Chasing Contentment

Wednesday, November 9

This stage of life that we find ourselves in now is wearying. It's tiring. If it weren't for those darned kids, we'd be much more energetic. Of course, if it weren't for those darned kids, we wouldn't be in this particular stage of life.

There are some stages in our life that I know we'll look back on and think, 'that seemed worse at the time than it really was. It didn't last that long at all.' There are other stages that will bring me to tears years down the road because the difficulty of them still resonates in my heart.

I never expected Eliza still wouldn't be sleeping through the night at two years old. But, as always, there hasn't been much about Eliza at all that I expected. Griff did spoil us, though, by sleeping through the night early and well. The idea of several full nights of sleep in a row is a dream...something a grown-up me would ask Santa to leave as the biggest gift of the evening.

Single friends of mine struggle with loneliness and sorrow. They yearn for something more, for an intimate support system that can be provided best by a spouse. I remember those days when I wanted for that, when I had friends but needed that one intimate.

We have friends whose infant had to have surgery last week and who is already sick again while the rest of his family has a stomach virus. I remember those days when Griff was little and his allergies weren't yet diagnosed, and I thought none of us would ever get well again, much less all of us at the same time.

There were dark days in our marriage when Mike was gone a lot working on his coursework, and my sick little Griff and I were alone a lot. Mike's mom was dying, and we were all barely hanging on. Literally, when I think of those days, I have one particular image in mind... two maybe... and the literal darkness surrounds us.

I think about the days when Eliza was in the NICU and those months after when she was so tiny and fragile, and those days were such a struggle, and yet, when I look back now, all I have is gratitude (well, and a little, tiny bit of residual mama guilt). That time flew by and wasn't nearly as awful as it felt like at the time. Today, I'm grateful for those days.

As I think about all of these stages in my life - and the many others - I know that God held all of us in His hands, that He protected us and carried us and enabled us. But I know that not because I felt this overwhelming sense of His Lordship. I know lots of people who say that God is enough - and He is! - and that we shouldn't need anything or anyone else.

But I do. And I did.

I know He took care of us in those difficult times because He sent his human angels to minister to us in physical ways. When I was single and alone in a new town, He sent me a family to become a part of for a time. When my family was sick and broken by so many things, He sent Mandy to become my friend and confidante. When Eliza was first born and then first home, He sent so many wonderful people to care for us, to give us the encouragement and support we needed.

I know God cares for me because He provides what I need... my soul needs people around, and God made me that way, so He knows that. He made us to need one another and to be ministers to one another.

So, on these days when we're all exhausted after another long night with Eliza, I am grateful to those who listen and offer to help. And on days when I know those I love are having their own difficult days, I want God to use me to minister to them just as He uses others to minister to me.

[  posted by Chel on Wednesday, November 09, 2005  ]


Great post today Chel :)
I enjoy reading your thoughts, they make me think a lot...
I am going thru a huge change in a my life at the moment, being on the verge of becoming a wife. So many things to think about and so much more responsibility.

God Bless...

By Blogger Smat, at 6:11 AM  

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