I spent this past weekend in bed.
Crippled by a stomach virus that had me running the Texas two-step, unable to keep any liquids down, I was a mess.
I hate being sick for many reasons, not the least of which is I’m a terrible patient. As solo parent, there’s no one to pass the baton to for daily responsibilities of home and family. The blessing (if there can be a blessing in this situation) was that it was the weekend. We had no where we had to be. No school, no athletic events, just an absence from church.
The hardest part for my family is the fear I see in my sons’ eyes whenever I’m under the weather like this.
I’m supposed to be Superwoman, “I am woman hear me roar,” a badass that can leap tall buildings in a single bound (at least in the eyes of two teenagers).
But when I’m a pale incoherent puddle, barely able to get out of bed to go to the bathroom, unable to speak in complete sentences, much less roar, it is terribly difficult for AJ and Ben.
I reassure them it is “just” a virus.
I tell them I will be fine.
Although they try to believe me, they’ve seen similar circumstances before. A daddy tells them he’s going in for “routine” surgery but never comes home. I write this not for sympathy nor empathy–it’s been 5 1/2 years and will always be an integral part of our lives. Many of our decisions and beliefs and ideas about living and dying have been shaped by this loss.
As I lay, unable to sleep, unable to eat or drink, dreading the night because I know it will be excruciatingly long, my mind wanders.
Call it fever, or weakened immune system, or a mind unable to process any coherent thought, but I was tortured. By doubts.
Doubts that bubbled to the surface.
I heard, “You’re not good enough to be in charge of this family. Who do you think you are?”
“What a joke–you think you have your life together? You’re just going through the motions, everyone sees through the smoke and mirrors.”
“How are you going to afford to send two boys to college as a single parent?”
“What the heck were you thinking, building a cabin in Kansas, two states away. You must be nuts!”
—and those are just a few of the doubts and thoughts racing through my mind on continuous play for what seemed like an eternity.
I cried out for help and my boys came running. I assured them I was calling out for God, not them (and that probably really freaked them out.)
Satan took this most perfect opportunity to hit “Superwoman” when she was down.
It was the hardest singular night I’ve had since the day Mark died.
I prayed, the best I could in my dehydrated semi-crazy state, over and over for relief and shelter.
The next morning I was better and could see things more clearly. Those statements the devil threw in my face are all decisions I made after careful deliberation and prayer. I remain steadfast and confident in them. With God, I am enough.
When I was able, I grabbed a Bible and went to my favorite book, James. These words comforted me:
5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.
6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.
7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.
James 1:5-8 (NLT)
Do I still have doubts?
Sure, because I’m human. I have a lot of irons in the fire. I’m pulled in a dozen different directions on any given day.
I miss my help mate taking care of me when I am too sick to take care of myself.
I try not to worry about tomorrow because I know God is already there. I have assurance that He will make our paths straight so we can use our lives for His glory. I trust that He will provide for my family as our needs come down the pike.
I will continue to ask for wisdom.
Without wavering or doubting.
According to James, if I waver I should not expect to receive ANYTHING from the Lord.
I don’t know about you, but I need me lots of good stuff from the Lord. For my sons. My larger family. My sometimes-lonely heart. My community and my nation.
So the devil is no longer welcome in my details.
I’m leaving my details where they should’ve been all along—at the feet of Jesus.
p.s. Two teenagers can make it all weekend on pizza delivery, peanut butter sandwiches, Pepsi, and assorted snacks. On-line pizza ordering, evidently, is a breeze with Mom’s credit card. How’s that for thriving, Satan?
*thanks to hersword.com for the beautiful image above*