Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Fourth Watch of the Night

I know it's been nearly three months since I posted something here. In blogger time, that's like ten years.

But today felt like the right time to return to this space, to the one I've held sacred for so many years. This is the place where my words come to rest and breathe and be themselves.

The website is growing, thriving really. It's been every bit as exciting and exhausting as I imagined and I am convinced that I am right where I need to be.

And yet.

It's going to come as no surprise to those who are wise that opposition has been forming since the moment this adventure began. It hasn't been easy.

I've woken as early as my body will allow, gotten the kids off to school and myself off to work. Then I come home and I work until my eyes will stay open not a moment longer. I wake up the next day and do it all again, except this time I go right from the desk to the restaurant where I run up and down the tables, serving. I usually call Evan to "talk me home" so I don't fall asleep at the wheel. Then I sit down and work until my exhaustion takes over. The weekends, where most are finding "family time," are absorbed by double shifts and grocery store trips.

Repeat. Add in a trip to Indianapolis. A week to be horribly ill and still show up to work. Follow up with a trip to Dallas.

Go go go.

Things start to fail under pressure. It's just one of those things that people who know much more than me are always telling me. Not sure if that's what caused my computer to fail in the airport in Dallas, but when you own a website, that's kind of a crucial piece of equipment. So we ended up with credit card debt for the first time since 2011.

But it certainly applies to humans.

I haven't been able to get well since September.

I woke up on a Sunday morning and was too weak to go to church. Evan finally roused me at noon to try to get me to eat something. I managed to get the weekly grocery shopping trip completed, but a co-worker found me in the toiletries aisle staring at all the choices for body wash while my brain struggled to process the difference between the Dove Nutrium Moisture and the Dove Ultra Moisture formulas. I sat on the couch when I got home and didn't wake up for another three hours.

Then a friend of a friend of a friend needed a place to stay for a few days. A total stranger. We said yes.

I suddenly realized my kid's birthday was only two weeks away and I've done ZERO planning for a Harry Potter party. Also, he accidentally invited 30 kids. 

Then the bank account ran out. I hadn't stayed on top of it like I should since my attentions have been devoted elsewhere. It's my fault. My husband texted me during a meeting at my church where pastors and leaders from around the world were sharing their stories. I listened to a pastor from Nigeria talk about how his church had been burned to the ground four times and his car bombed. The man from Haiti spoke about watching a building collapse on his wife during the earthquake. A missionary from Peru told the story of seeing a woman die from demon possession. Yet, when the text came in that my husband couldn't buy lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings because the card was declined.....THAT'S when I broke down.

It's so disjointed and so nonsensical.

So as the waves keep crashing - a friend in a painful crisis searching for hope and finding none, a phone call with a difficult diagnosis for someone I love, an empty prescription bottle, an angry email from someone I have hurt and disappointed yet again, the dishwasher died, an urgent care visit followed by a trip to the ER - I am driven once again to this place. Where my words become my prayers and I hang on like hell to keep from drowning.

Praise God for words that become church. And for people who remind me of who Jesus is when the waves prevent me from seeing His glory revealed.

Through the tears today, I write. And thank the Lord for the fourth watch of the night.

And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid." And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.      - Mark 6:47-52 (ESV)

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