Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, Psalm 103:2-4
I've written the first paragraphs of about ten posts over the past few days. Each of them I quickly deleted. None were pretty. I sounded too anxious, too cranky, too attention-seeking even though I sought to come up with an ending dripping with satisfaction. I attempted to write a fairytale post about a bad situation with a happy ending where God comes in and swoops up the girl in the dungeon and she rides away happily with him on his white horse.
But I have a hard time lying. There was God this weekend and there was swooping in, but there remained a girl who chose to refuse the white horse but instead chose a hard plastic chair in a freezing cold hospital. I've been irrational for three days (well really it's a chronic problem, but let's just say I've suffered an irrational flare). And even though typing hopeful words, my underlying disposition has been nothing worth boasting about.
I don't want to spend too many words explaining the reason for my fickle feelings (because I'll reveal how irrational I am again), so I'll try to explain briefly.
Our daughter Rylie was in the hospital for three days. She just got home yesterday. After years of chronic stomach troubles I was ready to get some answers. I had taken her to the doctor's office thinking they were going to say she had the flu or a bladder infection due to her stomach pain, high fever and lethargy, but they sent us straight to the ER saying she was really sick. They did tests (which all came back negative) and gave her fluids, but as Friday came and then Saturday, I wasn't feeling any better even though the color returned to her cheeks.
She felt good enough to create fun with her remote control bed by Saturday, while I was still anxious quite like I was downstairs in the dark ER room. In spite of good news, I was moping. I didn't like the fact that we weren't getting answers. Or maybe, it was that I didn't like that the answer was, that some things are yet to be seen.
I'm guilty of writing each of my life chapters as if I'm the author, controlling not only my life, but the characters around me. This chapter, in my mind, was one where the doctor said,
"Oh, I see now, there's an obstruction in her stomach that's been there for years. If we do this "laser thing", it will zap it out and this severe diarrhea will stop. Not only that, but she won't ask to go to the nurses office every other day at school. Those gray circles that pop up under her eyes will be gone for good. She won't need that medicine she's been taking. You can quit that killjoy diet that the other doctor has her on that makes grocery shopping a living nightmare. And you can stop grilling her about whether or not she's faking it when she tells you her stomach hurts, because I'm telling you, it's not going to hurt anymore."
In my life chapters (not just this weekend's chapter) I'm also the princess in peril with a lovely disposition like Snow White or like our faithful biblical sweethearts Ruth and Esther.
They're beautiful in bad times. Hopeful. Warlike, but in the most gracious manner.
I, however, many times am not.
To add to my previously mentioned qualities, I get cross, and hopeless, blocking out the Sun's rays with my dark superpowers of worry and discontentment. I know how to meditate on scripture and how to smile, while my insides are quivering in rebellion to not having my way.
These feelings are followed by a strong disappointment in myself from being so far removed from the person I want to be.
I seldom share my bad side with you without the turn around. The side of me I share is one who has come to my senses after a bad moment or a rough day...when I've fixed myself. But even then, my sinfulness lies dormant within my fickle heart, ready to rear its ugly head at any given moment.
Truth is, I'm only comfortable with sharing the edited version of ugly me; like those Instagram photos that start out blemished and then I add filter and significant brightness.
This version of myself makes me seem righteous or like I'm the victor; like ugly creeps in and I dispel it.
I'm a work in progress, I share, but I forget to be honest at how much help I need with the work. I need to hear the words spoken to Jeremiah.
I need to share them with you too. Because maybe you find yourself feeling not beautiful because of your emotions that often overwhelm the truth.
“Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will let you hear my words.” So I went down to the potter's house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do." ...Jeremiah 18:2-4
I'm without my Sunday shoes and makeup today. My feet are bare and so is my heart. I'm a mess. I'm avoiding the mirror today.
The eyes of this beholder are often blind to beauty.
The beauty, I'm learning, is in what God is making each of us to be.
Beauty is in the eye of the molder.
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