The surgery went well.
It was fast and smooth and confirmed that we had done the right thing for our little girl.
And Hattie was happy. She woke up from the anesthesia happy. She cuddled in our arms afterwards happy. When they gave her juice and pudding and a movie, she was I-never-want-to-leave-the-hospital happy.
I was so thankful.
Once again, God had been so good to us.
I praised him and never wanted to stop praising him. I cleaned and sang and cooked with overwhelming joy. I made like twelve entries in my “Thankfulness” journal in one day. I teared up randomly and often, just thinking about how grateful I was. God’s Word was true, and life was sweet.
…and then there was the rest of the week.
I ran out of patience and lost my temper with my kiddos—more than once. I had to bend down and make eye contact and say their name and ask for their forgiveness, just like I have preached at them to do—more than once.
I glared at the laundry and dreaded cooking. I loathed cleaning.
I thought rebellious thoughts.
Who’s idea was this anyway? Me doing all the work around here? When do I ever get a day off? And, for heaven’s sake, when are these kids going to become useful?
I gave up on my hair and makeup and wore the same sweatshirt and jeans several days in a row.
Yeah, Josh is one lucky man.
I didn’t like real-life, so I stared at Facebook. A lot. And I sulked, a lot.
But mainly, I checked my e-mail fourteen times an hour. I was waiting for a message that I was sure would turn the whole thing around. If only it would come, my spirits would be renewed. God would be good again.
But it didn’t come, and I moped some more.
I was disappointed. And bored. And a tiny bit blue.
And, just that quickly, I forgot how to praise.
Because I couldn’t think of anything good to say, I ended up saying lots of not-so-good things instead.
Rather than keep my big, cranky mouth shut, I opened it and erred in the other direction. I turned off my filter and let all the boredom and discouragement and frustration spew out at will.
As you can imagine, I was just lovely to be around.
And really, truly and honestly, the whole stinking problem was that I was desperate for that blasted e-mail to come.
If you’re wondering, it has to do with writing. And if you don’t know it already, here’s the sitch: The world of publishing is slooooowwwww.
And I do not wait well.
It was Friday, and I was foul. Again. Friday meant the weekend, and the weekend meant that I certainly would not be receiving that e-mail. Another week gone with no word. The disappointment was maddening.
And then there was the Lord.
Hannah, you have made your e-mail an idol.
At least He was straightforward about it.
There was no denying it. I didn’t even bother. Over the last few days (okay, weeks) I had thought of little more than if or when I would receive that e-mail. It had consumed me. It had degraded my thoughts. My relationships. My ability to function in the everyday.
Worst of all, it had torn down my trust in God.
One silly e-mail had driven me to distrust His goodness and His love for me.
One moment I praise Him, the next I call Him out as if He owes me.
I am a fair-weather follower if ever there was one.
I am thankful that this week, and each day of this week, is new.
I still have not received that blessed message (and may never), but there is fresh perspective there.
I am allowing myself to check my e-mail only three times a day. Once in the morning, once in the afternoon and once in the evening.
I know. Strict, right?
The goal is not to police myself, but to remind myself. There are many, many things more important than that e-mail.
(And a large proportion of them are running around my backyard like banshees, as we speak.)
Every time my mind does insist on wondering ‘Will it be today?’ I will read my verses for the week, which, incidentally, were written for me:
“Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42: 5
Tell me. What are you waiting for? Where is your hope today?