Be Salty is our space to season our words with salt. It’s a place to bring flavor, color, and spice to the lives we live. A place to brag a little on the wonderful works of God right here in our plain ‘ole lives. Don’t forget to join our link-up this week to tell your story! Meagan and I go way back to college. She has been a supporter and encourager and a woman who stood firm in her faith when everyone else was sliding all over the place. This precious woman is an inspiration, go check out her blog!
Our life has been nothing short of mass chaos lately. Since January 12, 2015:
- We’ve had our third child
- I hemorrhaged…leading me to feel terrible for about 2 weeks
- We bought a house the week our third child was born
- We put our house on the market when #3 was 9 days old…a For Sale By Owner (AKA STRESSFUL)
- We sold our house
- Ben started coaching Grant’s t-ball team
- I had a cardiac stress test and was also diagnosed with moderate/severe arthritis in my lower back
- Blair decided she wanted to potty train
- We attempted big renovations to a big house in a 13 day time period (and still have a mile long list left)
- We moved
- I went back to work the week before the move
- Ben started the last month of his term as a City Councilor
- I taught a 16 hr CEU class on fetal demise
- Blair got lice
- We’ve watched a best friend walk through a divorce, one get diagnosed with cancer and start chemo, and one whose child is battling cancer
- And we’ve attempted to adjust to life as a family of 5 with children ages 4, 2 and newborn.
My list is not a “Aren’t-We-Impressive-By-All-
Mid-list, I was pretty certain I was losing my mind. One day, I was at the grocery story with all three kids. After breastfeeding Arden in the car in the parking lot, I put her in the Ergo Carrier, unloaded Grant and Blair, and we headed in to do a little shopping. I thought I’d let the kids help pick out the fruits and vegetables…in my mind, I guess I thought it was a good time to create a warm, relaxed learning environment. Things went well for a while, until Blair decided to throw a colossal fit in the middle of the store because she couldn’t get a Larabar since she just launched her sample of dark chocolate across the dairy section. I pick Blair up in my left arm. She’s crying. I am still wearing Arden and now she’s crying. I am unloading groceries out of the cart with my right arm. Grant is helping me, ever so sweetly. My brain, because it’s on complete overload, gets confused about what arm is putting groceries on the conveyer belt, so I unload Blair from my left arm and send her down the belt to get scanned. I grab her mid-ride and chuckle at myself. I then reach with my correct arm to grab a jar of spaghetti sauce and proceed to swing it up to the belt just as Grant is leaning forward to get some bananas out of the cart. I whacked him right between the eyes with the 16 oz glass jar. He begins crying and yells, “You did that on purpose!”
That right there…a very accurate depiction of what life has looked like lately.
And probably a combo of hormones and the above list of events lead to some significant post partum depression. Let me tell you, it’s no joke. One night, as I was standing in the kitchen crying, I was convinced that everyone would be better off if I wasn’t around. “Everyone deserves better,” I thought. Made total sense to me at the time. Thank God for a husband and friends who recognized my despair.
One Sunday morning, between services that I was singing in, I had about 25 minutes to myself. I went into the Bridal Suite at our church, closed the door, and opened up my Bible to 1 Kings 19. Elijah was one of God’s great prophets in the Old Testament that I studied last fall with some friends. He was called by God to deliver messages to different kings of his time. Messages that put his life in danger. Messages that made him have to hide in the desert for fear of his life. At one point, he was exhausted.
“Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat under it and prayed that he might die. ‘I have had enough, Lord,’ he said. ‘Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.’ Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep.” - 1Kings 19:3-5a
Now, I’m not out delivering messages to ISIS, but I do identify with his feelings of despair and exhaustion. Elijah, a GREAT man, a man who LISTENED to God, who ACTED out His Will, who was BOLD…told God he wanted to die, that he couldn’t do it anymore.
And here comes my favorite part…
“All at once an angel touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat.’ He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.” - 1 Kings 19:5b-6
I’ll remind you that I’m not a theologian, but I do know that the angel that came to Elijah only appears in Scripture until Christ was born, and the way it is written in ancient translations basically means that the angel is the pre-incarnate Christ. Elijah said he couldn’t do it anymore and rather than the angel coming, condemning him saying, “Oh, yes you can. I told you to do it,” or God punishing him, or leaving him depressed and starving in the desert, He came and provided his most basic needs of food and rest. Nothing fancy. Because God knew that’s all Elijah could take. He gave EXACTLY what he needed. And then? He let him go back to sleep.
And here comes my next favorite part…
“The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.’ So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthen by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. And the word of the Lord came to him: ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’” - 1 Kings 19:7-9
Blows my mind. The God of the Universe didn’t just wake Elijah up once…but he did it TWICE. Because He knew that Elijah couldn’t handle anything more than that. Again, no condemnation, no shaming, no guilt…He gave him food, rest, and time. And then He spoke to him.
I read that and said to God out loud that Sunday morning, “God, I’m laying in the desert. I need you to wake me up to give me food. Give me enough to get me through to tomorrow.”
And wouldn’t you know that He came through. Over and over and over again.
He is restoring me through friendships. Family helped pack and work on the both houses. Friends planned and implemented several packing parties. They moved things to our new place. They gave design advice. They showed up on our doorstep with meals. They watched our kids. They showed up with coffee. They helped clean out our “new house” that was left in complete disarray. They helped clean out our old house when I discovered two nights before we closed that the cleaning lady and I miscommunicated. They are still helping me unpack and get settled. They prayed with me. They pray for me. They cried with me. They follow up with me. They encourage me. He is using them in MIGHTY ways to restore my soul.
He is restoring me through counseling. My opinion is that the people who are confident that they don’t need counseling probably need it the most. To dig deep, get to the root of issues, and learn to trust that my Maker heals and restores comes much of the time while sitting on a couch in a counseling office.
He is restoring me through medical care. A chiropractor is going above and beyond to help my back and neck. I started taking an anti-depressant called Lexapro. In all honesty, I probably should have been on it for a long time. Jesus gives peace. He gives hope. And he’s using Lexapro to help me not battle as hard to find it.
He is restoring me through His Word. Just like he did by reminding me of the story of Elijah. “God, I’m laying the desert. I need you to wake me up to give me food. Give me enough to get me through to tomorrow, just like you did with Elijah.”
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33
We all lay in the desert sometimes. If you ask Him, He WILL provide every little thing that we need. Time and time again. Sometimes, I’ve been too prideful or self-sufficient to accept His help that comes in the form of a friend offering to take the kids to school. Or I ignore His voice when He tells me to “Be Still” and sit on the bench for a while. But the older I get, the more thankful I am that His mercies are new EVERY morning (Lamentations 3:22-23) and I have a fresh start to let Him fill me with His peace and goodness.
In the words of a dear friend of mine who has walked in the desert, too…Thank God for Jesus, good friends, and Lexapro.
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