She called me this week, that sister of mine, and we talked about how blessed she was feeling. How things just seemed to be falling into place. How she had felt so burdened by all the advanced preparation when she was in the thick of it, but now it was all paying off. How the weather was looming. Rain. Not good for the day the movers are coming. But her little guy prayed that it would all work out. Done. How she had so many people she needed to hug before they made the big exit next week, but that they just kept appearing when she needed them to. She declared, “Covered. That’s our word for this week.”
I immediately jumped on the idea of bed covers. I love an image to shape my essays and the concept of being covered by a welcoming duvet, warm and comfortable, seemed like the perfect way to begin thinking and writing about ‘covered’. Because, you see, many of us choose our own covers. We do the shopping, the selecting. Feather vs. cotton. Flannel vs. silk. King sized or queen. Big and mushy or sleek and simple. We choose just the right covers to match our needs, keep us comfortable, warm. Covered. That work done selecting just the right covers for you bed is exactly like what she has been doing for weeks now, getting ready to move. Right? She laid the ground work. She made the lists and organized the stuff. She rooted her family in faith and connected with the friends who held up her foundation when it was shifting. All true.
But…back to the bed. What about those nights when your sheets feel too short for your bed? What about those nights when your eyes open and you’re sweating? Or cold? Or awake and uncomfortable? Uncovered? What is different on those nights? It’s not the sheets. The sheets are always the same size. They are always the same thickness and softness. What’s different on those nights? It’s you. You are different. And this is when I really started to get to the good stuff…
It seems to me that all of the advanced preparation is important. The gathering of friends and the planning ahead. The seeking of faith and the rooting of your foundation. All of these things will keep you covered if you let them.
The two hardest things about staying covered are having the patience to wait for the right thing/friend/love/faith to come along, and having the courage to believe that whatever does come, will be enough. You must be the one to be patient and then ready. You must have the courage to accept the kind of coverage that arrives. When you really believe that what you’ve waited for will come, and that it will be enough, then the covers are never too short for the bed. It’s not the work you do on everyone else that matters. It’s the work you do on you that makes the difference.
On that night when you wake up twisted and cold, it’s not the covers that changed. It’s you. When you settle into your bed safe and warm, it’s not the covers that changed. It’s you. When you find yourself over exposed and laid bare, it’s not your God that changed. It’s you. When you settle into that week when everything just seems to be covered…it’s you…believing that what you waited for has you covered and that it is enough.