It was 2am and I was sobbing.
The first part of March had been brutal for our family. Sickness had erupted. Nearly everything on the schedule had been cancelled. Saturday came and I thought we had made it through. We bared our weak arms and bowed our heads to disinfect, scrub, vacuum, and steam clean every surface that we could find. By evening, we were exhausted but it was all right. Things were going to be okay.
Until around 1:30am, when my daughter came downstairs and said that her stomach hurt. Little time passed before she was back in the bathroom, sick again.
I thought we were almost out! I thought things were going to be okay!
I had done everything that I knew to do and from what I could see, things weren’t working. Things weren’t okay. There was a whisper that if I just quit, if I stopped all the good that I was doing (finishing school, counseling, my new position, etc.) the battle would go away. The lies of the enemy can almost feel like an invitation, a relief to the chaos. These were the whispers of the dark.
My husband, kind and courageous enough to do so, persuaded me to try to sleep. “We can’t process this now. Just try to rest.”
Morning came and I was not better. Still raw from everything, we stayed home and joined our church family from our couch. It was refreshing but it was not enough. Afterwards, my husband and I talked about what to do next. All I knew were the basics. I needed to get dressed, to fix my hair, and put my makeup on. I couldn’t think past that but I had faith enough that if I did those things first, the rest would follow.
The Messy Bun has become a life saver for me. It’s the style I can count on when my hair is just meh. I feel better when I fix my hair like this and arranging my hair on this Sunday morning felt like an act of faith.
This, Jesus, I can do. Please, meet me on the other side.
Feeling more human, as a family, we stepped outside into the drab, warm, barely-out-of-winter type of day. I went looking for signs of life and found them in the sweetest place:
Last year, I lost my Granny. She was the last of my living grandparents and before the house went on the market, I asked permission to dig up some of her surprise lilies. Seeing them in my garden, I knelt and cried, but this time they were (as my kids call them) happy tears. I heard my Father telling me that this world, this life, my life, the well-being of my family, our dreams is not all up to me. I am not alone in this. God is doing things that I can’t see. Trusting in that is what faith, for me, is about.
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Believe in the invisible. Sometimes, you may not be sure if what you’re doing is worth it. It may be hard, probably discouraging, and certainly exhausting. But, don’t give up and don’t give in to the lie that everything is on your shoulders. Your Father is doing things you can’t see. Growing things, creating opportunities, making things work out in ways that you may not expect. Be open and do what you know to do, but be willing to step out, even in the smallest ways. Be willing to risk. You have to seek if you want to find. You have to knock if you want a door to open. As my devotional said this morning, “There must be a question to bring an answer.” Do what you know and stay on the path.
Sometimes, faith does look like a messy bun. Step out onto the waters. That’s where Jesus is anyway.