Upside Down

 

Mondays always seem to be a tough day in our home.  Unfortunately yesterday felt like my whole world had been turned completely upside down.  Not necessarily over one big incident, yet everything seemed to be falling apart. A chicken with its head cut off – have you ever heard someone use that expression? It is crazy to watch!  The chicken keeps running around frantically, even after it has lost its head.  Its world – its life really – has just abruptly crashed down with one quick hack to the neck. Well, that picture seemed to describe my day yesterday. Not the losing its neck part, but the running around frantically, and perhaps the crashing down part.

Parenting is no joke!  But there’s nothing like a marriage, grief, or spiritual struggle, to make it even more difficult. The inner turmoil, hurt, feeling alone, confusion, worry; it left my head spinning. I was unsure of which way to turn or what to do – like a chicken with its head cut off.  Had God even heard my desperate and constant prayers?

The high-pitched screaming coming from my three-and-a-half-year-old was more than I could handle.  It pierced through my very soul and broke down any virtuousness left in me. As if his constant shrieking wasn’t enough, I was exhausted from having to play referee one more time to three little ones. And a weekend of little to no naps leaves a toddler a bit sulky. I’m not always quite sure the best way to handle these situations and I began to question my actions as a mother, and as a wife. My eyes were clouded with tears.  My voice was quivering.  It’s all too much.  Everything was just too much.  I was a disastrous mess inside.

As one child screamed upstairs in his room I collapsed on the floor into a ball of emotions.  God, where are You? Can’t you see I’m drowning here? I cannot do this on my own; I need You!  Please send someone or something to encourage me. Let me know You’re still here with me.

As I sat on the floor weeping, my not-even-two-year-old quietly came over and asked, “‘K?”  I looked up into his curious and saddened face.  “No I’m not okay,” I answered honestly. With puckered lips, he leaned into my face and gently kissed my forehead.  “There,” he reassured me.  When the tears didn’t stop after his first kiss, he kissed me three more times.  I couldn’t help but give him a slight smile through my tears.  He was who God sent me.  His gentle and caring spirit soothed my burdened soul.

The rest of the day went much like the beginning.  Saying it was a rough day seems to be putting it incredibly mildly. The tears, they were threatening to surface.  The heaviness of burden in my chest was relentless. Yet, amidst it all, I had a supernatural calmness; I was actually calmly numb. None of the turmoil had disappeared but it was as if God had wrapped His strong, loving arms around me and all the pain and emotions were slightly muted.

This was God’s grace in action.  This was the peace of God that surpasses all understanding. This was His strength through my weakness.

As God’s children we expect Him to take away our pain and struggles.  Sometimes He might, but usually He doesn’t.  But He does promise that His grace is sufficient.  Grace comes in many forms.  Sometimes it is a break from the pain, sometimes He takes us home to heaven and sometimes He sends us something or someone – someone barely three feet tall, wearing a lunch-stained shirt, with chubby hands and an unconditional love that only a two-year-old can give.  (I also spoke to my mom twice on the phone yesterday; she continues to be one of my greatest encouragements and one of my best friends!)

I sit here this morning – the morning after, feeling somewhat refreshed (even simply from some sleep). As I finish writing this blog I reflect on the following passages:

Lamentations 3:22-23: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.

2 Corinthians 12:8-10: Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Philippians 4:4-9: Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.  Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.  The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.

Lyrics come to my mind as well:

My Lighthouse
Rend Collective Experiment

In my wrestling and in my doubts
In my failures You won’t walk out
Your great love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea

In my silence You won’t let go
In the questions Your truth will hold
Your great love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea

I won’t fear what tomorrow brings
With each morning I’ll rise and sing
My God’s love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea

Trust in You
Lauren Daigle

Letting go of every single dream
I lay each one down at Your feet
Every moment of my wandering
Never changes what You see

I’ve tried to win this war I confess
My hands are weary I need Your rest
Mighty Warrior, King of the fight
No matter what I face, You’re by my side

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

Truth is, You know what tomorrow brings
There’s not a day ahead You have not seen
So, in all things be my life and breath
I want what You want Lord and nothing less

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

You are my strength and comfort
You are my steady hand
You are my firm foundation; the rock on which I stand

Your ways are always higher
Your plans are always good
There’s not a place where I’ll go, You’ve not already stood

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

One thought on “Upside Down

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