A phrase that I say all of the time now. It carries so much meaning for me, yet it seems overly simple and impossibly incorrect. How on earth can everything be fine all of the time?
“It’s fine. I’m fine.” is a phrase that Scottie uses all of the time. Interestingly, her school is working to change this go-to phrase because when she says it, she isn’t really expressing how she feels. After much reflection, Scott and I realized that in our attempts to soothe Scottie for 15 years, we would often tell her, “It’s ok. It’s fine. You’re fine.” But, guess what? She wasn’t fine. She uses this phrase as an escape from figuring out how she feels and how to express those feelings to someone else. What a parenting fail! It is just another example of how we did what we knew and now that we know better, we will do better. So how on earth has it become my mantra. My phrase.
While in the Dominican Republic this past November, I sat around a table with my friend Jacque and Scott. Jacque was in the DR with the purpose of finding an apartment, looking for a car, and figuring out everything she needed to get before moving to the DR to be a missionary. I sat with Jacque and we began making to-do lists. Asking questions. Creating bring-with-you lists. The lists were growing. The information was pouring in and it could have been so overwhelming. But, I just kept telling Jacque that “It’s fine. It’ll be fine.” And for me, these words were not meant to just cover up feelings or fears, but rather I meant exactly what I said.
Here is what I know. When life is chaotic and overwhelming, I have two choices. I can freak out, become controlling, and drown in the overwhelming fears of the unknown. OR I can choose to believe that God has a plan and everything will in fact be fine. During that week, I chose to do the second thing, which is quite contrary to my Enneagram 1, type A personality. I wanted my friend Jacque to understand that it would all be fine. All of the to-dos would be accomplished. All of the unknowns would become known.
This mantra ,“It’s fine”, provided me with great peace and confidence. At the end of that week, Scott and I walked to buy a Coke (because they give you life in the DR on a hot day), and I told him that I believed that it was time for us to move to the DR. To say Scott was expecting it is an understatement, because I had been telling him for months that I would go if he wanted to, but I just didn’t want to leave our oldest kids and life here in the States. I dug in my heels because I desired to maintain complete control. (OK. I realized I have never been in control, but it is easier to fake it living in Texas.) I discovered that week that I will be ok. Scottie and Zoey will be ok in the DR. Jake and Emma Grace will be ok here. In fact, not only will we be ok, but I believe that by taking this huge leap of faith, we will grow in our relationship with God, within community, in our marriage, as a family, and in our ability to serve and love others.
I am believing that “It’s fine” because I am believing the words of St. Patrick in a whole new way…
“Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.”
by Saint Patrick
So when you hear me say “It’s fine”, it is because I truly believe it will be fine. As I embark on this journey, I choose to believe what Saint Patrick said. I am not covering up feelings or ignoring a reality. I actually believe those two little words. Everything is fine….how can it not be?