There are seasons in life that just frustrate me. Those seasons in which things just don’t seem to be going the way I want. Less than ideal news from my doctor, more testing for my youngest, issues with my oldest, busyness consuming our family schedule, bills to pay, homeschooling woes, a messy house… The kind of weeks that make you want to just run away until it all passes.
We took our daughter to Duke this weekend for another test- this time a sleep study to see if there is a medical reason that she does not sleep well. As we checked into our room for the night and got ready for bed, I was struck by how natural it feels now. We have spent so much time at Duke Children’s Hospital that there is an odd sense of comfort there. We know our way around, Harper knows where to go to play when we get there, we know the questions that will be asked… it has become second nature. And as I washed my hands with that lovely hospital soap that smells like sadness, I stood in the bathroom and cried.
This wasn’t a scary test or procedure this time. There isn’t a huge sense of uncertainty as we await the results- this one is not a huge deal by any means. But this journey we have been on the past couple of years is one that I never in a million years would have envisioned for our family. I never thought we would be a family that makes regular trips to big hospitals, that is familiar with medical terminology that most people have never heard of, whose life revolves around appointments for scans and tests and checkups. I never imagined having a daughter who body is marked by scars, who walks into a hospital like she owns the place, who sits patiently and allows people to poke and prod at her because it’s just what she knows. When I look at it from my own selfish point of view, it doesn’t seem fair.
BUT, God’s plans are far greater, because I also never knew what it would be to be a firsthand witness to God’s miracles. I never could have dreamed of how He could use a tiny little girl to change my life and my husband’s life… and how her story would remind others of His love. Who knew the relationships that would be formed or strengthened, the people we would meet, the support we would have, the prayers that would be prayed (and answered)? This little life is a tremendous testimony of God’s healing power- not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually.
This morning as I was battling a barrage of emotions and thoughts and preparing for yet another busy week, the Lord led me to Psalm 23, a psalm that I’ve read many, many times… so many times, in fact, that I lost sight of the meaning and promise of that passage. But today, I am refocusing on these words, remembering the God who is always, always with me, and Whose plans are far greater than my own… He is my Shepherd, my leader, my guide, my comforter, my quiet place in the midst of the chaos.
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.