Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I wanna crawl out of my shell

So I woke up this morning thinking all was well. Another day. As the minutes passed me by, and the kids began to wake up. I quickly realized that "all" was not well for me today. I could not pin point why. Everything bothered me ever so slightly. Just enough to make me cringe inside.
I was looking for a specific picture of Ashley for something. As I scrolled through photos, the kids began to hover around. They love to look at the pictures of Ashley. What they don't realize is how it makes them feel inside. They suddenly become agitated with each other. Every one began to function in their own little worlds, which seem to clash with each other. I felt suffocated, out of control, and helpless. I felt overstimulated by the normal everyday things all around me. I was getting more and more restless inside. I felt like I could jump out of my skin! Giving in to my children begging me to spend time with them outside, I stood by the swing set pushing them back and forth.

Being that it is the middle of summer now, the locusts are out and about during the day. Their singing has always been a comfort to me in the summer. Just the same as lightening bugs on a summer evening, the smell of the rain on the hot blacktop, the tree frogs and bull frogs singing through the night....all of these things that prove summer is all around. This is the time of the year when the locusts shed their shell. They cover themselves in mud and then climb out of their old "shell" leaving it behind for my kids to find as summer treasures! It is all the more of a treasure when they find one that is alive! Today, as we were swinging we found a locust sitting next to it's old shell. It must have just made it's way out. I was amazed to compare the size of it's body to the tight shell it left behind. Was it restless inside? Did it feel as though the shell was too small for what was inside? Did it feel good to get out of it? The locust probably sat there and rested, feeling freedom from the constraint of the old shell.

I was jealous. Today I wished I could crawl out of my skin. I wished I could have a break from the constricting shell around me. I felt thankful for the locust, that it had the chance to feel refreshed. I imagine it gained new energy to fly and to sing. The day will come for me to shed my earthly shell. I don't know how long till then. I know that I will be made new. I long for the day.

Not every day is like this. I am thankful for that. Days like this I just pick myself up and push through the day. I will be thankful to put the day away, and I am thankful that tomorrow is a new day. I have had some good times today. It's not all bad, it's just the feeling of needing to burst out of my skin. It's there with me whatever I do. There isn't really a solution for fixing it. That is what is so frustrating!

The quiet few hours provided by a friend, allowing me to sit and write. That has been nice. The work that God gave me to accomplish today, helped to pass the time. As I was running an errand this morning, I turned the music up as loud as it could go. It seemed as though it couldn't be loud enough to match the scream inside my soul. I was thankful to feel the band aid it placed on my heart. God has provided for me today. He is making me as comfortable as He can. It doesn't take me out of my skin, but at least it holds me tight.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Lesser Things

The other night a storm rolled in as I was putting the kids to bed. I tried to minimize the threat of the thunder. I tried to hide their eyes from the intense lightening that lit up the dark sky. The day had been long for me. I desperately wanted to give in to the under current of grief that was trying to pull me in throughout the day. I looked forward to putting them to bed so I could find rest for my soul.

I became aware that the storm was not just thunder. It was potentially bigger than that. A Tornado may develop with these conditions. Upon hearing this the kids panicked. I desired to hush them and make them sleep. It was getting late. They were unsettled. One of them asked me to pray for them. As I gathered them up I prayed for God's protection over us. I asked God to take away the storm. I asked him to keep us safe. One of my kids was still scared. The other one said, "it's OK. We prayed about it. God will take care of us. He won't let anything happen to us."

I sat there and agreed. I assured them that we would be OK. God will take care of us. We don't have to be afraid because He is with us always. As I lay in bed with one of my children, I wrestled with God in my head. "I prayed these things to my children. I assured them that you will keep us safe, but I don't know if I believe it! I would be lying to them if I told them that nothing bad will happen. Bad things have happened. Their sister died. Why wouldn't more bad things happen? I can't tell them that they won't. I know you are able to stop bad things from happening, but I know that you don't always. God, I know what I am praying for. I know that the kind of protection that I am praying over them is not the kind that they are asking for."

That night, my children needed to be assured that they would be OK. They needed me to pray with them. As I prayed, I knew that the promises of God that I was calling upon, were not just for physical protection. I knew I could not guarantee that. I was praying, knowing that God would be with us. I Know He promised us that. He will walk with us wherever we go. He will not leave us comfortless. I can't testify that bad things won't happen. They do happen! I can testify that God has been with me. Even in my darkest moments, even when I can't see Him, or feel his presence. Even when things continue to work against me. I know He is there.

After the kids fell asleep and the storm passed, I asked God to show my children the kind of faith He wants them to have. The kind of faith that follows even when we are unsure. Even when we doubt. I asked God to reveal these things to my children in their time. I couldn't tell them these things. These things they must learn on their own. I can live by faith in front of them and pray that they will be faithful.

The next day I had some time to myself. I decided to listen to music in the car as I drove. I usually choose silence in the car, since silence is hard to come by most days. As I listened one of my favorite songs played. A song by Laura Story, "Blessings" Please take some time to listen to it.

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long we'd have faith to believe

'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not our home
It's not our home

'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise