Recently, some people in my orbit have been going through difficulties. I have a friend in Thailand who's in between jobs, and now adjusting to life under martial law. His wife is Thai, but he's farang, a foreigner and U.S. citizen. He's been living in Thailand since 2000. Should he pull up stakes and get the heck out of Dodge? Can he afford to live in the States, if he even finds work? What would that do to his marriage?
Another friend is dealing with a marriage gone sour, a month after her second child was born. The estranged husband is confused and in pain, and taking out his self-loathing on his family. Should she stick it out, or make a break? How will she survive as a single mother? Will she ever trust anyone again, when the person who promised to love and support her until death just walked out the door?
A third friend is at a crossroads, with a new role as grandmother at the same time she's learning to accommodate a romantic interest in her life, after years of single-dom. She's hesitant to do anything major, lest the fragile construction of life be tipped and upset.
Two other friends have long-term issues, one with really messed up family dynamics, and the other with poor self-esteem and habitual unhappiness. Can they do anything that will ever result in a different outcome, or is every action doomed to repeat the cycle?
Is there yet time?
In pondering this question, and my friends' circumstances, I realize that although my life isn't perfect, it's pretty damn close. I love my husband to the point where our souls blend. My children, though challenging, are the most precious and wonderful surprises I could hope for. My home, my garden, my chickens, my pets, my work, and my writing are all pretty excellent. I'm blessed beyond measure, and I know it.
Of course, there are things I'd like to change about myself. I'd like to stop forgetting things. I'd like to be more patient. I'd love to never lose my temper. I'd like not to catch every cold virus that wafts through town. I'd like to be able to fight like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And I'll admit it, I'd like to be able to live off my novels, or at least be able to pay for my girls' college education with them. But fretting about any of those changes? Not worth it.
My favorite I-love-to-hate-you-because-you're-so-fucking-talented author, E.M. Forster, wrote in A Room With a View, that the answer to the everlasting Why is an everlasting Yes! complete with exclamation point. It's not logical; to many, who want a reason, the answer doesn't even make sense. To which I say, yes.
The love of God in Jesus Christ is the Yes to all of the questions we humans encounter in our lives. Yes, there is time. As long as you draw breath, you can change. You are reborn every day. You can be part of the new creation. Even if the moment of decision comes too late to prevent one circumstance, it will affect another. You might not live to see it, but you can believe nonetheless. The limit to your ability to have faith is set only by yourself.
The friends listed above share something in common: they're all writers. That means they're readers, too, and I hope they see this post and feel comforted knowing that someone is thinking about them. Me, sure, but someone else.
Yes, there is time. Yes, there is hope. Yes, there is life. Yes, there is power. Yes. Yes. Yes.