As most of you know, last week was very challenging for our family. Strep hit us and hit us hard. One of my girlfriends jokingly said "you Kingsburys are dropping like flies!" It started with Patrick on Thursday and one after the other of us came down with strep. I was in over my head. My oldest, Patrick had both pneumonia and strep and I was concerned about his cough. I felt just awful. Michael is so little and seems so vulnerable and was still recovering from a bout of pneumonia himself. Mattie's fevers were hovering around 102 or above even with meds. David was doing what David does. Working hard, long hours. When he got home, tired from work, he unselfishly did his best to get us what we needed. Rough stuff.
You know, when I started this blog, I promised myself I would be as transparent with you all (and with myself) as I could be while still preserving the privacy and intimacy of my family. Sometimes that's hard. I'd like to tell you that throughout this last week I stayed in faith and was constantly at peace because I know that God is my healer and my protector. I'd like to say that I was strong in the Lord and the power of His might. I'd like to say that I invited Him into the situation and trusted Him to have His way. Problem is, that would be a big fat lie. Yes, I prayed. I prayed AT God. I said all the right words in those prayers. I know how to use all the right words. I told God what I expected of Him. I told Him what His promises were with regard to my family's health and well being. But, you know...my heart just wasn't in it. I was tired, frustrated, sick and overwhelmed and I just wasn't FEELING Him. That is foreign to me. The not feeling Him. Jesus and I, well, we're close. So I confess I felt a little sorry for myself. Okay, I stumbled directly into the Pit of Pity. And I hung out and wallowed there for a bit. Until my fingers got all pruny. No, I'm not proud of that but it is what it is.
I'll let you in on something...sometimes people at church and other Christian friends amaze me with their seemingly perfect faith. I really admire that. I mean, I consider myself a person of strong faith, but I have my moments, ya'll. Usually, I keep my chin up and keep a smile on my face as I soldier on. Last week, though, I certainly had some pretty low moments. There is something important to note here: During the whole ordeal I knew in the back of my mind that God would never let me go. And He never did. It was me. I let Him go. I walked right out of His grace and into my own flesh and allowed the distance between us. All my fault. It could have been different and God willing it will be different if (rather, when) the next trial comes along. Thanks to God's mercy and love, I will get a do-over. He's so awesome that way.
Here's where it gets kind of funny though, and if you don't think God has a sense of humor, you are really missing out. God communicates with me in so many different ways. Of course through His word. Also, through songs at the perfect time, through whisperings in my spirit, through the loving and encouraging words of friends and loved ones. Someone asked me once why I believed I was able to hear God speaking to me and they couldn't. My explanation was this: There are radio waves vibrating and floating through the air at all times. 24/7. We can't see them but they are there just the same. If your receiver is not on, you will be completely oblivious to the music, words and continuous broadcasts available to you at the touch of a button. God is like that. God is always "on the air." Is your receiver on? What station are you tuned into? This past week, I allowed the noise of fear, exhaustion, and hopelessness to drown out the music of protection, love, peace, healing and faith. It was there all along. I just needed to do some 'fine tuning.' God is available at all times. We just have to be willing to receive what He has to offer. I fell asleep one night praying to God saying "What am I doing wrong?" "Why aren't things getting better?" "What can I do?" "God...is there anything I can DO?"
The next day I woke up with the chorus of a particularly annoying song stuck in my head. Just couldn't shake it. So aggravating! It was there all day like a mosquito in my ear. I'm so dense, I kept trying to push it away. Humming other songs, playing music on my iPhone, etc. But God is nothing if not persistent. That evening I was coming out of my room and I heard an urging deep down that said 'Just stop and LISTEN" And, you know what? I felt chills wash over me and tears came spilling down as in that moment, I finally got what He was so gently, yet persistently trying to tell me all day. Guess what the song was......an old Cheap Trick song I hadn't heard in years. You may know it. It goes a little something like this:
I WANT YOU TO WANT ME...I NEED YOU TO NEED ME...I LOVE YOU TO LOVE ME....you know the one. Wow. It fell over me like a crashing wave. That is the absolute only thing I have to offer God. Myself. Completely and totally surrendered and in loving acceptance and obedience to His will. Oh, how He loves me. How He loves us.
I may not be perfect but the God of Heaven and Earth calls me His own. As my Daddy used to remind me: "You are a living child of the living God. Your Father made this planet and it belongs to you." He also told me never to forget that. For a brief moment last week I lost touch with that. God's mercy drew me back in with (of all things, a) Cheap Trick and reminded me that He won't let go. Never, ever. Yes, God has a sense of humor. You know what else? He wants me to want Him. How cool is that? Can you see me grinning? :0)
Here's a video of a song that seems so appropriate to this post. Take a deep breath, crank it up and tune out the noise of the world. (And no, it's not Cheap Trick). Enjoy.