So, let's go back to those dark days. It started with an ache in my back. The kind that accompanies a low grade fever. Just slightly achy. Then Miles was hit with high fevers and sick stomach. Then Avery passed out at school the next day. Then his fevers came. Two down. I was still just feeling under the weather. And you all know Brent was hit with this thing. High fevers, major chills, ralphed a bit, finally diagnosed with pneumonia, suffered from severe side effects from the antibiotics. Brent was down for a week. Me? Low grade fever and achiness.
So, faced with the blessing of being well enough to take care of my family, do you know what my attitude was? I'll tell you. I was bitter. BITTER. I just wished I would get my fair share of illness and go to bed like everyone else. It was ridiculous, I know. Okay. So, note that. I was bitter.
Now, somewhere in the middle of this, I had an interaction with a friend. A friend whom I love dearly. Well, she said something that rubbed me the wrong way and I wasted a day stewing about it. Really. It's embarrassing to admit this. Anyway, the next day, we spoke again and I brought it up. I should have given her grace and I didn't. I don't even want to relive the conversation in my mind, much less try to recap it here. I'll just say that I injured our friendship. Not for good by any means, but goodness. I was ungracious. So, note that. I was ungracious.
What else happened that week? I found out that I had offended someone. I was really so embarrassed that I didn't even tell Brent at first. Now, this shouldn't really surprise anyone, because I'm a nervous motormouth. I get a wee bit anxious, I start talking, er, rambling, and
Then Jillian got sick. And she was teething. One night, I think I accumulated like 2 and 1/2 hours of sleep. We're talking grand total here.
So, I told you that I was bitter that I was the only healthy being in my house. But, did I tell you how incredibly frustrated with Brent I was? Oh man. I wished he would just frip-frappin' get healthy. One night, he had the chills so badly that I woke up to the bed shaking. Remember those beds in hotels in the 80s that you could put a quarter in and they'd shake? I have a vague memory of a bed like that when I was a kid. It wasn't sleezy. I was on a road trip with my family. Anyway, that's what it felt like. The whole bed was vibrating. I was so annoyed. My husband is waking me up in the night??? Please note that I had almost ZERO sympathy for my husband.
Did I tell you that friends brought us amazing home made chicken noodle soup? Did I tell you that my sister, who is the busiest person I know, ran to the grocery store for us in those wickedly freezing temps (were talking wind chill of 40 below, folks), WITH her TODDLER? Did I tell you that people were so sympathetic and kind to me and my sick family? My mother-in-law even sent flowers!
So let me recap to make sure I'm recalling my depravity in full. I was ungracious to my friend, I was an idiot to another friend in my assumption, I was unsympathetic to my husband, I was ungrateful to God for the blessings he poured out to us, OH. Yep. I forgot one thing. This is the one that sent me over the edge. I lied. I told someone a lie. It wasn't a huge lie, but it was a lie and I was in a sticky mess. By the way, I DO NOT MAKE A HABIT OF THIS. And, so, I was sick to my stomach. I frantically called a friend, told her the situation, which was complicated. She agreed that it wasn't an easy fix and said, "Well, you could start with prayer. You can confess it to God."
and then it hit me: I crave what only God can give me in Jesus. I want to be washed clean of all my guilt. (And I was well-aware of most of it.) I want forgiveness.
I thought my heart was going to leap out of my chest. Free. I felt free. I am free. In one moment, I felt like I was in chains and the next, I was free. I recalled a verse I've memorized this year, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness."
This means so little to one who is aware of a little sin in their life.
But, I had been overwhelmed with my sin, and heavily burdened, and it felt so good to take on the yoke of Christ. Much lighter. Very easy.
Epilogue: First, my fever broke the moment I longed for forgiveness more than anything. Seriously. Second, I was humbled and truly, my attitude changed for the good towards my dear husband. Third, I want to remember my depravity and the grace of God. I don't want to forget how ugly I was, how hopeless I felt and how relieved I was when I remembered the forgiveness I already had in Christ. Because, fourth, I'm going to be failing daily.
Well. goodness. And I thought showing you that ugly wall would make me feel vulnerable...