Uncertainty is the worst. I firmly believe that not knowing what will happen is far, far worse than knowing - even if the knowledge is terrible. Perhaps you are more comfortable with uncertainty that I... (Perhaps you even LIKE surprise parties! For the record: NO.)
I've had this non-knowing is worse than being sure confirmed for me many times, mostly notably during our journey to becoming parents.
Should I take the pregnancy test now, or should I wait? Waiting lengthens the amount of time "pregnant" is still a possibility...
It was never positive. Which was, strangely, sometimes a relief, because at least I was sure.
Facts, even when they are the cold hard sharp steel of a negative pregnancy test, are at least something to lean on. They are solid, they hold you.
Thankfully those anxious months are behind me. Thankfully our adoption process, although it certainly had its ups and downs, ended up with a certain outcome. Our children know where they come from, we know their first family and we can communicate with them, see them. We have the truth of their history to lean on.
So here we are, about to inaugurate a new President. And there are so many unknowns swirling around us I'm dizzy. My news feed reads "Bad" "Worse", "Unbelievable". Reports are unsubstantiated, truth is fought over, facts are hidden under layers of excuses or opinions.
What do we hold on to?
This past year, this election, has been so unprecedented, so unpredictable that it's hard to imagine how it will continue... where is the end of this crazy story? The plot is so convoluted and the characters are such cartoons. Our reality would be a failing first draft of a would-be crime novelist.
The uncertainty of this moment is driving me to distraction. I can see others reveling in it: "What will happen next!?!"
But I don't like surprise parties.
So here we are. 2017. A year that could bring... anything. The possibilities are endless, but they all seem to be scary. I am enough of an optimist that there is still a part of me that believes this has a happy ending. (Elizabeth Warren is declared President!)
I'm trying to hold on to something. I'm trying to find some slim hard truths to grasp, even if they are sharp and cold.
I know that next Saturday I'm traveling with a group of amazing women from my congregation to Washington DC.
I know we are not alone. Far from it.
And that, for now, will have to be enough.