Have you ever watched “Joan of Arcadia“?
It was a short lived family drama TV show about a teenage girl named Joan Girardi who sees and speaks with God (in many different human forms) and performs the tasks that God asks her to do. This show only ran for 2 seasons (2003-2004) and I never watched it when it was actually aired (I was intimidated by the overt religious content.) Instead I was introduced to it years later and binge watched it on DVD.
The thing about Joan that I can absolutely relate to is that she usually questions why she is being asked to perform the tasks in front of her. So many times, she tries her hardest to avoid them because often she is asked to do things that go against her values and seem like they would hurt someone, or just seem bizarre to her.
What Joan usually never sees is the chain of events that are set off by her doing whatever it is God asks her to do this time. Someone is always helped, or a life is saved, by Joan performing a simple task like holding a Garage Sale, or volunteering on the school yearbook as a photographer.
Perspective is everything.
When you are sitting back and watching the whole scene unfold, you see how it works out for everyone in the end. As the viewer you are given the gift of seeing everyone’s perspective… not just Joan’s. I mean yes, this is a TV sitcom so of course it is all resolved at the end of the 60 minute show, but I’m really thinking bigger picture than that.
When you can see the big picture through clear glasses, you can see the details that you couldn’t see before when you are just one itty bitty piece in the giant puzzle of life. And everyone tends to just think of themselves and their small corner of the world. So often we feel like this little bird, with the snow and sleet pounding down on us, and we are just trying to stay alive through the pounding we are taking. But think of the forest trees that fall during a windstorm and, even though that life is lost, the fallen log becomes nourishment for future generations of plants and animals… if we just think of the one tree that fell, we don’t see the big picture. Perspective is everything.
On September 8th, 2017, I received devastating news that turned my world upside down. I was absolutely shaken to my core and thought that the world as I knew it was over. It was undoubtably the worst day ever. I fell apart on that day and I’m very thankful to the friends and family who held me together and helped me pick up the pieces the next day. You know who you are! This was my storm and I was knee deep in the snow and sleet and rain and dark clouds surrounding me.
It took many days, weeks, even months of going through the motions and putting our life together slowly, piece by agonizing piece. It was like a giant million piece puzzle with no picture to guide you, and some days the pieces sorted themselves out and placed themselves into the right spot effortlessly. But most days were not like that. Most days, we struggled to even find the missing pieces… it seemed like the puzzle kept getting mixed up again and we didn’t even know where to start. But we kept at it. We kept plodding on and putting our life back together piece by piece by piece.
A week ago, and almost a full year after first leaving this province, Momma T and I had the opportunity to go paddling in Port Moody for an afternoon “date”. (Incidentally, I highly recommend Rocky Point Kayak… they were amazing and went above and beyond our expectations!) While we were out paddling and enjoying a wonderful west coast sunshiney summer day, we reflected on the year that has passed.
And here is what we know…
We may have lost the court case, we may have been devastated and heartbroken and shaken to our core, we may have been forced to spend a lot of money on legal bills and moving our family to Ontario and then back again only a few short months later BUT … this worked out better for us in the long run. Now don’t get me wrong, we still struggle financially and emotionally and things are still tough every single day. Our puzzle isn’t put back together completely, but we can at least see the design of it now.
We know in our heart of hearts, that God was looking out for us and our family and our kids, even though it felt so devastatingly wrong at the time.
The year has not been kind to the person we were in court with on September 8, 2017. They have spent a lot of the year in and out of the hospital with various illnesses, on top of having their marriage breakdown and I’m sure have suffered their own financial stresses. I have a lot of mixed emotions about it but for sure a lot of sorrow for them and where they currently are in life. I never would wish any of this on anyone, much less someone I used to be married to.
Through it all, we (Momma T and I) have remained the stable foundation for our children and have worked hard to encourage them to maintain that relationship. It would have been easier for us to be bitter and angry and walk away altogether. But it would not have been the right thing to do for my children. We know that, if we had been in Ontario, our children would be blaming us for the troubles that have befallen their father, and we would likely have to deal with a lot of anger being thrown our way. We may still get that! But I’m confident that it is better emotionally for us, and them, that we are here.
We know that we are a stronger family, because we have weathered that storm. Our children are stronger because they know that they can persevere and overcome difficulties and heartaches… they will not break at the first problem life throws their way.
So, like Joan of Arcadia, we didn’t see the rainbow at the end of the storm, and we didn’t know that we could walk on water when we got out of the boat! But here we are, looking at a rainbow and walking on water.