be like? What will my life be like?
And then a prayer comes to mind.
It's Psalm 23. I find this strange.
Isn't that the psalm that shows up in dark times, in bunkers as bullets fly, in hospital rooms, as the family gathers around the bed?
But God, my brain protested, this isn't a dark time. It's a happy time, a time of growth and promise and newness. For my kids and for me too. Why?
And then the psalm spoke to me.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and staff-they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me, all the days of my life and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.
Psalm 23, NRSV
Yes, the Lord is my shepherd, guiding me gently down my path, whether I think I know the route and when the path seems strange and new.
He helps me find quiet places when life is confusing and loud.
When I feel lost between roles, He draws me back to the center of his heart. He reminds me that yes, I'm Becky, mother to these kids, the holder of my life, my work, and my calendar, but I'm also his child. He carries me close, he cups my head in his hand.
He walks beside me, through all the newness, ready to comfort me, ready to celebrate this life with me.
Truly my loving cup does overflow.
Is time moving quickly for you? What gives you peace when life moves too fast?
Have a wonder-full weekend, y'all!