by Mary Peterson, Housing Specialist
Shortly after my brother died, my sister and I went on an adventure in Belize to experience an epic sunrise in his honor. That's how I found myself in the early morning pitch dark of the rainforest, situated high on an ancient ruin, listening to the nerving sounds of animals crying out. Above the unfamiliar sounds of monkeys and such, the call of a bird rang out, a "blackbird singing in the dead of night." And, from the depths of my memory a Scripture appeared, "My soul waits for the Lord more than watchman for daybreak." (Psalm 130:6) The moment pierced me. It was a dark and confusing season; I was being invited to hopeful anticipation.
I can get myself good and worked up, just like the next person. Get me going in the "what ifs" and I start doing mental gymnastics. To survive my years of maternity housing leadership, I was forced to learn the lesson: Don't pre-worry! Just deal with what's before you! And, Scripture backs it up: "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:34). This hard-won lesson was an anchor in leading my organization and for me, it is a tether in this uncertain season.
Self-care teaches us to do the things that soothe our spirit. Fo me, I go for a walk, put on some Taize music, or fidget with a game on my phone. I'm practicing the art of mental distraction: not following thoughts into dark rabbit holes of worry! Our faith calls us higher - literally, to direct our attention to things above.
We are living in the confusion of Good Friday -- trying to make sense of the events unfolding, feeling a bit unsafe and scared, tempted to deny Gospel truth to protect ourselves. But Easter daybreak is coming. It is promised and it will arrive. Until then, we sit in hopeful anticipation. We long and we wait. Maranatha!