It started almost as soon as I woke up. Lawrence spent the entire day either sick or recovering from the "24 hr" stomach bug, leaving me to care for the boys on my own. I should have known better than to walk into their room without arming myself with God's truth first or at least humbly saying a prayer for God's help and grace to get me through the day in a way that would glorify Him.
Tucker was especially needy, whining a lot and throwing tantrums, and I took less than a sympathetic posture toward him. My sinful heart was seriously exposed this morning through my son's displays of anger and impatience as my response to him was no different. Lawrence, able to hear the interactions taking place between me and my son all morning long, graciously encouraged me with these words, "Tucker needs to hear and see demonstrated from you that he simply cannot exhaust your love for him."
I am so grateful for my husband who, even from the sickbed, seeks to shepherd my heart and encourage me when I am growing weary of doing good. I knew what he said was true, but I also knew that in my own power, I was not going to be able to do that. I cried out for God's grace, and while Tucker continued to whine and throw tantrums all day, I was a little better postured to endure patiently with him. I still feel quite at a loss at times to know how to respond to him at times, but I'm trying to rest in God's faithfulness to both me and my son when we so quickly come to the end of ourselves.
Also brought to the surface today was a sense of grief over all that Judah has gone through and will be going through. On a wagon ride this morning, my neighbor stopped to talk with me. I walked right by her without saying hello, and she was surprised by my coldness. She asked me about it, and I responded by telling her about our current circumstances and began to cry for the first time since all this began 5 days ago. She was quick to overlook an offense and sought to encourage me, but I walked away seeing that I was falling into self-centeredness and self-pity, even if it was, in my mind, on behalf of my son.
There were many moments during my day that served to show just how much I am still in need of a Savior: angrily responding to my husband's request for me to stay home from an event I wanted to attend, entertaining faithless thoughts regarding our parenting and God's care for our family, giving into self-pity and discouragement when the pharmacist proved to be unhelpful and what I perceived as uncaring to our plight and many, many thoughts today with me in the absolute center of them.
There were other moments where the limitations of my humanity were exposed: lack of wisdom to respond to my sons' needs, an inability to keep committments to serve others in order to serve the more emergent needs of my family, and just a general sense of being out of wack given the lack of normalcy and routine lately.
Where does all this leave me? Desperate still for my Savior to come and be my all sufficient, to be all that I cannot be in my own strength, to pour out more grace still for the forgiveness of my sins and the strength to persevere in doing all that is required of me in this season.
As I went through my day, I became overwhelmed at times by all there is left to redeem in my heart. A sweet gal in our caregroup, Michelle, encouraged me through an email to take time to recount God's faithfulness to our family. As I did so, I was able to put my heart at rest, knowing that God alone is faithful to complete the good work He's begun in me.
Tomorrow, Judah will have a pre-op. physical at our pediatrician's office, and I will be trying to communicate to our doctors in order to gain some more details regarding Judah's upcoming surgery as well as his results from the MRI on Friday.
I want to follow my friend, Emily's example by seeking to thank people by name who have demonstrated in tangible ways God's love and care for us each day. Thank you to:
- Cathy Plack for sending along some yummy, yummy fresh veggies, fruit, dips and sweet treats. It was my first real "meal" after being sick.
- Jo Powell for bringing the food to the "sickies" and for hearing me out on the phone. You are a sweet friend, my dear.
- Laurie, Michelle and Jo Ann (Kate's mom) for your emails: all uniquely encouraging in their own way.
- Gretchen, I've still got your call on our machine. I'll enjoy playing it to hear your comforting voice over and over this week. Maybe we'll see you, too!
- Mom, we miss you a ton. Thanks for hanging on the phone through all the little interruptions to address the boys. Hope it made you feel a little more apart of our lives here.
Please pray that Judah will completely recover from the stomach virus, eat well, stay healthy and be ready for his surgery on Wednesday. Thanks so much.