I've already cried twice today and it's not even noon.
And it didn't even directly relate to the big scare I had on Monday with baby T. It will have it's own post, but in a nutshell-He had a small cold on Sunday that turned into a full-fledged scary asthma attack. All is well now (for the most part...I'm still not sure why it happened, but he is okay.)
So my last blog post on Saturday night was a quick rundown of my thinking after the intense, yet beautiful trip to Little Rock for Living Proof Live.
All of us that went were still reeling the next day from how God spoke to each of us and what we took away from the trip. Several of us attend the same church and as soon as we saw each other in our "Crazy Love" ladies bible class we gravitated to each other like magnets. Each of us wanted to be in proximity to each other so we could see how we were doing and how we were all processing what we've learned.
I have to admit, I'm intimidated to try and put it all down in words right now. I'm not sure I'm "there" yet. But what the heck, we are never "there," we are always a work in progress, albeit (I love that word, by the way, it's so unexpected the way it looks, but it's a word you hear all the time...sorry I'm a terrible digress-er...now where was I...) albeit the progress is messy sometimes and not linear. You'd think logically the more we learn and read about Christ we would progress straight up the mountain eventually reaching the pinnacle. Yet we are human, and we continually fail, fall backwards-sometimes HARD, and blessedly make baby steps as we go towards having a real relationship with God. And even once we "get it", (see last post) and we have the relationship with Christ, it doesn't mean at all that we coast to the end.
Quite the opposite. Oh, you may have a brief period of coasting along with everything going okay, but there will be trials and hard times. It's in the bible. I would say everyone has experienced these times.
But being a Christian doesn't mean we are immune to the trials that non-Christians have, however we have tapped into this free gift of help to carry us through the hard times. TREMENDOUS help that we would not have otherwise have if we hadn't accepted it as it is offered to every single human being
The help is Jesus' strength, but not only that-it's the relationships and encouragement from other Christians. The ones who also"get it."
What gifts God gives us in our relationships with others! God knew we needed Jesus to pay the price for our failings and He knew what we'd need to make it through the ups and downs of life: each other!
So why I cried twice today:
I was holding my sweet baby boy giving him his breathing treatment this morning and furiously reading "Heaven is For Real" by Todd Burpo. I was reading furiously because I do not have time to read other than the bible and my students' lesson plans, but I REALLY wanted to read it, and I borrowed it so I knew I would have to return it shortly. I'm only to the part of the book where the boy's parents were not knowing if their son would make it through his surgery, but after the week I'd had with baby Thomas and what my dear friend Kimberly has gone through, it was too close to home. I'll let you know what I think of the book when I finish.
Then I rush around to get Caroline to dance (and I'm hoping I am making an okay decision to get Thomas back out in the scary world to go with us.) At dance myself and another mom get into a deep discussion about God and His will for our relationships and stressors of life (by the way I've come to realize my barometer for myself and how well my relationship with God is going is based on how much I talk about Him. I know I haven't nurtured our relationship if He isn't a topic of my conversation with everyone I come in contact with!)
I then head towards Chick-fil-a, I think my car could drive itself there, and I meet my sweet mom who brought me some milk, because grocery shopping is very low priority for me lately. I get in the drive through lane, since I have determined Thomas has had enough and immediately cars line up behind me as far as I can see. A poor red jeep came from the opposite direction of the flow to the drive through and I thought to myself, I am in no hurry and I'll let her in front of me because there is no telling how long she might have to wait to get in.
I make my order and get to the window and the lady hands me my food. I'm confused and she tells me the car in front of me had paid for mine.
What in the world!? I couldn't even remember what the car looked like in front of me and I didn't know what to say except "wow" and I pulled forward a little ways to get Caroline's chocolate milk opened and the act of kindness from a stranger overwhelmed me. It's such a little thing to do for someone, but what an impact it had on me.
I knew our local Christian radio station has a "pay it forward" day every so often and encourages people to do things like that, but I knew today wasn't one of those designated days. I told Caroline what had happened and how the person must have a HUGE, caring heart to help out a stranger without wanting a "thank you." I don't think at all it was a coincidence it happened today, when our bible study discussion last night and the conversation I had that morning was all about PEOPLE. I begin to drive again and in the background I hear on KLRC a song that moves me to tears even on "normal" days, David Crowder Band's "Oh How He Loves Us." That's when the tears came for the second time.
It seems I've been struggling with unbelief. I thought it was prayerlessness (see post,) and it is that, but also unbelief!
I totally believe in God, but I have trouble believing God. It is hard to understand that He loves us so much. And it's hard to understand that He allows bad things to happen to us. I'm beginning to understand and accept this, but it is difficult.
Here's the song, it's so true:
He is jealous for me
Love's like a hurricane,
I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of
His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
and I realize just how beautiful You are and how great your affections are for me.
Oh, how He loves us so
Oh, how He loves us
How He loves us so.
It wasn't until I was literally half way home that I remembered letting that red jeep into our line. Instead of a random act of kindness, this stranger was saying a BIG thank you to me by buying our lunch. It's the little things we do for each other that matter...and the big things that we do.
God, thank you for speaking to me so clearly today. And all before noon.