One late December day, many years ago, my husband and I were driving home from his childhood home in Sacramento, California—an early Christmas celebration at his parent’s house. It had been a wonderful visit, filled with scrumptious food, magical gifts, and cousins. We were anxious to get home and prepare for Christmas, a few days later.
Somewhere along the I-5 freeway, as we outlined our goals for the upcoming year, the road squirreled in a rolling motion. We noticed it, but kept driving towards home, focused on our New Year’s list. The house projects we would attempt to do, the fun trips to see friends marked on our calendars, and the dreams of starting a family.
As we pulled into town, a strange feeling swept over us. The streets were bare, the McDonald’s arches lay damaged in the parking lot. The inside of the fast-food restaurant, empty and dark. The rest of town in a similar state. We looked at each other in confusion. The rolling motion we had felt was an earthquake hitting our county just a few hours earlier. Way worse than we thought.
That year, like this year, has turned out differently than I imagined. Even after the first few days, the goals seemed obsolete. We had very little damage to our home—one nativity piece tumbled to the floor and a few fireplace tiles fell into a pile on the hearth. The start of 2022 feels a bit broken too, even more damaging than the 6.6 quake in December of 2003.
After nearly two years of dealing with Covid-life, it continues. Just when we thought maybe, this thing might be over soon, it’s not. Hospitals are filling up again, people are struggling. It’s hit my extended family this past week and friends near and far. My heart is heavy.
Sometimes when our world is crumbling, the plans go out the window.
Thank goodness for hope. To know that eventually ‘this too shall pass.’ And in the meantime, we pray for healing and for comfort to those who have lost loved ones. We keep living and breathing, enjoying life to the fullest, and yet, we hold those plans loosely.
And again, we trust God for every day, every hour, every moment. He alone knows what the future will bring.