I’m sure you’ve heard it before. We hear it in church. We sing it in our songs.
God is faithful.
Sometimes that resonates within us, as something that is true and we know deep within that God is trustworthy.
Sometimes we walk through things that make us question if He is faithful or for us.
I’ve experienced both sides of this in my life, more than once. Tonight, however, I have spent the day reminded of God’s faithfulness. I’ll start from the beginning.
It’s been a long week. In fact, it’s been a long month. I’m feeling slightly worn out anyway, and Christmas brought with it the stress of how to get who what. It’s been a blessed year, but the budget is maxed out. Not that I’m here to cry woe is me. We’ve also battled some winter colds and over the weekend, our baby girl fought a tummy bug. Then, come Monday, she cropped up with a gnarly case of croup.
You never want your kids to be sick, and now with Christmas fast approaching, we were really hoping she’d get well quickly. Christmas Eve rolled around, only to find her still coughing the yucky croup cough and feeling puny. We missed Christmas Eve services at church, and then, to top it all off, her and I stayed home from Nana’s Christmas Eve celebration. It was a bummer for everyone.
That night, as we were settling kids down, it was apparent that she didn’t feel well, and night time has been the worst since she got croup. She wanted me to hold her, and the baby needed to nurse, and we were all trying to get in bed. She wouldn’t let her daddy comfort her, and he doesn’t quite have the equipment to nurse our littlest. So I settled in on the couch – one nursing, one sprawled out on me, for what I knew would be a long night.
The Christmas tree was just inches from me, the only light in the living room. And I prayed. I asked for my daughter to be well. But that wasn’t the focus of my prayer. I felt as if I was being consumed by exhaustion, and the thought that Christmas morning was the next thing to face really overwhelmed me. Kids can be so much fun in the middle of the chaos of a gift exchange – sparkling eyes, giggles, and excitement over the goodies. But kids can be loud, they are sometimes disappointed even when we’ve tried so hard to get the “right” thing, and they can take a living room from spotless to destroyed in 30 seconds on Christmas morning (or any morning, really).
Don’t think I’m all bah-humbug. But also know that I don’t handle exhaustion well. I am cranky, grouchy, mean and loud when I’m worn smooth out. And I prayed. I didn’t ask for a goodnight’s sleep – I didn’t have enough faith for that. I just asked for enough strength and grace to walk through Christmas morning with all of the joy I should have and none of the grumpiness that was fighting to take me over. Too many days with a sick girl and too many restless nights were taking their toll. I envisioned myself ruining Christmas morning with my own frayed emotions. And I didn’t want it to be so.
As the Christmas tree illuminated the room around me, and the faces of my two youngest kids glowed there, lying on me, I thanked God. I thanked Him for picking me. I thanked Him for giving me the strength to make it this far. And I cried. I cried because I don’t deserve the grace I’ve been given, I don’t deserve the sacrifice of Jesus, or any of my numerous blessings. And I tossed and turned through the night, waiting for the first light of day, waiting for the pitter-patter of little feet, waiting to see if our daughter would be feeling well.
It was crazy come morning, when I couldn’t lay on the couch another moment. We had to wake the kids up! Instead of taking the opportunity to sleep in, Mr. Wonderful and I woke the kids up at 6:15 and exclaimed “Merry Christmas” all through the house. Sleepy-eyed, they made their way to the front of the house. And when they were all seated around, we passed out gifts. And I enjoyed each moment. I cuddled our girl, nursed our boy, helped the big boys organize, and even made lunch, and my heart was full of joy and gratitude.
Maybe I should have focused on her healing, Lord knows it breaks my heart that she’s still not feeling the best. Maybe I should have asked for a full night’s rest. I don’t know. But I do know that I got what I asked for, I had the grace and peace to walk through a crazy day without losing it. And I am thankful that God is faithful in giving us grace when we sin, and in filling us with grace we need to walk through our days.