I have been asked many times over the past four years, “How do you do it?!” My response is always, “I don’t know.” But, I do know.
Holy Moly! What a year! I think we could all agree we’re not sad to say goodbye to 2020. It’s been a very different year.
Yes, I said different, not difficult. Now, hold on a minute, before you get your undies all in a bundle, I’m talking about myself, not anyone else.
Covid has brought on so many big opinions, death, darkness, distance learning, and quarantining. For us though, having to quarantine is nothing new. We’ve been living a quarantine life the past four years.
We might be stuck at home, but in my house, we have food on the table every day, clean water to drink, a roof overhead, and a whole lot of love.
Others might disagree with me when I say this year has been different, not difficult. We ventured to Cincinnati to have them give us some not so uplifting news. Sam spent forty-five days in the hospital. I guess we have had some pretty scary moments, but none have had anything to do with Covid. We’ve definitely had our fair share of unfairness handed to us, and it’s not only Sam who gives us a hard time. Like I’ve mentioned before, he’s not our only hard kid. Someday I know, I’ll be able to share our other story, but for now that story will have to wait.
For now, I can tell you, Covid, distance learning, Sam, and the other story has been trying, but my joy, cannot, and has not been shaken.
This might sound cliche, but from my experience, when you fully choose to have Jesus on your side, your joy can’t be taken from you. I’m not saying you won’t have your moments. I believe Satan will try his very best, EVERY opportunity he gets to steal our joy, but he won’t be able to if we truly accept His love for us.
To me, this doesn’t mean going to church every Sunday, and it’s far from being perfect.
It’s a relationship, NOT a religion.
You get to save your Debbie Downer moments for Him. It’s a person you can cry heavy tears to as many times as you want, and you never have to feel you’re being a burden. With Him by your side, you can pick yourself up, and slap a smile on your face, even when you don’t feel like it.
He’s the one who whispers, you’ve got this. You are not alone. Keep going. Just put one foot in front of the other. One day at a time.
In the moments I don’t feel His peace, I lean on His handbook (the Bible) He gave us for wisdom, direction, and encouragement.
When I let Him fight my battles, my whole attitude and outlook on life changes. There’s hope, not despair. Love, not hate. Joy, not sorrow. Peace, not worry. Patience, not anxiety. Kindness, not meanness. Faithfulness, not unfaithfulness. Gentleness, not hardness. Having self-control, not feeling powerlessness.
It’s about a relationship, not just faith, but a true relationship. It’s letting Him be my confidant.
He gives us purpose for our pain. Those hard things we go through in life, when we allow them to, will strengthen our character, not leaving us feeling weak.
My goodness, if we can’t cling to hope, then what can we cling to?
One of my darkest moments in life has also turned out to be one of my most peace filled moments. I remember like it was yesterday.
I had been “living” in the hospital with Sam for almost three months. I woke up at something o’clock in the morning to the lights flipping on, and swift feet tapping hard on the floor. Before I could even react, the nurse was pushing the code blue button.
I had already experienced this two times before, with the second being less than twent-four hours prior. I jumped out of bed, threw on my flip flops, pushed back the curtain, and quickly stepped out of his room, knowing in a flash, there would be a flood of highly trained people rushing into Sam’s room.
I sat on a chair outside his room feeling numb, praying inside my head and thinking why is this happening again. I remember a nurse whispering to another nurse, “She doesn’t need to hear this.” They gently lead me outside the double doors of the unit and sat with me on the vinyl hospital couch in a small waiting area.
To this day, I couldn’t tell you what they were protecting me from because I didn’t hear a thing. It was as if everything around me fell completely silent. I remember the nurse who sat with me, hugged me, and told me, “Seconds feel like minutes, and minutes feel like hours.” She could not have been more accurate. I also remember begging God to keep my son alive, and telling Him in the same breath, no matter what happens, I will still serve you, but please, please keep my son alive.
The next thing I knew they were flying around the corner through the double doors with Sam, several people around his bed, and bagging him at the same time. I know I followed still praying he would be okay.
I would find out later, Sam had over ten minutes of chest compressions that night.
The craziest thing about that short story, is I still remember, I had this overwhelming peace come over me, even though I didn’t know the outcome.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, I do know how I do it. I believe in a God whose plans are good for me, even when I can’t see. I know my God is with me in the deepest valley and on the highest mountaintop.
Maybe next time I get asked the question, I can answer honestly. Boy am I thankful for His grace, because I think I already know what my answer will be.