A couple weeks ago, my hands were doing dishes while my eyes looked out the window towards my backyard. My mind was flitting here and there, thinking about my family, thinking about our church, thinking about how life was just so sweet right now that I could just write #blessings on anything and everything. I was even marveling over the fact that none of my kids had even been sick yet, and winter is almost over. The Lord had just drenched us in sweetness, and I was full of gratitude.
A week later, one of Lucy’s biggest BFF’s was diagnosed with cancer. I found myself again doing dishes, staring out the window in tears, feeling helpless and heartbroken. Why her, this sweet little girl? What do I say? How can I ease their pain? I can’t.
A week later, Jason are are scrambling to love and provide for another dear friend in an incredibly hard situation. Again, as I do everyday, I found myself washing dirty plates and staring off into the twilight sky. Feeling defeated with the brokenness and evil of this world. Desperately wanting to step in and save the day. Knowing I can’t.
Three days later, my hand in the suds, watching the chickens. My Linoleum Lucy lays burning up with fever on the sofa, most certainly the flu. I feel frayed and worn. I pray, as the chickens scratch around, for energy and endurance that I can’t muster on my own.
Then Kara goes down with a double ear infection and refuses to sleep. Then Anthony comes home early from school with the flu. Then Abby comes down with the flu. Another tired week of washing dishes and medicine dispensers with eyes that don’t even care about what’s outside the window. I am nearly undone with exhaustion. I just can’t.
While the flu rages through the house, Lucy has another eye surgery. Full out anesthesia and surgery on her delicate eye. There are no promises with this surgery. There has to come a point where we may have to call an end to these procedures. We may have to accept that her eyes may never properly work together.
The day of surgery, I come to find another loved one’s whole world is falling apart. I really can’t do anything other then to sit and pray.
I feel so small. So weak. So tired. So unable.
This place of dependence and weakness. I am trying to learn to like it here.This place where happiness is elusive and everything feels too hard.
I think because it is the other way to experience #blessings.
Isn’t that weird?
I made no dinner this week. I didn’t bang a single pot against the stove. Because one of my friends just up and organized other dear friends to bring dinners. I was lavished on and carried and seen. It was so dear. No need to stare out my kitchen window and do dinner dishes. Just use that time to snuggle and rest with my sickies. What a gift. #blessings
Friends texted. Just checking in. Thinking about you. Missed you at church. How can I pray for you? Do you need anything? Alone in the house with a bunch of thinking to do, sick kids needing, needing, needing. But I felt an army of sweet sisters hanging in there with me. Alone but not alone. #blessings
I am thankful for the times when I realize how sweet life is. The beauty of the creation outside my kitchen window. The gift of my sweet little family and my big church family. All the small sweetnesses. All the large sweetnesses.
Can I be thankful for pain? Can I be thankful for small hardnesses and large hardnesses? The more I walk this life with Jesus, the more I am thankful in hard times. Do I like it? No. Does it feel good? Absolutely not. Sometimes its exhausting and inconvenient. Sometimes its pure torture and I will do almost anything to get out of it.
But this hard stuff brings me to the end of myself.
It reminds me that I am really just a weak, insignificant speck on this big old planet. Not the center of the universe.
And this view of myself, in turn, reminds me that I am needy and helpless against the big giants of life. Broken relationships. Sickness. Pain. Suffering. Death.
And I need Jesus. So much Jesus. His love. His peace. His mighty majesty and power. His grace. His strength. His comforting words. I could go on and on.
I don’t see my need for Jesus very clearly when life is good. But when the view of life looks hard and dark and foreboding, that is when I can see him most clearly. #blessing
When have you seen Jesus most clearly?