image credit: kate ausburn
E xactly seven years ago today, I was one sick mama. And I mean that in the most literal sense.
Seven years ago, I was admitted to the hospital not knowing that I would stay there for twelve days.
Twelve days, you guys! Nobody stays in the hospital for twelve days anymore. Especially not a mom with three young, terrified daughters and a husband who works 45 minutes from home who is suddenly thrown into the role of both Mom and Dad while trying to keep his role as worried husband from those three young girls.
We were in a storm.
I had an unexpected and serious surgery that left me weak and discouraged. I was released from the hospital just before Thanksgiving when all of the activity of The Holidays (so much stress!) was beginning.
How would I do this? How would I get through The Holidays (so many expectations!)? How would I create the memories I’m supposed to create for my kids when I could barely get off the couch?
And what about the Christmas cookies?! Who would bake those?
These worries swirled through my mind as hour after hour passed throughout my recovery. Hours turning into days; days turning into weeks.
The storm continued.
Thanksgiving came. My husband and the girls spent the day with family while I spent a few hours alone on our couch. Some friends from church brought over some of their Thanksgiving meal and it tasted like manna from heaven.
Slowly, I began to gain strength and the storm began to calm.
My girls began to unwind just a bit from the worry they had been carrying on their young shoulders, and we all took a deep breath.
That year was a little different. Thanksgiving took on new meaning, and it has, for me, been sweeter ever since. Christmas was a little simpler that year, too.
It was O.K. Nobody cared. We had gained perspective.
Maybe you’re in the middle of a storm right now. Maybe you’re experiencing health issues that make you feel completely spent and leave you wondering how you’ll ever be the mom you want to be to your kids again. Maybe you’re experiencing a broken relationship that makes you mourn for the old days. Maybe you’re experiencing financial difficulties that cause you to worry about the future.
Mamas, our great God is walking through those storms with you. He doesn’t promise to take them away, but He does promise to walk with you and to give you the foundation to stand against them.
Proverbs 10:25 (NLT) says,
“When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away,
but the godly have a lasting foundation.”
This is a promise I can get my head around, especially at this time of year, and it’s the promise I tried to teach my daughters when I was sick. We have a foundation for our faith and it’s a foundation that will last forever, despite our circumstances.
A few years ago we spent Thanksgiving with some dear friends. Her table was beautifully decorated with china, candlesticks, and even a fall floral arrangement. And at each special place setting she had placed a rock. Just an ordinary rock from their garden.
And a Sharpie.
As we sat down to the feast, we each picked up our rock, laughed a little bit, and wondered what on earth they were doing there.
Soon, our host stood up and explained. These rocks, he said, represent the solid foundation that we have in Christ. Hard times come, but Jesus remains our solid rock. Our friend wanted to make sure we remembered that first. But then, he asked us to write on our rocks the things we were thankful for that year.
So I wrote:
“Answers to Prayer”
Because every year at Thanksgiving I remember that year, seven years ago, when I was such a sick mama. And I remember how my family stood with me, giving me such grace through a long and difficult road. And how our friends rallied to sit with me for hours, to pray for me, and to bring meals for weeks on end.
I will never forget that storm.
And I will never forget that I have a foundation that will last forever—one that can’t be taken away. No matter what might be swirling around me, threatening to pull me under, Jesus is that solid rock that I can cling to in times of trouble. My foundation is in Him and it won’t be shaken.
For this, I am thankful.