Before Christmas, I started watching a film called 12 Dates of Christmas (imagine if Groundhog Day hooked up with Hallmark and you’d have a clear picture). Ironically, I didn’t finish it for several days. By then, our days started to look like mirror cousins. Aside from an emergency trip to the hospital involving a two-day stay for my daughter and her angry appendix, our quarantine time lasted for over two weeks. When it’s Christmas, you miss a lot: parties, end-of-the-year celebrations, delicious meals, SDC time, family in town, friend gatherings and church.
Last night, day 172 of our at-home stay, we watched yet another movie–after all, there’s only so much you can do when you have 10% of your energy back and shuffling to the bathroom wears you out. Andrew Cheney’s 77 Chances showcased yet another way we live the same day over and over. How do we get out of this vicious and monotonous cycle? Usually, at least in the film arena, the main character has to develop some major change in his character before nature proceeds forward and Father Time gets back from his nap. That’s true for them, but what about real life?
So, what am I supposed to learn here, Lord?
Our family had the opportunity to gain some birds-eye vision over the holidays when our oldest child ended up in the hospital. We saw firsthand how our Father takes care of His children and listens when we cry out to Him. He mercifully paved a way through the desert when there seemed to be no way. And He kept reassuring us that He had us all in His hands.
Christmas didn’t look anything like it normally does and my husband and daughter didn’t get home until later in the afternoon. Yet, we were together. We had each other–in sickness and weakness–but we were together. Presents and timelines and parties don’t matter. And plans should always be held loosely.
Aside from Plan F, we were also humbled by how fragile life is and how frail we can be. We don’t “got this” like we often think we do. We are human and from dust we shall return. It’s good to be reminded that we need God. He holds the universe together, not me. Reassuring as that should be, it somehow freaks us out when we realize that we aren’t in control. I am realizing that I don’t like weakness. It makes me uncomfortable and fatigued after a while. I’m not one of those people who loves to rescue people emotionally and mentally and I’m certainly not comfortable with constant physical weakness. Yeah, I know; I would make a horrible nurse (aside from the fact that I don’t do well with bodily fluids).
Learning about perspective, priorities, and faith is what this blog has always been about, but I forget the truths. We all do. It’s easy to think that shiny new thing, that event, that place is going to be the quintessential fulfillment of our holiday dreams. And then everything gets pulled out from under you and none of those previous “priorities” matter anymore. You are just grateful to have your three kids home under roof and have the stamina to take care of them.
You’re thankful that this life isn’t the last chapter, but that we get to write a whole new book in eternity in the Presence of our Loving Creator.
You’re thankful that sin and sickness and death don’t get the final word.
You’re thankful for cohesive relationships. For love in the midst of pain. For compassion in the midst of fatigue. For truth when the mind wants to play tricks on you.
You’re thankful that God promises to never leave for forsake us. And because of that truth, we can keep doing this life–even the hard, repetitive days.