As I said in my last post, it’s been a tough week or two. Yes, yes, I know I said recently that I feel like the most blessed woman on earth. And when I am able to zoom out to 10,000 feet, I can see that I truly am. But right here, right now, on the ground in Bonney Lake, Washington, it’s been dicey.
Everyone told me that senior year is crazy. One woman told me several months ago that when your child becomes a senior in high school, you just need to open up your checkbook and leave it open. Now I get it. I had just spent a ridiculous amount on a prom dress, and yesterday we went to a small little unassuming alterations shop to get it hemmed, and she told me it would be $190 to hem it and do a few small alterations. My daughter and I looked at each other, and decided that she could wear the dress as is, since it was only about 1.5 inches too long, and she’d been afraid she’d trip on it. Of course, we’d purchased the shoes a few months ago–beautiful, glittering Cinderella shoes that she had to have–but with her voluminous dress, you can’t see them anyway. And the only reason why I’m spending this much money is because my daughter has never gone to a dance throughout middle school or high school, so I want her to have just one Cinderella evening before she plunges into West Point, and the culture shock of the military.
But the thing is, there’s now only 2-1/2 months left before she graduates, and 3 months until she is on her way to her new life in New York. And life has suddenly gone into full speed as we try to wrap up all the loose ends including endless paperwork for West Point–who else has to be fingerprinted before they go to college?–and we are sniping at each other on a regular basis.
This morning as I sat down to pray, I felt bent over from the weight of it all. Then the vision of the salmon came to mind, and it was a perfect metaphor. I’m that salmon, who has come nearly to the end of the journey, and I’m beaten up by the rocks, chewed up by stress-induced comments my daughter has made to me (and she is equally chewed up by mine), and utterly exhausted from swimming upstream for 17 years against the ways of the world, and trying to infuse God’s word into her heart and mind. I’ve been trying to get my daughter to finish reading the book I wrote before she leaves, and after reading another chapter last night, she came into my room and tossed the book onto my bed, and in the midst of an argument, she said, “I like reading your wisdom in your book. I just wish you’d practice it in your life.” Ouch. Another bite taken out of my flesh.
So as I went to God this morning and poured out my heart, I realized what my heart desperately wanted: a sign of His hand in my life. I need to see a sign of His presence, so that I can know that I’m not alone, battling my way upstream. In fact, I told Him that if I don’t see something soon, I’m going to be that salmon who goes belly-up.
“Therefore My people shall know My name; therefore in that day I am the one who is speaking, ‘Here I am.'” (Isaiah 52:6)
Those three words… “Here I am” …I long to hear them…or to see them, demonstrated somewhere in my life. That is my prayer today. Show me, Lord, that You are here. Give me that cup of cool water that will get me through this last leg of the journey. Strengthen me when it seems I have no strength left. Let me hear Your gentle words of comfort, when other words thrown at me are like noisy gongs and clanging cymbals. Be our Prince of Peace, where there is no peace.
And speak those sweet three words to my heart… “Here I am.”