Surviving the Flood

When my phone rang at 11:45 PM on December 31st, I knew it wasn't a good sign before I ever answered it. Twenty twenty-two came in with a bang, and it often feels like it's taken up the challenge of 2020 and upped the ante. 

Photo by Yannis Papanastasopoulos on Unsplash

In February I found myself nursing a bruised tailbone after taking a tumble while proving to my kids that at 40 I could still rollerskate (I earned both street cred and the right to take ibuprofen like they were candy for a while). While worth it to receive their unchecked admiration, my coccyx did not rebound like it did when I was eight.

When I rolled over in our Florida hotel room bed a little over a week ago in the wee hours of the morning and saw multiple missed calls and then started reading the text messages, my heart sank as I realized we were not only right back where we had been on December 31st, but in for a much bigger ride this time. Poking the Hubs and waking the kids in the middle of the night was just the start of the next 18+ hours of driving, praying, and wishing I could wake up and it would all be a really bad dream. 

When my phone rang again a week ago, just a couple of days after our rude awakening in Florida, I knew as soon as I heard my mother's voice that things were not good. And not good turned into a fall resulting in a fractured femoral neck (connecting to the hip), buying walkers, dealing with doctors, and becoming the self-appointed communicator with siblings, Church family, friends, and more. 

Today I posted a notarized letter to a juvenile court in central Florida because they won't talk to me on the phone or over the internet. In 2022, the only way to communicate is through a letter. Bureaucracy at its finest. And even though we haven't arrived there yet, April is already wearing me out with what might be on the horizon. 

So when a friend saw me this weekend and told me about this book I should read, it was all I could do to keep from laughing. Read?? I'm doing good to get through my text messages, much less adding one more book to my stack. Most nights in the last week I didn't fall into bed before one or two o'clock in the morning. 

I am a counselor with no degree, a pastor with no formal training, a medical aid without going to medical school. I am a housekeeper, a personal assistant, a communications expert, and - apparently - I am Google, because I cannot tell you the number of times someone has asked me for the answer to something they could have Googled...which I then proceed to do and then give them the answer. 

This is all in addition to the unpaid gigs of math tutor, science teacher, geography expert, and guidance counselor for the four kids I'm actively homeschooling. And the "normal" stuff that comes with being a mom of five, and a wife... chauffeur, cook, laundry manager, keeper of the schedule, planner of meals, an expert at selecting Amazon Prime next-day shipping for that thing the kid needs that I forgot until now... and a self-employed writer, editor, and proofreader on top of that, just to keep things from becoming boring. And if all of that were not enough, the Hubs is about to leave his job of 20 years to work for himself, and all the changes that come with that transition. Plus, it's tax season. Because...why not?

Everyone needs something...and reading a book that you think might be "helpful" to me is not at all helpful...unless it comes with legs and arms and can drive a car and run errands and give worthwhile advice when one (or more) of my kids are in tears just when I'm ready to crawl under the covers for the day. 

And yet, I am surviving this deluge of busyness, this tsunami of trials. People have asked how I'm holding up...and my answer remains the same: God is sustaining. He always has and He always does. 

One day last week, as I was driving from my parent's house to the pharmacy (with a stop at the medical equipment store), I, the stoic INTJ, burst into tears. It was all just too much. And as I sobbed and snotted all over the steering wheel, I heard God say, "When you are weak, I am strong. Rejoice in your weakness so that My power may rest on you." Being the obedient daughter that I am, I immediately said (out loud), "REJOICE?? FATHER, HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO REJOICE IN THIS?!?!" And again I heard, "In your weakness, my strength is shown. My power is made perfect in weakness." The tears dried up as I meditated on these truths, and then I pressed on, in my weakness, and in His strength. 

When long nights followed long days, He was there. When the clock ticked slowly past the midnight hour, and my brain had long since shut off, He gave wisdom. And best of all, this gift is not just mine alone - it is available to you, to all of us who believe in Him, who choose to trust Him, who take one step in faith and keep walking. 

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. {Matthew 11:28-29}

The floods will keep coming. The waves will crash and the stormy gales will continue to blow, but, in the words of the song by Andrae Crouch, through it all, through it all...I've learned to trust in Jesus, I've learned to trust in God. I've learned to depend upon His Word. 

Happy March. I didn't organize my pantry (per my list of 12 for this year), but I learned a lot more about leaning into the Lord and taking what comes a day at a time. Whatever happens in April, may I still be found, in my weakness, resting in His power. See you next month...Lord willing! 

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