So I think I have a pattern established. Since being on some new medication, I feel like I can do life 75% of the time. But “that week”…you know that week. The one where you want to rip out the throat of everyone that dares to disagree with my all-knowing, all-powerful word. Needless to say, that’s about where I’m at this week. I immediately regret my hasty words. Words that tear down and bring tears. No thought given beforehand.
I want to feel an extreme besides extreme sadness and extreme anger. I have a desire to lie on the ground in the woods as the wind whips through bare trees and the sun sinks, when everything in my common sense tells me it’s time to go inside. Perhaps I want to stay just to see if the laws I assume in my mind have any logical premise. If there is any truth to the notion that dark and cold produce desolation and danger and destruction. What if I’m already feeling desolate?
There are parts of winter that I love. Curling up on the couch in the evenings with a book and a blanket. Watching Cardinals and Blue Jays scrounge for food. I feel like the Cardinals in that I am scrounging for nourishment. For any sort of refreshment. Because the days and nights are feeling a bit less cozy and more and more desolate. Empty. Void. And I wonder things like, “What if the bleakness of the days go on and on forever?” and , “What if I never get to feel the warmth of the sun on my face again?”. Some of you know what I’m talking about. That niggling fear that lends itself to questions like, “What if this becomes my life?”
I enter my yard from my dutiful run. Exercise is supposed to help, although lately every joint in my lower body has been rebelling. I look down into a drift of leaves and there is a birds nest. Empty of course. I examine the intricate weave of the pine needles and string. Birds are instinctually beautiful. Even their scrounging is beautiful. I don’t feel beautiful in my scrounging. I feel hollow and haggard and clumsy and stupid. Unworthy of love. Maybe that’s a huge part of it. How unworthy I feel sometimes. Oh, to make the head knowledge, heart knowledge. To transcend the monotony and glimpse eternity. I’m convinced that’s all it would take. One glimpse. Like lying on the carpet of crunchy leaves in the woods in the dark.
The chickens haven’t laid in months. I just bought 3 dozen eggs at the store. An act of resignation. Their inability to produce also reminds me of myself. Like I have nothing to give to anyone. Barrenness.
Something prompts me to look in the laying b0x. I somehow find myself looking expectantly. And there…there in the middle of that rounded, worn, sat-in nest are three, perfect, little, brown eggs! This means the chicks that were born in late summer are starting to lay! I am so delighted as I carry them to the house. I can’t wait to show the kids. Those long months of just being an eater. Not seemingly contributing. Not earning a “keep”. Now she is producing something beautiful.
The next morning, Graham goes out into the woods right after breakfast. Partly because that’s his favorite place in the world and partly to escape the surety of school work. He comes back in a few minutes later with a smile beaming from his face and two yellow tulips clutched in his hand. “Look what I brought you and Aubrie!”, he says, clearly delighted with himself. We put them in a blue glass vase because I love yellow and blue together. I ask if there are more and he says, “No, just those two.”
I’m sitting in the hallway outside her room…listening. It’s late and she’s coughing. Another cold turned respiratory. We made the decision to take her off her steroid last month because she had been doing so well. My heart pounds with anxiety as I quickly run through my available resources with no possitive results. Are we going to end up back in the emergency room? I wonder. I selfishly dread the disapproving comments we will more than likely receive from the allergist should we have to go. Somehow, someway, I start to practice gratitude. I start thanking Him for His care and ability to see situations in ways I never will. I ask Him to forgive my doubt. I told Him that, yes, I believe, but help my unbelief. I asked Him to heal my baby girl. To touch her lungs and throat and make her airways clear. Then, I also told Him that I will praise Him whether He takes this cup from us or not. I told Him I would celebrate His faithfulness whether we got rest tonight or not. Because I will not allow this situation to turn into a battle of wills.
I listen to her cough gradually become more intermittent. When I crawl into bed, I am prepared to get up again. I am willing.
She sleeps straight through from 1am to 9am. No coughing. No throwing up. No breathing treatments. She greets me with a smile in the morning light and I tell her what I asked of the Lord. She smiles, unsurprised. There’s that faith and expectancy. Not just because she has child-like faith, but from personal experiences that make her wise beyond her almost 7 years.
And I think about my desolation and my barrenness and how He never really sleeps like spring does in winter. He is always working. Sometimes just under the surface where we can’t see. And we shouldn’t be surprised when miracles spring up. We should expect them. And we shouldn’t think it trivial or miniscule when He uses 3 little eggs, 2 tulips and one healthy, smiling girl to teach us something about Himself.