happy returns

I don’t remember what it felt like to wake up that morning, the one rainy Saturday of the entire fall.

How do people live through such days? Days that you enter knowing they are going to change only everything?

How does an indecisive, usually fearful girl keep on, one step and then the next, toward voluntarily making a forever promise? How does she still have an appetite?

It must be grace, must it not?

Grace that on a morning when I might have felt panicked, rushed, and full of tears, I felt an immense calm.

Under the raining, we were wrapped in a warm glory, and I remember being amazed by how many people were there, and I remember that my face hurt from smiling.

I haven’t the words to write the meaning of a year of marriage, even if I knew the meaning, which I’m not sure I do. But the same grace that gilded that very first day has touched every day since.

I remember that my hand trembled in his, and that I laughed and cried through the vows. And that we were so very glad.

We remain so.

 

©2016 by Stacy Crouch

 

Five Years

Today marks five years Between Blue Rocks for me. If you had asked me, then, where I saw myself in five years, I can promise you it would not have been here, and this blog probably would not have figured into the story at all.

Yet, here I am, and here it is.

I chose my title then because of poetry

This is the time of time of tension between dying and birth
The place of solitude where three dreams cross
Between blue rocks . . .

–and because I felt between things then, a senior in college, listening for the rest of my life to come knocking, dreaming about what it would be. I don’t think I expected to feel just as between now as I did then. I don’t think I expected that I’d still be trying to make the edges of the dreams line up with the edges of reality, that they still wouldn’t match.

I’m learning, though. I’m learning that most everyone lives in the between, even when they don’t notice. That this is always giving way to that, that the stories don’t actually stop when the prince rides into the sunset with the princess: the sun goes down and comes up and it’s a different day and overnight they’ve dreamed a new dream, one which may or may not come true. If my ship ever does come in, I’m sure I’ll be looking out to sea immediately, eager for the arrival of another slow-sailing vessel.

What we have is today. Just today: this day between other days, laden with memories and anticipations. And we cannot keep it, we have to spend it.

I’ve tried to store up tomorrows in my book of life — masterpieces of mental calligraphy on gilt-edged pages, with illustrations in which the sun is always shining through sparkling windows into clean rooms and onto sweet faces where someone wonderful is always about to step through the door — but He’s been taking even those tomorrows from me, insisting that they are His concern, not mine, that I mustn’t try to look at them, try to write them, must only look at today, at this page of His writing, always so familiar and so foreign.

This is the story which hurts in order to heal; it is the story written by the Word with the wounded hands, the only Author whose “The End” carries any weight at all, the only One who can write “happily ever after” and have it be true.

He keeps the tomorrows hidden from me, but He’s put His life on the assurance that this is a story like the light of the dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until the full day (Prov. 4:18). Those who watch for the morning must often think that it will never come. But never, since the first words of the story spoke light into darkness, has morning failed in arriving.

So here I remain, between the rocks, reading the unfamiliar pages, watching for the dawn, learning to be still.

Certain of my Savior.

 

©2013 by Stacy Nott