Back seat reminders

I was nicely driving home from Chick-fil-A today, chatting with Hannah in the back seat. Then the jerk behind me was apparently unfamiliar with the procedure of four-way stops, and he didn’t appreciate that I remained at a stop and yielded to another guy who had the right-of-way. So he honked at me, waved his arms around and yelled, “Come on!”

Remembering I had a toddler in the back seat, I took a deep breath and just muttered, “Sheesh, chill out.” To clarify to Hannah, I said, “The guy in the car behind us is a little cranky.”

“He’s sad?” she asked.

“Maybe,” I answered. “Maybe he’s having a bad day and now he’s cranky.”

“Mommy pray for him.”

I rolled my eyes a bit. Clearly, she didn’t understand the situation. This jerk-face just honked at me with excessive arm-waving and then revved up his car to dramatically pass me as soon as we were through the stop sign (that I’m pretty sure he didn’t actually stop at). But I didn’t feel right refusing her request.

“Dear Jesus, please help the cranky guy to feel better and be a safe driver. Amen.”

Nothing spiritually earth-shattering, but Hannah seemed content and we moved on with our drive home. And I wasn’t so ticked off any more.

Grown-up problems

My heart is heavy. As I get closer to 30, and most of my friends are past that point, I’m having somewhat of a Peter Pan moment. I don’t want to grow up; grown-ups have too many problems. Real adult problems.

These were the things that I’ve always known can happen, things that sometimes used to affect my friends’ parents, but now they’re affecting my friends. And I don’t like it.

I have friends who have had multiple miscarriages, friends who have been divorced, friends who have gotten cancer, friends whose husbands had affairs, friends whose husbands have been deployed…

These are not things relegated to a storyline in a book or movie any more. These things are affecting people I know and love.

I guess I had somewhat bought into the lie of “We’re young and invincible! We’re in charge of our destinies! Just stay in school and don’t do drugs and everything will be ok.” And even “If you’re a good enough person, hard things won’t happen to you.”

I have learned from watching my friends go through hard stuff. Most of them are Christians and have acknowledged the complete suckiness of their situations but have also shown faithfulness, trust, patience and hope. I admire their strength as they face some seriously difficult life seasons. My heart hurts for them, and I always feel at a loss of what to say or do to show support or encouragement.

Getting older stinks.

However, while getting older, I see friends have these adult problems, but I have also gotten to see friends make exciting decisions and rejoice with grown-up situations. I have friends who were surprised with twins after being told getting pregnant would be difficult, friends who are missionaries, friends who started successful businesses.

I know the highs and lows are just part of life, and there are (hopefully) a lot more to come. In this season of Thanksgiving, I am praying for a truly thankful heart for the gifts with which I am surrounded. I’m praying for protection over my family and loved ones and for words of encouragement for those who are in a difficult season.

God is good.