Sometimes, it takes a God-sized fear to speak our hearts into surrender.
Sometimes, it takes a God-sized presence to pull us away from our I-can-do-all-things...until-I-drop attitude.
Sometimes, when we tie on our Super Woman cape determined to power through and continue on toward OUR goals instead of the goals God has for us, He gives us two fun-filled, eye-opening days in the hospital to put things in perspective.
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. (Psalm 127:2)
My husband was away on a business trip and I did as I always do. It’s a sickness, really, to think that I have to accomplish something big and awesome while he’s gone in hopes of surprising him when he returns.
Years ago when the kids were toddlers, I took on the challenge of sanding and painting all my kitchen cabinets (including changing out every hinge and handle and the previous owners had painted over EVERY screw head). From there, I moved on to wainscoting two kitchen walls, painting the upper portion and putting up a wallpaper border during his 2-week business trip to Tennessee. It was ridiculous and I vowed to never take on such a huge project again.
This time…while my husband was away on a week-long business trip, I decided it was time to pretty-up the foyer. I was tired of looking at the dated ivy stencil work I’d done years ago. So, I started small. I changed out the broken handles on the antique cabinet in the entryway. From there, I moved on to painting the wall beneath the staircase that faces the front door. Not a big deal and very do-able.
I should have stopped there, but no. I am Debbie – hear me roar!
I decided it was time to give my entire staircase, railing, spindles, etc. a facelift. It looked tired and old and I really thought that I could complete the job of staining every square inch of wood in a beautiful dark hickory stain by doing a little each day after working at my real job!
Long story short: the chest pains started about 20 minutes into the project and continued clear until I’d finished for the day. I’d run out of daylight and energy and it was time to go to bed.
I tried to sleep that night ignoring the pain and heaviness in my chest, but by 2:30am, the pain had traveled from my right shoulder to the left and my left arm was in agony. Both hands were tingling, but I tried to shake it out and find a comfortable position to sleep because I had work early the next morning.
After hours of trying to talk myself out of going to the ER, I finally gave in after remembering a billboard I’d seen along the highway on a recent trip with my husband. It said, “Your health isn’t just about you.” I thought of my husband, my children and loved ones…and drove myself to the ER.
I spent 2 days of constant needles, blood draws, machines, tests involving “nuclear medicine” and lots of waiting in between (and not a drop of coffee to be seen). It was kinda scary, painful, uncomfortable, but I knew I’d made the right decision to go given my family health history.
I’m just so glad that God gives us hymns like “His Eye is on the Sparrow” to play in the background of our fear and uncertainty. I’m so blessed by the friends He provides to see us through our tears and fears of the unknown; the friends who call and text and bring flowers and reading material and look away when we’re at the mercy of an easy-breezy hospital gown.
God is ALWAYS good. He meets our every need. He gives us the necessary eye-opening events to remind us how very fragile this life really is. He loves, protects and guides His children and brings them through the scary times. He slows us down and reminds us that this life isn’t about the rush and the hurry, and the stress of getting things done. It’s about giving each day to Him and accomplishing His to-do list – not ours.
And He sometimes lets the biggest projects go half-done to serve as a reminder to only follow His plan. It’s not my job to go out and conquer the world or even a home-improvement project that’s well above my head. I wasn't created to do it ALL. I will only be victorious over that which God sets before me….and I will look at my half-done staircase…and smile.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly
in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy,
and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)