There has been one question that people ask me once they know me even a little bit. I think about the many times I have heard the same question in its many forms but my answer is always the same.
When I was a young mother and my husband started working for a construction company out of Colorado that sent him to a new job site every three to six months, was the first time someone asked me the question that has seemed to follow me from state to state, town to town, down through the years.
“How do you do it?” “Take care of toddlers and a new baby, no car, new place, no family to help. How do you manage.”
And then I would hear, “There is no way I would do that.”
We would sell the heavy stuff, pack up and go to the next job. We lived in a travel trailer and then traded up to a 5th wheel and for the most part we enjoyed a very nomadic life, for the most part.
When baby number three came, I heard the question more frequently.
“How Do You Do It?”
“How do you sell everything and just pick up and go?”
Or when he would have to go to the next job without us.
“How do you do it? Stay home with three little one’s while he is gone for six month’s?”
When the kids started school we were living in Ridgecrest California, so they started school there. And within two years we went from three little one’s to five plus three teenagers’. We now had eight children at home and thought our traveling days were over. People would count heads as we entered restaurants or church and look at me like I was crazy.
As we made friends and got to know people, it was never very long before I heard someone ask the question I had heard so many times that I could guess what they were going to say before they said it.
“How do you do it? I can barely handle two, I can’t imagine having eight!”
Sometimes they didn’t really want an answer I think they just wanted me to be aware of the depth of my insanity. Well no one knew that better than I did but I only had one answer and it has never changed.
Our family has endured tremendous losses, business, home and health. We have overcome and endured through emotional storms as well as the weather type such as blizzards, earthquakes, flooding and even a tornado, and still the answer never changes. You can not imagine how many times I have heard the same refrain from different people but the question even though at times it may be worded differently it really is the same.
When children become adults and go their own way, here comes the question from a friend I have known for years and who I thought knew me. When cancer has decimated the one person I thought I would grow old with, the one I met and married within five weeks of our first hello, the answer does not change.
“How do you do it, how do you get through it?” Different words, but really in all its forms, it is the same question I have heard so many times before.
And the answer is simple really, but when I tell whoever it maybe who has asked me, I sometimes see their blank looks, or hear a condescending tone, I think, well why did you ask? The answer I have given is the only one I have?
It is really a simple answer but believe me it completely baffles some people.
My answer is “God”.
My relationship with God sustains me, keeps me and even when I make a mess of things, God is still faithful. My answer has always been “I Pray and Listen.” No relationship can grow if there is no communication. I read God’s word daily, I pray and listen. Do all the problems go away? No. But the difference is that I have the knowledge, wisdom, and peace to get through them because I am filled with the unconditional love of God. And despite my weaknesses God has always been my answer.
We are difficult creatures, us humans. We like to solve complicated mysteries and debate sound judgement. We make the simplest things, complicated. Chasing our tails and looking for needles in haystacks. When all we need to do is believe and everyone has the right to believe as they choose, even me.