As I stand with tired feet, my wrinkled hands muster up the courage to wash one last load of dishes. I carefully wash my fourth batch for the day, remembering to switch rags when I get to the spoon with the peanut butter on it. I come upon a plate with a half eaten sweet potato stuck to it, and sigh as I peel it off. A makeup filled tear rolls down my face, trickles down my neck, and stains the edge of my shirt.
What I really want is to let it all come out, but I muffle my emotion as little feet scatter about and happy squeals echo in the kitchen. It’s not time yet, I thought. Just a few more hours until bedtime.
My mind flashes back to a few hours earlier when the doctor called. It’s never easy to receive bad news, or really, anything other than what you were hoping. We’re used to it by now, as most families are who have chronically ill children, but I just can’t settle.
This can’t be what God wants for our lives. This can’t be what He wants for our children. I mean, what kind of God allows this much suffering?
I went through my normal “I’m mad at God routine,” which lasts about 20 seconds. That’s about all the time the toddlers give me alone in a dark closet anyways.
My thoughts pull back in to the present, and I realize I’m staring at our “blessings” jar, just another ambitious attempt to physically count my blessings. You know, one of those things I started in the New Year and abandoned by mid-March.
I am tempted to open it and read about the good times. Maybe it will help me remember. Maybe it will help me hope. Because tonight, I don’t want to hope. I’m done thinking about God healing our boys. Today, that dream seems too grand. I think I’ll just ask to make it through tonight. That’s all I’ve got.
Before my thoughts become too negative, I feel God physically pull me a little tighter and whisper, “I am Good.” God = good. As if He knows my tendency to dismiss His first attempt at communicating with me, He graciously repeats himself. I let this truth sink in my soul, and for the first time in a while, I don’t try to dismiss it. Because in this moment, it is all I have–He is good.
He didn’t whisper “Life is good” or “Your beautiful children are good.” He whispered, “I am Good.”
I don’t have all the answers. I don’t know why, and I’m not sure I ever will. In these unbearable times, or for us–the unbearable years–all I’ve got is that He is Good.
And sometimes, I don’t even know what that means, because it sure doesn’t feel that way.
But my faith is unwavering. I believe just because I do and because I’ve seen the hand of God in my life. His promise to me is enough.
I feel better when I allow myself to get closer to His side. I feel better when I don’t have to know why because I’m not sure if I could handle the answer.
Sometimes, I really believe giving up our control and manipulation is what He wants. I don’t have to control what’s next, or my emotions, or anything else.
Just know He is good. Tell Him I don’t understand. Love Him anyways. Wait for Him. And in the meantime, cry in a dark closet if I need to 🙂
Two of McKenna’s boys have been battling a rare esophageal disease, called Eosinophilic Esophagitis, for over 2 years. To read more about their journey, click here.