Living in the Tension

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My little guy is 9 months old now. Oh my gosh, how time has flown. This week he has started letting go of whatever he’s holding onto while standing up….and he’s not falling down. Yesterday he tried to take a step towards me twice. I’m just not ready. I’m not ready for him to walk. I’m not ready for him to grow into a toddler. The more he grows the more I realize: parenthood is learning to live in the tension.

Actually, I think we all live in the tension….whether we have kids or not. Only I think that I’m just now realizing it.

When I was a senior in high school, I can remember being simultaneously thrilled and terrified at graduating. I was so ready to be done with high school. Freedom! No dress code! Adulthood! {Man, that last one is so overrated. Bills, anyone??} But I also knew, graduating high school meant my life would never be the same again. Everything would change.

The “big day” came and went and just like that I was thrust into a new season of life. A full-time job….online college courses….my first car payment. But it doesn’t take long for our human hearts to yearn for “the next big thing.” I was ready to be married. Building a life with my soul mate.

It was only a couple years later before I would accomplish that dream. And I found myself living in the tension of wishing for easier days–graduate college! better jobs! children!–while also trying to enjoy my fresh new marriage.

So when I really stop to think, it’s no surprise at all that I find myself still feeling that same tension. The tension of being excited and hopeful for the future, while also not wanting my current days to end, while also missing the days that are behind. I look at this grinning little boy and think all the same thoughts together, “No! Where did my little tiny baby go??!?” “Oh, he is so adorable. I don’t ever want him to grow any bigger ever ever ever.” “I can’t wait to see him continue to grow and learn. I can’t wait to see the man he one day becomes.”

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There are plenty of blog posts out there encouraging women to “enjoy the moment” and “be present.” Those are all well and good, but I think we all know that those are simple cliches that don’t really answer the broad range of emotions we feel on any given day. I think that yes, we should enjoy these days and we should be present in our lives, but we should also recognize that there is a lot of tension in that. And that’s totally okay.

There will be times when we wish for days past or days to come, and there will be times when all we want is for time to freeze in place. I think this is part of our human condition. I think this is part of the Lord’s design. Because one day? One day we will live in eternal bliss. We won’t wish for days past or days to come. We won’t wish for time to freeze, either. We will live in perfect content and will want for nothing.

I believe that living in the tension is a life-long lesson–that this world is not our home. That we were created for more. We will one day have more. And that’s a truly comforting thought, no?

Even still, don’t grow up, little baby boy. I want you in my arms forever. But at the same time, I can’t wait to see who you become.  <3

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