We actually got to go on vacation this summer. It’s the first time in several years we have been able to do that. We visited my dad who lives down South in a touristy area near the beach. It was a beautiful, relaxing week. The kind that makes you wonder why life can’t be like that on the regular.
Deep contented sigh.
Soon after we got home, I got sick. I had something flu-like and was down for the count for days, except that rest was not on the possibilities list. Mostly, because big projects from multiple sources were all due at the same time, I had to take one daughter to physical therapy a few times, and swim practice started back up. Annnd, one night around 11pm, my husband was coming home from study and the older car just stopped working. Like, went completely dead as he was driving. I had to go help and wait with him until the tow truck arrived. I ended up driving him to and from work that week while we got the car fixed to the tune of more than $650. Like I wasn’t sick enough.
We literally got down to $6.53 before payday rolled around again. $6.53. Good thing we took that vacation before the big car problem.
I finally got better and was able to maintain sanity while meeting deadlines. Yay me. But then I had to fly down to Florida for work for one day. Fly down, eat dinner, go to bed, get up and go to an office for the day and then fly back. No fun, no frills.
I generally don’t think much about traveling—maybe a twinge here or there—but this time, I was very anxious for some unknown reason. Perhaps because I was flying right after 9/11 and had just watched some stories on that.
So, I’m driving my unusually nervous self to the airport in the car that had just been fixed, that just months ago was our “good” car, and I’m sitting at a red light. I look out the front window and notice that there is smoke rising out of the engine hood. What the ????
I seriously had to get to the airport though. I had the stuff the group of high-ranking individuals was going to be going over and working on the next day. I somehow convinced myself that unless I saw flames shooting from the engine, I HAD to keep going.
I made it to the airport. I made it to Florida and back safely. Somehow I knew to check the radiator before I left the parking lot to go home. The radiator was bone dry, so I poured some coolant in there, said my prayers and made it home.
Apparently a screw had come loose and needed to be tightened. Boy do I know that feeling. Thankfully, no charge for that, but dang, why did I have to deal with it in the first place, you know?
After all this joy, I got sick again. I coughed so hard and so much I thought my lungs were trying to escape my body. Totally lost my voice. Couldn’t stop sneezing. Still no rest because the work was still on overload. That cold, cough, sniffling, and sneezing lasted a good long time. I was exhausted. My abs though…
Oh and somebody rifled through our older car one night and didn’t shut the door all the way on one of the hardest raining nights. I mean, how rude on every level. If you’re going to try to steal from us, at least shut the door dude. Seriously.
And while I’m at it, let me say, just because I forgot to lock the door because the auto locks don’t lock the driver door anymore and right after I pulled into the driveway I had to give a hug good-bye to my daughter as she left to go with a friend to a soccer game and I was getting the pizza and other stuff out of the passenger side and forgot about the driver’s side door not being locked, that is NOT an invitation for someone to sit in our car, take everything out of the glove compartment, leave it all over the place and then leave our door open on a rainy night. It’s just not.
Nothing was taken because we have nothing of value. There are benefits to being not rich. And then there’s that $6.53 moment.
These are not the worst moments of our life. It was all kind of on the minor side in comparison. It’s just the juxtaposition of the very good vacation time against the two months following our getaway — it all got to be a bit disheartening. I needed a hug and sympathy. I often feel like I’m not allowed to complain, even though I do. That I have no right to complain, even though I do. Then I get on my own case for not being more positive when energy drainers won’t stop throwing rocks in our direction.
I simply get tired facing the ever-present uphill climb. I know without a doubt things could be worse, but they could be better also. It’s the wanting for better that often works against me. It’s the looking at what others appear to have that I don’t that gets to me. It’s wanting more moments of being problem free that never seem to come. Wanting to give my kids more than we often can. These are the things that lead me down the path to believe the lie that God simply doesn’t care.
Yet Jesus said that the Father himself loves me dearly because I love Jesus. So who should I believe? Me? Nah, I think I’ll attempt that trust thing one more time.
So I’m forced to my knees yet again. I am so thankful for so much but is it wrong to want more, to want better, when so many have so little? Is that greedy Lord? It’s not about the things. Really, it isn’t. I just want freedom from worrying about [fill in the blank]. Is it wrong to want relief from burdens that are so heavy to me? That I can no longer figure out?
I bring all these concerns and more to the ears of God. I have to believe He’s listening to me because I’ve made up my own “in Jesus name” version that starts off a little something like, “Jesus said I should come talk to You directly because He says You love me so much… .”
At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name. …for the Father himself loves you dearly because you love me and believe that I came from God. John 16:23, 27 (NLT)