When life slaps you in the face.

Ever feel like life slaps you across the face when you’re already down?

This literally happened to me the other day. You see, my husband broke his wrist playing basketball three weeks ago. Things like car seat buckles (and baths, and dishes, and… life) are pretty hard with one arm pinned up in a cast. So, here I was doing the daily marathon of kid school pick-ups. Since 5:30 a.m., I’d been go-go-going, with barely a moment to chew my lunch. I bundled up the toddler, trekked inside to get big sis, loaded my already-tired arms with a bag of snow gear, and started back outside.

We’re at that fun age where the two-year-old thinks she can walk alone in a parking lot, with her hands casually tucked in her pockets. Nope, kid. It’s mom gripping your hand or get carried. On this particular day, independence persisted, and I scooped her up with a deafening shriek. Things calmed down, until she spotted the puddle…

She wanted so badly to jump in that pool of water in the middle of the parking lot. I wasn’t about to let this happen. I held her stubborn little body tighter while she raised her tiny hand and slapped me smack dab across the face.

I blinked in shock, and it took everything in me to not start crying right then and there. Not because a two-year-old slug hurt (well, it kind of stung the nose…), but because I’m at max capacity. I’m being tested in the here and now. I’m spent.

In these moments of darkness, do you so easily forget we are loved by the King? Do you forget where we find our worth? I certainly do.

It’s easy to push our problems down as small. It’s more acceptable to look at the people facing real challenges—a life-altering diagnosis or dream-crushing loss—and think ‘my issues are nothing.’ But sometimes all the little worries add up, creating a large cloud that starts to gradually block out the light.

Clouds

Whether it’s the demands of family or work or home, all of the above can cause us to crumble. And when I sense this crumbling, my natural instinct is to fight back by working harder, pushing through, strategizing and finding a way through—on my own, thank you.

I forget. No matter how hard we try, we’re not in charge of the sky. We can’t move clouds.

I forget to fall at His feet. We are supposed to crumble—we simply do not have the strength. Help is so close.

Why do we spend all our time worrying or rolling up our sleeves and developing our own 12-step plan when He’s just a prayer away? Right there, waiting.

We can’t move clouds, but He can.

Since the day that I got slapped in the face, I’ve seen a few glimmers of hope. I’m noticing bits and pieces of the love story He’s continually weaving into my life. Tonight, as I washed dishes, I fired up my music and hit shuffle, which could realistically end in Ed Sheeran or Eminem. However, Chris Tomlin piped through my headphones:

“How can I keep from singing your name?

I know I am loved by the King,

And it makes my heart want to sing.”

Shuffle didn’t pick that song.

Tears bubbled. And as I walked to the bedroom closet to grab a load of clothes to toss in the wash, I caught a glimpse of the bright white dot in the sky, hanging directly above our patio door.

“…I will lift my eyes

In the darkest night

For I know my Savior lives.”

This divine mirroring of the view and the lyrics took my breath away. The love notes are everywhere if we look up and notice. It’s all going to be okay. We’re all loved by the King.

We don’t have to have this whole thing figured out. He’s already done that work; we just have to trust Him and take the next right step. We are cared for by the same Father who saved this whole wide world.

So, if you’re human like me with a list of troubles (big or small) on repeat in your mind, may I gently encourage you to toss those worries aside for a moment? Look up at that bright dot in the sky and remember that He lives.

He’s got this. All of it. Even when life feels like it’s slapping you in the face.

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