On Disappointment and Missing Out

We stepped out our front door yesterday to catch a glimpse of the solar eclipse and we were met with a storm.

My man and I just so happen to live in the path of totality. That invisible line that everyone flocked to across the nation. He was able to work from home yesterday so we could take our sweet time watching this (apparently) historical moment in awe. I tracked exactly what time we needed to start watching, and we were so ready.

We had our eclipse glasses. We put our patio chairs out in the grass where we could have a great view. Did I mention my husband even asked to work from home? We were excited. Just like everyone else.

In the first twenty minutes of the sun and moon overlapping, we sat in our chairs, put on our special glasses, and looked up. We smiled. We both said “Wow.”

We went back inside for a few minutes. My husband was still working, you know. We set a timer to go out again in ten more minutes. At that point, the sun should have been halfway covered. As soon as we heard the beep, beep, beep of the timer, we were up again. We grabbed our glasses, headed outside, and looked up.

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Yep, nothing but a dark cloud. Then thunder. Then lightening. And it wasn’t going away. We stared and stayed outside just waiting and hoping that it would pass. It didn’t.

The street lights came on, and at 2:46 the city went dark. That was cool and all, but we still felt like we missed out.

As the sun’s light and heat returned to the earth, we still saw the storm cloud. We went back inside. Disappointed. Broken-hearted.

I made the horrible mistake of checking Instagram and Facebook. It seemed that everyone was posting their pictures, captioning that it was the most amazing sight they’d ever seen. Commenting on the power of God over the universe.

And all I saw was a friggin’ storm cloud. Y’all. It wasn’t even a pretty thunderstorm.

I know that a lot of people have a bad case of FOMO. Fear of missing out. To the point that they complain, seek attention, or invite themselves because they are terrified of missing the things that are so very important to everyone else. And what bothered me so much about missing most of the eclipse was that I did not have a fear of missing it. Instead, it seemed like there was no way for me to avoid it. I was completely prepared!

Sometimes, we can be ready and still feel like we’ve missed it. We can be highly educated and still not have that dream job. We can be responsible and mature and still not be married. We can be kind, good people and still have disappointments. We can see a part of our God-given calling and still not understand it.

When the people around us have that dream job, dream marriage, dream life, we have a choice. We can be jealous and grumble. Or we can accept that our lives look a little different. God’s timing isn’t social media perfect. Your life that is seemingly out-of-wack is perhaps the better story for you.

I don’t know why God chooses to give us the smallest of glimpses when we’re begging to see the whole picture. Maybe it has something to do with trust. Maybe it is designed to rid us of jealousy. Perhaps it is a push to kick the FOMO habit. I think the greatest reason for the Lord’s “delay” is that He knows what we need, when we need it.

We may feel and actually be completely prepared for that job, marriage, or calling. But it also may not be what we need at the moment. We can keep planning, keep preparing, but be sure to listen when God says, “Not now” or “Wait” or doesn’t say anything at all.

My man and I plan on traveling in 2024 to the next North American eclipse. We may end up missing it again.

This I know: God loves us all. God has good plans for us. God is purposeful in His design. Everything will be okay.

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