It’s been a tough week.
(I wonder how many blog posts start this way. Such an original opening line.)
Micah was at the doctor on Tuesday for one thing, and on Thursday, he was sick with another. He wanted to be held every waking minute. So I rocked him and tried not to think about the messy house and the company coming for the weekend and the food I needed to make and the packing and sewing I need to get done before February and when the next seizure would happen…and…and…and….
I felt like I was drowning.
A child’s illness, even a brief one, eats at my composure and my well-being. It is, I told a friend recently, the worst part of parenting. And it’s not just that I hate cleaning up puke; it’s that I’m not allowed to bow out of the cleanup simply because I hate it. It’s not just that worry weighs me down; it’s the fact that all my worry isn’t going to do a lick of good.
It’s the helplessness I hate the most. I am this child’s mother, the one who can fix everything—but I can’t fix this.
Perhaps I could manage better if life would stop while I tended the suffering, but no, people still get hungry, clothes still get dirty, and the house still disintegrates around me. Life stops for no one but death. When we are caught in the gray wilderness between life and death, we feel the tug and weight of both worlds—the tug of life’s responsibilities and the weight of death’s suffering. We pay homage to both, and we pay the price of divided loyalties.
Or rather, I do. Perhaps others can traverse this wilderness better than I.
Yesterday, I slogged through the Dismal swamp, crawled through the crags of Discouragement, and got lost somewhere on the south-east slopes of Self-pity. By the time I went to bed, I was completely unreasonable and totally overwhelmed.
To be honest, I don’t feel much better this morning.
But I am now fully aware that this discouragement is the result of the deceiver’s lies: You can’t do this. It is too much. God doesn’t really love you. You are going under—where is your Jesus now?
Lies, lies, lies, every one of them, and yet I listened while I rocked and rocked and rocked.
I have no tidy rebuttal to those lies. I am powerless to confront the wicked one alone.
But I still have a voice, and I lift it: Lord, save me, lest I perish.
I will not close with a neat summary of the lessons I’m learning in this, because I’m still stumbling over the lines. I will let His Words speak, to me, to you, to all those wandering among the crags of Discouragement. We may have miles to go in this wilderness, but we have Someone Who will never abandon us.
I pledge, today, to think on these words:
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. (Joshua 1:9)
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? (Psalm 27:1a)
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrew 4:16)
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)
Please do not offer me pity; I’ve offered far too much to myself already. What I would love—and need—to hear is your favorite Bible verse to combat discouragement. Even if it’s already been shared, I still want to hear it.
Let’s speak encouragement to each other. There’s little enough of it in this broken world.