Thursday, February 13, 2014

The view from above and below

photo credit

I'm sitting after work in a cafe on top of one of the hills of Seattle, savoring time with my laptop as I wait for my husband to pick me up.  I feel my shoulders loosening from the day, the stress of the week, and I sip my coffee and suppress childlike glee as I indulge in my latest diversion: searching for a dog for our family.

I can barely contain my hunger for this, almost taste it in my mouth.  I ache for a dog.  It sounds silly, perhaps, to be aching for a dog instead of a child, but that is where my heart rests at this place in time.  

I want to expand our family, and my animal loving heart wants to begin here.  For the first time in our marriage, it feels like this desire is on the verge of possibility, and so I search with fervor among the listings of dogs in need of rescue.

And it fits, doesn't it, for don't I love to rescue? But a part of me knows, it is I who needs the rescuing, too.  Somewhere out there, I just know it, is a pooch who needs me as much as I need him. 

But then I open my email.  

And the roller coaster that has been my life these past several years, the one I'm so familiar with, pulls my stomach down the tracks so fast I feel myself catching air.  I read the newest email with growing horror, my heart in a knot of fear, my stomach clenching.  

How quickly it turns, I breathe to myself.  From up to down and down to up.  From walks in the afternoon sunshine and sipping lattes to quiet crumbling to pieces in a coffee shop.  

I close the browser on my dog search.  This is not a dream that will be fulfilled now, I say, and I want to cry, right next to the man on my right scribbling small in his notebook, pen in his mouth, typing intently on his laptop.  Next to the man on my left leaning back reading a newsletter with a mug of coffee.

Breathe in. Breathe out. This, too, shall pass. This is how the moments go, I remind myself. 

And I remind myself, too, I didn't leave God behind at the top of this roller coaster.  He isn't waving down at me or waiting for me to make the loop back around. He's in the seat, right beside me, just as he was a few moments before at the top of my excitement.  I close my eyes and reach for his hand, in my mind, and the tears fog behind my eyelids.  

We're in this together.  

The prayer that began this past weekend, after another drop on the roller coaster, slowly fills my heart.

Show me how to see, God, beyond this world we divide
into 'possibilities' and 'impossibilities', 
to where you dwell beyond.  
Help me to catch sight of hope 
beyond this seemingly endless stretch of sameness, 
beyond these circumstances that refuse to yield to change.  

I trust you, God, I say, before I feel it take root in my heart.  I trust you.  

And I lean into his shoulder, right beside me, and breathe deep through the downward curve.  

. . . . . . . . . 

Joining up at Heather's. 


  1. I am sorry Amber. Message me if you want to talk. I am here for you friend.

    1. Late on this reply, here, friend, but your promptness in checking in with me? Oh, how it blessed (and blesses) me. Love you.

  2. Amber, the pained truth here:
    "I trust you, God, I say, before I feel it take root in my heart. I trust you."
    Such an act of faith to speak the trust before we feel it. I am so sorry for the roller coaster and for the loss you write of here, friend. I love you.

    1. Thank you, Ashley... you know, I practice speaking that pained truth more intentionally now, in part, because of you. I remember through your trust posts last year, how you'd speak that out, and it stuck with me. I'm grateful that the nuggets God gifts us with can find their ways into each others' hearts and take root. I love you, too.