I had a weekend alone with my girls. Because of Hugh’s schedule, we are used to him being gone some; and a night here and there or a longer than expected day are just a part of the life we have decided is God’s will for our family. That being said, a Friday-Sunday shindig is not the norm, and usually I have back-up for weekends like that. We kept ourselves busy, and it went by fairly quickly, but I was ready to hug my man and hand him a baby by the time Sunday arrived. When he got home and was obviously feeling poorly, not only was I bummed because I was ready for a break, panic set in as quickly replayed the last time (might I add only a few weeks ago) our family ended up sick. We all remember how that went.
After the appointment with the doctor I will now refer to as, “The man who deserves grace as much as I do”, I was feeling down to say the least. I had asked God for some relief, and was pleasantly surprised when He agreed that it was best for me to get some. This relief came in the form of an email from the NIH’s undiagnosed program. Insert numerous God connections and a week or so later, and we have now been accepted into their current research study. They only “accept” 50-100 families a year, and so you can imagine my excitement that our family will be included on that list. While I know that God is God and man is not, and that we could end up without a diagnosis at the end of this process, I also know that I will be much more at peace accepting that after the “best of the best” review our case. We still have a few months to wait until we know what the next steps will look like, and there will be possible travel involved, but I am over the moon that we have been given this opportunity.
I tell you this to make my tendency to forget God’s relief and goodness to me obvious. Here I was, feeling great about where God had our family, and all it took was my crazy-patient husband coming home sick to send me into a pity party once again. You see, that’s what I do. I sway from trusting God’s goodness to struggling with seeing His faithfulness on an almost daily basis. My poor husband has not exactly gotten a sweet, nurturing wife this time around either. Oh, dear reader, if you do not know me well enough to know that while I strive to submit to Hugh and be the Proverbs 31 wife I so desperately desire to be, I am quite far from that most days, I apologize for that harsh realization. Blog posts don’t exactly include videos of my snappy, nagging, “Wash your hands!” or, “Hugh, don’t cough on the babies!” (The man is not only an adult, he’s a doctor. He kind of is aware of these things). The thing is, while I do feel sorry for him that he isn’t feeling well, a bigger part of me, the sinful part of me, is more concerned with fears of the girls getting sick again or me just simply needing a break for a couple hours. Sure, I could call a friend. But, there is just something about your husband, your other half, taking care of your children that other people just can’t meet the standards of no matter the best intentions. So here I was, already forgetting God’s goodness to me. Already getting stuck on myself rather than looking to the needs of others. Throwing a flat out pity party. Then, the mailman came, and I walked out to this:
Friends, God shows up. He shows up even when we are too consumed with ourselves to grasp the bigger plan. He shows up even when we are throwing a “poor, pitiful me” tantrum. In the mail was letters from many, many of my friends from different seasons of life, just bringing encouragement and affirmation. Some of them included little “happies” as well, others fond memories or conversations. As I read them, I cried. I cried because of the kindness of the support system in my life, cried because I needed it so badly on this very day, and I cried because it was such a representation of the grace we have in Christ. Grace we get even in the moments we blatantly aren’t aware of it; even in the moments where I track record doesn’t deserve it. Especially then. Romans 5:8 says it this way,
“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”.
I don’t deserve this love even on my very best days, but He chooses to lavish it on me because His love has nothing to do with me and everything to do with Him. I am sure that someone correlated this tangible love I received today, and for that I am unbelievably thankful; but along with that was a package and a letter from a dear friend who I was able to walk with through their adoption process and who has continued to be a source of encouragement to me. I expected to receive a couple shirts that I had ordered from her in support of another friend’s adoption; but she had included an extra handful of shirts, a beautiful bracelet, and a precious letter. Friends, these things do not happen by accident. God times things perfectly and loves on us through those around us, and I believe He is up in heaven giddy thinking about all the gifts He has yet to bestow on us. I cannot wait until we sit around up in heaven and get to talk through all the things that He planned, all the intricate details involved, and even the ones that we somehow did not catch or notice. He shows up always.
So, while tonight Hugh is still sick and I still have anxiety about what this week has for our family, I also have a different perspective that came through the hands, feet, and heart of Christ through His children. I have been reminded that He is faithful and loving in all things, and that this love surpasses all unexpected, expected, happy moments, and trials to come. While not every day brings us reminders of this through letters and gifts from friends, my prayer for you today is that you would be made aware of His love that is all around you in all your life enfolds. He is working friends; and He is constantly making His love known to us. Let’s grab onto that love tonight.