Always be yourself unless you can be batman, a mermaid, a unicorn.
Always be humble and kind.
Always look on the bright side of life.
Always try your best.
Always on my mind.
Always kiss me goodnight.
Always in my heart.
I will always love you.
The hope-filled, realist in me is finding it difficult to land with the word “always.”
There are places where I hope that “always” remains true such as in my marriage, in the lives of my children, and in the friendships I share. On the other hand, there are aspects of always that I wish away as I sit back and wonder if life will always be this way.
Pessimism in me wants to push the promises away. Life has told me that the places of always aren’t always true and the risk often times does not feel worthwhile. Outside of my own life, other’s stories show me evidence that always does not remain true. It often feels hard to reconcile the promises of always when disaster comes and disrupts hope or when questions are unanswered and the loss is almost too much to bear.
In pondering the always in my life, I return to the past. It will always be. Memory and time chip away at my reality. The always places of my past have imprinted my heart, and when my mind and body forget all that I have felt, I rely on my heart. It’s my heart that feels when a song comes on the radio, when a scent floats through the air, when a picture triggers a memory. In these moments I am thankful for always–the things that have shaped the me that is today.
But what about the always that is here and now? We always have now. It’s so tempting in our planning for the future to forget to live in the present. The temptation to live grand and meaningful lives often leaves us forsaking the ones we are called to live currently. The lives that may seem trivial and repetitive and yet, the ones we have been given for now.
If we lived as if we believe we are only promised today, how different would our lives look?
Bethany Cabell is a Texas transplant, residing in Michigan with her husband and their two young boys. A lover of beauty, she lives life chasing after wide-open spaces: sharing her heart with others, in relationship with Jesus, and through music and photography. She tells her story here.