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?
Waiting on children, our hope is in God that one day our prayers will be answered, But if not, we know and trust that God’s plan is perfect. When God calls us to a time of waiting, It can be the hardest place to be. we waited a year to have one of Tom’s papers published we understand about waiting for an important e-mail. When we keep our eyes on him and learn to trust him with every area of our lives its amazing what God does. I have learned a lot during my time of waiting the most important thing I have learned is what it means to truly trust him. Hannah, I hope that you have a wonderful week! praying that the e-mail will come soon.
Thank you, Andrea. I’m also praying for you guys every time I think of it. And it’s so good to see that Tom is finally getting published. There is always hope, isn’t there?
Great post. Sorry you and the kids have been suffering this week. (And Josh, though I kind of doubt that his having to see you in sweatshirt and jeans with no makeup is any great hardship.) This waiting business is such a hard lesson for some of us to learn. Glad to see you’re leaning it early.
It really does get easier.
Consider Job. He praised in the beginning because it was right. God had the right. Job knew that. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord. But in the beginning he saw God as having the right . . . to abuse him–to take away from him.
In the end he saw that God hadn’t been taking from him at all. He’d been giving him a gift–a greater relationship with him. God didn’t let Job suffer for no reason just because he could–just to prove that he made Job and he had the right to do whatever he wanted to do with the man he created. God took him through that to give him a bigger blessing–a greater intimacy with God.
We should ask God for the stars. We should ask for the biggest, brightest, best things we can dream up. And we should ask, knowing that he’s going to give us far more than we can ask or imagine. He will. That’s guaranteed. But as we grow, as he takes us through furnaces of affliction, we learn that our relationship with him is more precious than any other thing. Better than health or wealth. Better than having him heal loved ones. And, yes, even better than book contracts. 🙂
So glad Hattie came through well and had a good hospital experience. Thanking God with you for that and praying for the email to come for you. I have many projects on submission and I never check my email, hoping to see a certain email. I’m too busy. So, start on the next project. After reading your blog posts I see a women’s nonfiction book in your future. What about that?