The season has been a long one – a difficult one – though only those who know me well recognize it. The waiting continues for the next chapter in my husband’s career (a waiting process that began long before his company made the decision to begin a downsizing process that ultimately included his position). There are glimpses into the “next,” and in those moments I am encouraged and hopeful. But the “now” clouds the “next” with its unknowing and questioning. Everything done – every step taken – is done with the lingering wonder of its place and even its worth. I eat dinner with family, bake cupcakes for a very special event, laugh with friends while perusing vintage shops, design worship environments for our church, or snuggle in to watch a movie on the sofa with my husband…
and wonder what those things will look like in the “next.”
I don’t want the “next” to rob the treasures from this long season of “now” – so much so that it became a prayer yesterday morning, written in my journal and posted on Facebook and Twitter.
I was reminded how powerful the “now” can be.
A few days ago, the “now” included beauty tips from the Estee Lauder lady at Dillard’s. Her New York accent made me smile, and her speed-of-light explanation of how to blend this and that to brighten and lighten was lyrical. Our conversation moved from make-up to ministry, and she listened intently to details of my upcoming trip to Guatemala. “I always thought I would be doing things like that when I got older and retired,” she shared, as her eyes filled with tears. “I moved here from New York, and got swindled outta my money by a bad broker. Now I’m working 60 hours a week, just trying to make ends meet. This isn’t the life I thought I would be living. I mean, I thank God I’ve got my health – but I wish I could do more.”
She said her son was a teacher, so maybe he was her legacy.
I made my purchase, and asked for her card. I promised to pray for her, and then hugged her before rushing out of the store to hop on a conference call.
Yesterday, a voicemail message was the reminder.
“Hey Ronne, it’s the Estee Lauder lady at Dillard’s, and I hope you are using your ANR serum and concealer to make you look young and pretty – which you already are, and – I don’t know – maybe your praying for me and hugging me has lifted some of my depression. I want to thank you on both accounts and hope I see you soon. And who knows, maybe someday I’ll get to travel with you. Bye!”
I listened to the message, and wept. A simple hug. A voicemail message. Both treasures for two women, sharing a season that is hard and unsure.
Oh, that I might not miss the treasures of the “now” in my eagerness to run to the “next.”