Amen. Life happens. I’m preaching to the choir, right? Life happens to all of us, we’re living it. Some days are better than others, some days are so bombarded with stuff, it almost seems unimaginable that we’re still here. But, in these moments, I’m reminded of how we are supposed to be handling these things. We’re supposed to be turning them over to God, and letting him handle it. Asking him to lift us up with his righteous right hand. To not be dismayed or discouraged. He is our God, and he will prevail. He is the victor. And, through Him, so are we.
I just went through a rough season, my entire month of February was a wreck. Like, freight train. First, my son got the flu, then my husband, then myself. Only, my son got a fever and some gut rot deal, my husband had a fever for 5 days and pretty much slept the whole time. And, I got some sort of stomach flu deal, that made it impossible for me to keep anything inside me. Day 3 of my flu, I had become so dehydrated, that I required medical attention. I woke up as soon as the clinic opened and told them that I needed to get in ASAP. They could see me within the hour. Amazing. I opened up my front door, blizzard. I seriously was so delirious from my illness that I considered calling an ambulance. But, I knew that if I could just get there, I would be ok. So, I get the last of my strength, and I get in the car to go to the clinic. I’m practically delusional by this point, my mouth and throat are dry, every time I take a drink my lips and throat instantly need more fluids and are dry again. The doctor pretty much just looked at me and said, “We need to get some fluids in you.” I had lost 10 pounds, at least, maybe more. I’m not someone who can afford to lose 10 pounds. I didn’t even recognize myself in the mirror. As they took me back to a room and got me situated, my messenger app buzzed. It’s the women’s feed from church. We use it as a way to share encouraging words, or request prayers, quick notes, etc. The Pastor shared her morning devo: “Come to me for rest and refreshment. This journey has been too much for you, and you are bone-weary. Do not be ashamed of your exhaustion. Instead, see it as an opportunity for Me to take charge of your life.” – (which is an excerpt from Shannon Stoddard on beliefnet) But, this word came to me, right as they are plugging IVs into my arm, and I just shed a tear. Yes, Lord. You are my rest and refreshment. I ended up needing two bags worth of fluids to get me back to some sort of human. And, I rested while they pumped me full of fluids, but I knew I was going to be fine with that word. Amen. Then, we all got to have some sort of break for about a week, where we were kind of getting back to normal. Then, my son had a cold sore outbreak.
Cold sores. No big deal. Not for my kid. My kid doesn’t get like the little one on his lip. He gets blisters all inside his cheeks, on his tongue, they spread onto his lips. He can’t eat, he can’t hardly talk, can’t go to school. It’s a big deal. He takes medication but it doesn’t seem to do much, yet. Maybe we’ll try some different medicine next time. Either way. This outbreak was rough, he ended up getting a particularly nasty UTI as well, that could only hopefully be remedied with one medicine, and if this didn’t work, he’d have to check in to the hospital. One super sick little kid, and two really stressed out parents. It lasts for about 2 weeks. I mean. We just can’t win. He just starts clearing up, we get the call that a friend of my husband and I’s, of 15 years – at least, has passed away.
Sometimes, when it’s too much to stand, kneel. I have prayed so much this month. Prayed for healing. Prayed for direction. Prayed for strength. Prayed for everything. And, today, I needed all those prayers. Today, was a loooong day. A funeral and reception/wake, errand for a friend – which went horribly awry, picking up my kid, stuff for Cub Scouts, eye dr, picking up my nephew, stressful but good work phone call, taking my son to piano, finding out the snowblower is a different kind of broken with a serious blizzard en route, and finally picking up my car from the shop…
Now, my car has had me town-bound for almost 2 years. I had taken it to 3 different shops and dumped a ridiculous amount of money into it, and every time I got it back, it still wasn’t fixed. I was seriously discouraged. But this last year, during my Christmas miracle, the group had wanted to look into getting my car fixed and requested I take it to a specific shop they work with. And this guy, is amazing. I’m someone who knows a thing or two about cars, and loathe when mechanics talk to me like all I know about cars – is that I have a purple one. Please. This guy went for a drive with me, and finally figured out what was going on with my car. Now, although the group couldn’t spring to help me at the time, but I now had a quote to go with my problem, finally. So, when tax time rolled around. My car went to the shop. And, today, I got my car back. I had never realized how much I had been stressing about my car, FOR 2 YEARS, until I was able to touch my brake pedal doing 55 today, and not being afraid that my car was going to rip itself apart. I cried. The relief of not being afraid of my own car, was so overwhelming. I thanked God. And, I realized all the other wonderful things that happened to me this month, in spite of everything else.
2 years ago, if I had a day like this, I would’ve called my mom, or another good friend of mine, and just railed. I can’t believe this, why won’t this day just stop, on and on…. But, today, when I felt that moment. When I felt that full boar, ROAR! What is going on!?!!? And, wanted to blow it up all over someone’s ear drum, I didn’t. I remembered the moment of rest and refreshment, of God giving me the strength. In the midst of my madness, somewhere between Cub Scouts and my nephew, I was just losing it, and all of the sudden, instead of picking up the phone and proceeding to regurgitate my issues all over someone else’s day. I just plugged in my Christian tunes. Jammed out to some DC Talk, Newsboys, and David Crowder. And, said, “God, you’ve got this. Because I don’t.” And I imagined the “story” where Satan comes knocking, and you see him through the peephole, and go, “God, it’s for you!” and walk away. I couldn’t possibly handle my day today, but God did. I didn’t have the strength to deal with everything that happened today, but God saw me through. I also decided to start thinking about all the great stuff that happened this month. And, I hadn’t even picked up my car yet….
The Good things, the God things:
I shared at church on Wednesday night, my testimony, and many, instead of giving me judgy looks and deciding they didn’t really want to be encouraging me anymore, instead loved me more. “Powerful testimony.” “You’ve really overcome a lot.” “I’m so glad you’re here.” And, I got to pray for a lot of people, who after hearing my testimony, wanted me to pray for them. It was so rewarding, and comforting, and encouraging, and praying for them – felt so good. Just this incredible, otherworldly good. Deep down in my soul – good.
My son and I made a memory this month during his sickness, that we will never forget (but is too embarrassing to share openly here).
I got to reach out to friends during our great loss that we haven’t seen in years, and be people that they could depend on in their time of need.
I got to see an old friend for coffee, and a new one. 😀
I started making some new career moves, that might pay off.
I had a a couple big wins at work. I mean, God is good.
My son did finally get better, and so did I, and so did my husband.
And, then, I finally got my car fixed. God had it all, the whole time. Continued to sprinkle blessings in with the madness. Reminding me that He was here, and wants good things for me. And rewards those who follow him. And, we need to remember that. He wants good things for us, but we have to trust that he does.
“Encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.” 1 Thessalonians 2:12
“Strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.” Acts 14:22
“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6
“Stand firm, and you will win life.” Luke 21:19
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Dear Heavenly Father, I pray right now, that you lift this person up with your righteous right hand. That you give them the strength and endurance to win life. To remember that you are the victor. The Alpha and Omega. You’ve got it all under control. And, although, we can’t always see the end, you’re already there and waiting. You know the plans you have for us, and we need only to trust you. To give you thanks for all the great things you do, and appreciate all the time we do have here, with our loved ones, friends, and family. That, you, our Great Big God, the Great I AM, can get us through any of our days. That we need only to turn to you. To ask you to take it from us, for your yoke is light, and the world’s is heavy. We don’t have to do everything on our own, because we are not alone. I pray that the person reading this starts to have eyes that see the good in every day and every person. That you have created them all, and they are all perfect in your sight. That we may open our hearts with compassion for all your good works. That we receive your blessings, and we shut the door on Satan when it’s not for us. I pray a shield of protection against the world’s fiery darts, and that you shut the mouth of the roaring lion. I thank you Father for all that you do, for your peace, and your comfort, and for your everlasting life, and your strength. That all these things we may receive. In Jesus Name. AMEN!!