“It means God is taking every day and every single thing that happens in it – good or bad – to make you stronger, to mend whatever is broken inside, to change you into the person you were always meant to be.” -Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing by Sally Lloyd-Jones & Jago
I read this to my kids last night before bed. I emphasized the coolness of being thankful for the good and bad things each day as we have a God that uses it all. Miabelle looked at me a little confused, and I tried to give her some examples.
I’m drawn back to that page today as I’ve sat in some hard for the last 5 days battling a pretty severe allergic reaction. Chest pain, shortness of breath, hives, not being able to walk 10 feet without almost collapsing, being bedridden yet unable to sleep, doctor trips, ER trips, tears. I’m a mover and a shaker, I like doing things, being independent, doing things fast. So 5 days isn’t that long, but it’s felt long and who knows when it will all pass but the thing is, I know it will.
As hard as it’s been and as much as I’d give a small organ just to be better. Yes, I was hoping someone could just take my gallbladder or appendix and just be done with it. I’ve had to wait it out. I’m somewhat impatient too. But you know what. There’s a beauty I’ve seen in this that I could have never seen without being bedridden for these few days.
- My husband who has been nothing short of amazing. Entirely taking care of our 3 kids these last 5 days without one tired sigh or annoyance. Waking up with me multiple times in the middle of the night when I’m struggling. Taking me to the ER for half the night, getting 2 hours of sleep and waking up when our two-year-old yells out. He quietly gets up, shuts our door, and get’s all the kids and himself ready for the day.
- Friends who have checked in every single day since they’ve known I’ve been struggling. They hug me when I cry through frustrated, impatient tears, bring food, ice cream, give me their top Netflix movie lists and verses to encourage me.
- My 7-month pregnant neighbor who comes over in a split second so David can take me to the ER. She has 3 kids 4 and under and after keeping her up ½ the night she brings dinner over too. I mean, seriously?!
- My Mom who I can call 3 times a day and she always picks up, listens, encourages and prays. She’s the first text I see in the morning asking how I’m doing.
- My Lily who crawls up and strokes my face and tell me how much she loves me. Who tells her Dad to get her brother out of my room so Mama can rest. Who runs out of her bedroom in the middle of the night, walks to my side of the bed, stops, and turns around to go back to bed remembering her mama is sick.
- Miabelle who prays every night for mama to get better
- Steven when he hears me tell Lily I’m not feeling well looks over, gives me a hug and then lays his blanket on my head.
- My boss who is completely understanding of me missing my first two days at work even covers a day for me and checks in on me.
Wow – What beautiful grace and love I have experienced.
And then all the things I take for granted and even complain about on a daily basis. I want them back so bad.
- I despise the morning hustle bustle, getting up and getting everyone ready for the day. Now, more than anything I wish I could have my strength back to be able to rush around, get kids dressed, do hair and feed them. What a privilege I was complaining about.
- I complain about making meals, I feel like I just made a meal and cleaned up and it’s time for the next meal…la de dah. I long to hop in my car, get some groceries and cook a meal for my family. What another privilege I was complaining about.
- I complain about my needy 2-year-old son who only wants mama all. the. time. I haven’t been able to pick him up for 5 days, and today when I picked him up for 2 seconds, I had to put him down cause I felt like I had just run a marathon. I want to pick my son up, wrestle him, make him belly laugh. My son, what a privilege it is to be that person for my son.
- I miss the small things that I never took notice of or was even thankful for
Ultimately I know I’m going to get better. Not saying it hasn’t been a bit rough but I know I’m going to move past this. Sadly, I know many do not. Many people are in chronic pain, chronic illnesses. My heart breaks for them. But, if anything, through this small bout, I know that God uses it ALL. So I trust God in this, and I trust all those who suffer to Him too. It often doesn’t make sense. I know it’s not what anyone would want, but in the pain and hardships, there is often such a surprising grace and beauty that can’t be seen anywhere else. So I thank the God who uses it all, the good and the bad.