transitions

“welcome to the rest of our life,” he said last week, waltzing through the door on his last day of training. “from now on, i’m only working 3 days per week. my training is done, my schooling is probably done … 5 years pursuing my dream, and now it’s your turn.”

my turn. my turn to be … something. anything. a student and the world’s best wedding photographer and a middle school choir teacher and a writer of books and a mentor to foster kids and a runner and a farmer and a lover of god and people and everything i want to be for the rest of my life.

how often do normal days become the first day of the rest of your life? defining moments dropped like a boulder into a pond, making life unnormal for a while, and then a new normal, until again a new unnormal. and the rest of your life is hard to recognize for a while, and then the grace time slowly creeps in, transforming the new rest of your life into beautiful, wise, painful normal.

when you’re six years old and you sing a lot, and your parents find the best piano teacher they can, and you shyly climb the stairs to her blue and flowered living room, welcome to the rest of your life.

when you put down the last test, essay hand aching, and creep out quietly so as not to disturb others, welcome to the rest of your life.

when it’s dark and cold and sparkling, and you watch the city lights dance on the water, balancing your way along a log with his hand supporting you, and suddenly you’re in his arms and a too-small ring is cutting off the circulation to your knuckle, welcome to the rest of your life.

when your friend holds out a check for a hundred dollars, and you say no, really, i just like taking pictures, and they say take it, you’re amazing, you deserve it, welcome to the rest of your life.

when you dip a piece of plastic into a cup of your own excrement and there are two parallel lines like towers, welcome to the rest of your life.

when the doctor standing over your 9 month swollen belly says i’m so sorry, welcome to the rest of your life.

when it’s monday morning and your adoption worker calls and there’s a baby in florida, do you want him, welcome to the rest of your life.

when god says “let there be light,” and a bright light shines on the god-shaped confusion, the finally honest chaos, welcome to the rest of your life.

when the worst thing happens and you survive, fighting to overcome and winning your self back, welcome to the rest of your life.

when the best thing happens, and it’s actually truly really real, welcome to the rest of your life.

when you try and try and agonize and fume and hide and talk and plead and cry tears of blood in the middle of the night, and then you realize that you can’t control anyone’s actions except your own, welcome to the rest of your life.

when there’s no going back, the bridge is drawn up behind you and the prairie wilderness before you, the paths are many and faint, the wild wind in your hair and on your face and the rain soaking through your clothes and the sun bright and dancing on a faraway hill, welcome to the rest of your life.

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4 thoughts on “transitions”

  1. Lani, you are both an amazing writer and photographer. If you cannot capture it in an image, you can make us capture it in our minds with your words. I am sorry for all of the tragedies you and Joel have encountered, I am amazed at how God still shows himself in your joys and sorrows and I am honored to call you friends. 🙂

  2. Honest, and beautifully written. Thank you for putting words to some of the emotions that flow through my soul. It helps to see them written down and know someone else senses and walks a similar path. It helps. Strange to write and read of things, not quite clearly, yet feel known more deeply by an acquaintance than by those closest. You and Joel are blessed with the gift of one another. Praying your dreams are realized and are richly rewarding.

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