Another Step Along the Way

Today, I struggled with pride, tired and carrying a little too much medical into this brand new week. Last week sapped me, physically and emotionally, with multiple trips to Children’s Hospital, planned and unplanned, and my husband an ocean away on business in India.

Today dawned and I wanted nothing more than to lie still and quiet enveloped in peace and warmth, but there was soup to make and bread to bake and school to facilitate. So I pulled my tired body out of bed, mindlessly attending the tasks at hand, when unkind, out-of-line words suddenly shattered the still, and reflexively, I engaged with harsh words and a harsher tone, sending both girls to their room.

I was angrier than the incident warranted – angry about things beyond my control, a body that is no longer strong and reliable, more pounds lost, our inability to diagnosis the cause of our middle daughter’s cough, and words – my words, heavily edited and published under a misspelled name, and other words written in response to a recent post – words that have merit and which I know were written in love, yet the writer hasn’t been there, doesn’t know, can’t, because she hasn’t walked the last 18 years of life in my shoes. And yet…

Her words, her perspective have merit, truth. So in the quiet, I think and ponder and evaluate. I see her point. From her perspective she’s right, but from mine? Honestly, I’m too tired to find the words to explain how exhausting illness is, how unprepared I’ve been for the emotional mine field of chronically ill teens. When my daughter was little and ill, she simply accepted life. When she was well, she played. She didn’t wonder, “If I play now, will I be sick later? If I eat now, will the pain return? Can I do this? Should I? How much will it cost? Is it even worth it?” She just played. And I’m learning, but not without mistakes, not without getting a lot of it wrong, how to navigate this mine field.

And yet, it’s OK, because I have learned one thing. Life and all we go through is a process, every day, every moment, just another step along the way. Some days I get it right and others, like today, absolutely wrong, but even when I’m tired and overwhelmed and frustrated, even when I’m angry and hurting and let pride wedge its sticky fingers around my heart, it’s OK, because I get another chance to get it right.

So I apologized to my daughters in the late afternoon sun. “Today I got it wrong. Today I let pride get in the way, and I over-reacted, and I’m really sorry, and I love you…always.” Tempers melted away as I hugged my daughters, grateful for a great big God who loves to lavish His mercy, grace and forgiveness on His children, grateful for His overwhelming love and His sometimes not so gentle reminder to ask – to seek to understand, to see through another’s eyes, beyond the tip of the iceberg, beyond what I think I know – grateful for another chance, another day, another step along this wildly unanticipated adventure through life.

*Today’s post written in celebration of love that isn’t afraid to speak truth, love that loves me enough to risk the necessary words. You know who you are, and I love you more than you will ever know.

joy in this journey

Life: Unmasked
Linking up with Joy today and living “Life Unmasked.”

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19 Comments

Filed under Devotionals

19 responses to “Another Step Along the Way

  1. Wow. So much on your shoulders! I pray you can have some rest soon. In the meantime, I pray God bless you with His wisdom.

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  2. Nancy

    I could not have read this at a better time. 24 hours later the dust is still settling from an awful disagreement. THIS IS a journey we are on, I keep telling myself one step (moment) at a time. God Bless !!!

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  3. Anne Huffman

    Oh Cindee,

    What a trying week, but what faith life has shaped in you. It is hard to have kids who just can’t do what everyone else can but you are a great mom, a great friend and a grace filled woman. I had a week where I used my mouth in ways that were not edifying myself. I am glad God’s mercies are new every morning. I am lifting you and your family up in prayer.
    Peace, Anne

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  4. susie snider

    Cindee, you may reach the point where you can agree with the apostle Paul that all your troubles are light and monentary, compared with the eternal glory being achieved by them. Cor: 4 17-18. From our devotion today…..

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  5. Hugs and peace on the way… 🙂

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  6. So glad to hear that ultimately you were able to breathe deeply and take in the love and peace that comes through breathing God. Thank you for being open to share this day with us. We are enriched from it.

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  7. Dealing with physical illness is tiring, as patient and care giver, even worse you are both. Being human, we don’t always react in the way we should, especially when ill, overtired and over stressed.

    I am glad to read in your post that not only did you ask for forgiveness from your daughters and God, you had the courage to forgive yourself as well. Too many times we are quicker to forgive others than we are ourselves. We nee the same mercy.

    Praying you will have a less stressful remainder of the week, you and your daughters.

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  8. This was such a beautiful expression of pain in hardship and the grasping at Jesus even in the midst of it all.

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  9. Megz

    My feet Shining in the dawn!! My Mom writing the best article (I think!)! I love my family!! 😉

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  10. Riles

    I am…. totally amazed by this. God is strong in your family…… Romans 5:3-5. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

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  11. Diana Rehbein

    Dear Cindee, You are my Godly friend, who I have always admired. I thank you so much for your recent soul-bearing refections which I as a mother can so relate to. Thank you for being “real” and for always trusting in our awesome, powerful God to walk with you each and every day even when life is extremely difficult. You always find joy even in hardship. Luv u.

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  12. Although I haven’t been in your shoes of caring for a chronically ill child I have responded in anger to my son many times. So grateful that there is grace and that His mercies are new each morning. Thank you for sharing your heart.

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    • Amy, so glad you stopped by. Forgive my delayed response! Regardless of our circumstances, anger is part of all of our lives, even Jesus’. It’s how we respond, isn’t it? Praising God with you that His mercies are new every morning, that His grace covers all.

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  13. What a wonderfully powerful piece! I am so inspired by your ability to allow people to look directly into your soul, even when you behave in such a “human” way. We all behave as you did in the begining, but are so quick to put up a smoke screen so that others have the illusion that we live a “perfect” life. The “perfect” life is what Hollywood and marketing firms tell us that we should be living and allowing the outside world to see. Few allow God’s light to allow us to be transparent and encourage others as you so powerfully do. Keep your light shining–you have so much beauty for the world to see! 🙂

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