Tuesday, 3 April 2012

New every morning

Goodnight, God.

I'm so tired. So tired that I'm all mixed up. I can't think straight. 

Last night I wanted to get an early night because I was tired and by bedtime I'd developed a muscle spasm in the big muscles of my neck that I couldn't lie down. For hours I tried different constellations of pillows and painkillers and kept getting up to re-warm my wheaty so that I could sort of poke it in between my shoulder and my neck but the result was a terrible night. Coupled with a mini Katy-tantrum at about 5.50am I'm sure that you could tell that today wasn't going to be a great one. 

I started it with a scowl. A stiff neck and a scowl. 

I feel as if I haven't done too badly in the circumstances, but you might have different ideas. This morning Mum and I took the children to get their feet measured and buy new shoes and Elizabeth ended up with some trainers that I think are awful. She, of course, loves them. Glitter, different colours, shiny bits...ick. Sigh. They were the only ones that fit. I wanted to stamp, but I didn't. We had lunch in a cafe and they barely touched their meals. We came home and I wanted half an hour's peace before we went to a party for one of Katy's classmates' fifth birthday. I didn't get it. Spent two hours in a packed soft-play place bouncing between Katy who was involved in the party and a whiny Lizzie, who wasn't. Refereed on the way home as they picked on each other in a tired and crabby sort of way and then delivered them through bath time and a bed time with many false starts (well, false finishes, actually - I kept thinking they were settled and they weren't) and I haven't shouted. Have I? No, I haven't shouted. 

I didn't actually shout. I felt like it. Well, maybe internally, a bit of shrieking. For those amongst us that could see in my head, (that's you, then) I don't suppose I acquitted myself that well, but at least I didn't demolish either of my children by bellowing at them. The odd snap, maybe... And I did do a bit of an angry dance after taking Katy back to bed for the fourth time, but it was out of anyone's line of sight. Except yours. 

Ah well. I think that maybe I'll settle for that. 

A quote for the day on my iPhone this morning:

'Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.'

Lamentations 3:22-23

Oh, God, thank you for that. New every morning. They need to be, because I crumple them up and throw them aside so often. I am saved, but so often I fail to find any joy in it. I know that you love me and want only good for me, and yet I turn away because in my creature-wisdom I think I see things more clearly than you. I know that I am never alone, and yet I complain that I can't feel you. 

CS Lewis said:

'Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done.'

Doesn't it just. I trust you. I do. Then I don't. Then I try to but I don't manage it. Then at a moment of Spirit-led prayer or worship it all comes together for a nanosecond and I get a glimpse of how life might look if I did, actually, completely, let you take my troubles from me - and then it evaporates into a sticky slick of anxieties clutched in my sweaty little palm. 

When it comes down to it, what can I do, though? 

Who can I rely on, if not you?  I can't rely on me because I constantly disappoint myself. I can't even keep up to my own standards, let alone anyone else's. I let myself down. Who else? Who will take care of Katy?  The doctors? Well, maybe, but they tried twice last year and her tumours are back. Tomorrow we'll take her to a new hospital to see a new consultant and, who knows, make plans for a new operation or try a new treatment. Perhaps it will solve the problem, I don't know, but I'm wary and I'm scared and every fibre of my being resists entrusting my precious daughter to a doctor or an anaesthetist who doesn't care for her as I do. 

But you do. You love Katy more than I do. Not sure about that, but I read it in the Bible and so it must be true. Father, I'm relying on you. I'm going to have to. I'm going to put out the light in a minute and lie down and I'm going to try to leave it all with you. Try and open my tightly clenched hands and let you take the worries from me: my anxiety about getting up at the crack of dawn and getting us all out of the house in time. My worry that there's a forecast of snow for tomorrow and we're travelling to another city for a 9am appointment. My concerns about finding the place, getting there on time, the cost of train tickets, tram tickets, getting wet and cold on the way, finding somewhere for lunch, getting back in time to prepare for visitors over Easter. 

All of which are satellite worries around the main one, which is all about what is wrong with my beautiful daughter and what can be done about it? Will it hurt her? Will she get better? Will she be frightened? 

How strong do I have to be?

'Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.'

Amen. Your compassions are new every morning.  I'm going to be needing tomorrow morning's, Lord. And if tonight is anything like most nights for the last three weeks my doubts and fears and panics start to creep back overnight so I'll need to rely on you all over again in the morning.

Don't let me be consumed, my God. I'm frightened for my little girl and I'm frightened for me. 

Right, I'm needing sleep. 

Come with us tomorrow. Give the doctor wisdom and compassion and gentleness, please. 

Let's get this thing over with, can we, this time?

1 comment:

  1. Praying for you all tomorrow! (And I am amazed you didn't shout; how I wish I could say that I made it through those kind of days without shouting.) Your prayers are blessings.


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