This morning before I even opened my eyes I knew it was going to be one of those days. The kind where the pain radiating through your head immediately equates to intense nausea and vomiting. The kind of day when you realize all your plans for the day might as well just be thrown out the window because there is no way you are going to be able to get out of bed. Migraines are so debilitating for me and the one thing I dread the most. I can function with any other sickness but a migraine equals stuck in bed, unable to move but totally able to be tormented by a flood of thoughts. Thoughts about what had to be done today. Thoughts about how far behind I am in everything. Thoughts about relationships and situations that were unresolved. Thoughts that quickly turn to doubts and worries and condemnation. If that wasn't enough, the simple migraine turned to a migraine while trying to take care of one child with a sick tummy and one accident after another. In between explosive tummy episodes, just as I would drift back to sleep one child after another came to join me on my bed and tell me their stories, their needs, and their requests. Just as I finally drift back to sleep, I hear a crashing sound and Jonathan crying as he has just fallen down the last three stairs. Heart racing, I try to go to sleep again but realize I need to drive one child to school. Praying I can make it to school and back without throwing up, I drop her off and arrive back home. I have to make an appointment for Joshua to get his cast put on so I make it through one phone call before the nausea takes over. Make second phone call to orthopedic doctor and then finally lay down again.
The battle begins in my heart and my mind. The fight to remember truth: God is not against me. I am not being set up for failure. God isn't giving me an impossible task and then making it harder by piling more and more things for me to handle on top of it. I am not alone. People do care. I am loved. I am a good mom. All the things on my to do list can wait. He will be my strength. He will give me what I need to make it through the day or he will provide help someway or somehow. Gently the Lord begins to redefine my perspective and helps me focus on him in the midst of the pain. He whispers words of affirmation to my heart and shows me how he is there fighting this battle for me, all I have to do is turn to him and be still. Simply believe.
In those moments, I got to see a bigger story. A story that helped me interpret all the crazy things that keep happening with truth. In the past couple of weeks, we have had non-stop sickness, Jonathan crashing almost daily and all his crazy test results, our close friend hospitalized, a child with infected toes, another child with a broken wrist, and some pretty intense situations that we have had to walk through as a family. It would be so easy to be defeated, discouraged, and to begin to doubt God's love. Yet, realizing the part our family is playing in this greater story puts all these things in a totally different perspective. God is preparing our home to be a place of refuge to hurting children who desperately need Jesus and a family. I would be foolish to think this would go unopposed. So with each little attack, I find myself chuckling and thinking, "Is that all you got?"
Sometimes though I find myself thinking God must be getting ready to do something big if there is so much opposition. I find myself looking for that next big thing. What I realized today is some of the greatest work God is doing is in healing our brokenness and giving us our hearts back. This is so much more important to God than us doing big things for him. And it makes us so much more dangerous to the enemy of our souls. A person who has a heart fully alive and free is a person clothed in strength and dignity. A person who knows who they are and who they were meant to be will be used by God to change the world and that makes the enemy tremble. A great gift of perspective was given to me today: the work being opposed is not just what is coming, but its what is already happening. Its the healing that is taking place in my heart and in my husband's heart, its the way that finding our hearts again is strengthening our marriage and our family. The powerful impact that will make on our world is a threat to the enemy. So I smile and chuckle because I know God is for me and we are right where we were meant to be.
Somedays are just plain rough. When those days begin to be a pattern and life starts crashing in around me like waves upon the shore during a raging storm, I am learning to ask what is really going on. Stepping back to see the greater picture, I am discovering I am in the midst of a great battle and those well designed attacks were aimed straight at my heart in an effort to take me out of the fight completely. If I chose to guard my heart and take up the shield of faith those flaming arrows or accusation will be extinguished. Clothed with strength and dignity I can take up my rightful place in this story and I can laugh at what is to come, because I know how the story ends.