Routine is desirable unless it turns stodgy and stagnant.
During the week, I awake to simulated waves purring from my cell phone on the nightstand, leave my warm spot in bed, and sleepily walk across the house to stir my son from slumbering through two alarm clocks. Arc back to the kitchen and fill the electric tea kettle, warm a slice of bread in the toaster and begin the process of assembling lunches.
After my kids back out of the driveway, I return to my writing desk and read scriptures, close my eyes, pray and listen, while sipping a second (or third) cup of tea.
On this particular morning when I closed my eyes, He transported me back fourteen years prior, to a memory of a different quiet spot I frequented. And tears immediately streamed down my face.
In the early morning hours past midnight, quiet hovered over our three bedroom brick house on a dead end street in Central Phoenix. I was lingering in the uncomfortable juxtaposition of eerie stillness after an evening of boisterous chatter. Kitchen counters crowd with upside down stemmed glasses drying on towels that were swirling crimson hours before. The shallow breaths of my small children resting in their bedrooms were anchors for the depth of my sudden sadness.
We didn’t notice our dog was laboring for breath until after we waved goodbye to our last party guest. H quickly loaded our beloved Springer Spaniel named Bentley in the back of our used Volvo, transporting him to an emergency clinic. Less than two hours later, H pulled back into the carport with our first “child” lying in a box on the backseat.
Illegal to bury a pet in Phoenix, arrangements were made by phone for picking up the cardboard coffin H placed at the end of our driveway. I couldn’t sleep until I knew our dog was safely removed.
That frozen moment is where the memory emerged to the surface when I closed my eyes on that particular morning.
Resting my arms on the back of our overstuffed newlywed couch, I was looking through the slats of the shutters, a watchman to a simple box holding valuable content illuminated by a puddle of light from a street lamp. Hot tears soaking my pajamas as my chest heaved silently.
Eight years of joyful memories were going to be discarded by a stranger at daylight.
I was compelled to be loyal to the process of grieving to the very last second, in order to crawl into bed with the future.
I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. Verse 6 from Psalm 130 haunts me for years now. It’s one of my favorites but honestly, my mind didn’t fully comprehend why my spirit was saying yes each time I read it . . . until that moment he took me back fourteen years ago and I understood it more clearly.
Transition is the sacred place of a watchman waiting. It’s the place of dying to self, to the past, and what is taken for granted, in preparation for a new awakening on the horizon. It’s a co-mingling of grief and hope with the tattered edge of purpose sewn into the spine of the story He’s writing with your name on it.
It’s in the process of dying to life as we know it that we find our true voice. And His grace and tokens of favor become more precious than daylight.
Sometimes you have to be willing to break from routine in order to bury the past and allow the Light of dawn to deliver you.