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Come like rain...

The past few days, I’ve felt like I’ve just ran into dead end, after dead end.  

I’m delightfully in my 27 week of pregnancy with our third, sweet, crazy, little boy... and I am so grateful.  But I have also been nauseous nearly every day since we conceived back in September. I’m not exaggerating.  

On top of persistent (and finally medicated) nausea, I’ve had a flu bug that left me severely dehydrated and with monstrous headaches for days.  I’m still a mother to two boys under the age of five and have continued all of the shopping, the tasks, the runs to and from preschool and a husband on travel for work.  It doesn’t sound like much, maybe - I know we all have our own battles.  This is just where I’m at and physically I am beyond my breaking point.

And then I caught my preschooler’s headcold.  

I’ve been coughing for days.  Horrible, racking, my lungs are going to be shredded to pieces, coughing.  I’ve been awakened anywhere from 1:30 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. with a hacking fit that would persist for hours.  Literally.  I’ve had very little true rest, but I’ve gotten a lot of Pinterest plans and online shopping accomplished. The other night I went ahead and ordered an embroidered stocking for the new baby.  I realize it’s March and this made me feel like I was really killing it.  Take that Christmas 2016.  I own you.

It’s been such a struggle - not to just “feel better” but to act better as I’ve done nothing but feel worse as the months have gone by.  I’ve come close to asking for help and then I’ll retreat.  I’ve come close to asking for prayer and then delete my request.  My problems aren’t as big as others that are out there.  I’m blessedly pregnant and we have a comfy house and plenty of snacks in the pantry.  My kids have been incredibly healthy (headcold aside) and when my husband travels we splurge on pizza and donuts and fresh flowers to get through the long days. Admittedly, life could be worse. I’ve worked on my mental outlook, made lists, striven to be more productive and have tried to rest more.  

Well, not really the resting part.  That’s a lie. I’ve mainly just been pushing myself continually forward. (The abundance of pizza is real, though.)

Another long night, a restless couple of hours spent trying to sleep in a recliner and my kids are up promptly before the sun.  I couldn’t have been more weary.  Couldn’t have been more ready for a Sunday morning at church.  Couldn’t have needed worship and my church family more.  And yet I’m on the couch with a tumbler of water and my three year old.  Because I can barely breathe, can hardly speak and I’m not real sure when I showered last, to be honest.

Desperate for “a good word”, I shamelessly handed my kid the iPad and pulled up a previously DVRd segment with Beth Moore.  I watched and listened and paused and prayed... and I watched the rain outside and felt myself begin to really breathe again.  Not in the in and out way, but in the “I’m alive and I’m grateful” sort of way.  And then she said this; my head jerking away from the view outside to the television screen as I went from watching rain splatters on my window to hearing her say the word, “umbrella”...

“... I had an umbrella in my hands that I never opened, because I wanted to get drenched with rain... I want to tell you, it was one of - the most romantic moments I have ever had with Jesus.  Cause you know what, I feel like He said, “You know what? You’re in it anyway.  Praise me with everything you’ve got. You praise me.  And with every bolt of lightening you dance with everything you’ve got. You go ahead and call upon my name. I will put my hand over you, but you give Me praise. You give Me the praise that I am due.” ~ Beth Moore

I will tell you... by the end of her sharing this moment, I had my face covered with my hands, sobbing.

Why?  Because honey, you’re in it anyway.  For me?  The cold, the less than dreamy pregnancy, the long days, the long nights, the restlessness, the inability to focus or work or feel like a success... the frustration with no energy, my lack of patience with my kids, with others.  Lightening bolt after lightening bolt, slamming down on the ground next to me.  And I can’t run away.  I’m just here, right smack dab in the middle of it.  What do I do? What am I supposed to do?

Praise anyway.  Give thanks anyway.  Worship anyway.  

I’ve been trying to do that, but not really. I’ve yanked out my gratitude journal a few times and sometimes I wrote stuff down and other times I just pulled out my pen, only to lay it back down.  It’s not that I wasn’t feeling thankfulness somewhere in my core, but I just couldn’t summon up the exact words.  The precise praise.  

I was too focused on just getting out of my bad mood or my depressed feelings.  There had to be a way out.  Something I could fix if I worked harder or cleaned more or had an afternoon by myself.  Something that would be relieved with a trip to Target or a genuinely restful nap.  Maybe if I organized some more or threw one more bag of stuff in the van to get rid of.  Maybe if I dusted or decluttered or called my Mom. 

Texting with a friend - her at church, ready to worship, me at home, wanting to be at church - and I told her I was praying for her and the service (and I was) and she said, “Maybe God wants you at home to pray.”

For such a time as this.  Beth Moore echoes it from my television screen.

I hadn’t thought of that.  I’m part of the Worship Arts team.  I’m supposed to be there.  I’m supposed to be smiley and present and ready to belt it out.  That’s all I could think of when my cold rendered my voice useless.  I can’t sing.  Great.  Awesome.  Now my Sunday is shot.  I can’t be at church and staying home feels like a failure or an excuse.  I rankled against all of it.  Cried a little because of it.  I didn’t want to be here, I wanted to be there! I felt cheated and guilty because a cold had deemed me useless.

But what if... what if He really wanted me right here.  Right now.  Today.

Not just to pray and do my part from wherever... but to realize that He can do His part with me any time.  Any weather.  No matter if I can sing or not sing.  And that not only could I still worship from right here... but that He could and would meet me.  

I had all my fingers in all the cracks in all the dams.  

And then... then it started raining.

Forget what I was trying to hold back or hold in... now it was coming down.  All sides, all angles.  No umbrella big enough.

And that’s when I stopped.  When I inched my hands back.  When I realized the futility in what I was actually trying to accomplish.  I watched the grey skies with a sense of relief.  I watched the puddles become rivers with a sense of joy.  I didn’t think about the promise of Spring or sunshine that will come or how it’ll all be brighter and better someday.  

I just watched it rain today.

Gently pulled my determined fingers from the leaking holes.

And thought how good it would feel to humbly just surrender them out.

It’s raining anyway.  I’m here anyway.  

What if I praised... anyway?


"Let us know
let us press on to know the LORD
his going out is sure as the dawn; 
he will come to us as the showers, 
as the spring rains that water the earth..."
 ~  H o s e a   6 : 3 ,   E S V 








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