I don’t understand. I find myself asking the whys all too often; especially this go around. Over the past week, I have been on the brink of tears numerous times and sometimes that wall of sandbags collapsed and the river overflowed. There is just so much I can’t wrap my mind around and often feel overwhelmed with what to think about or deal with. Does God, who holds the answers to the what’s, where’s, why’s, when’s, and how’s, see the disappointment? Oh Kristin, He does. Every little feeling. He feels them right along with me. But the God who holds all of those answers, knows in His perfect timing, His perfect ways, when to reveal. I just don’t always like it. Do you?
How are we to live thankful, when disappointment and detours keep taking us off “the path” or the way we thought life should go? There is a discord in my life – the way I thought life would go and the way it is going. I grieve it. I get frustrated over it. Problems that should be minuscule, become giant mountains. Both because I make them that way, but they also just end up becoming that way. I am still trying to figure out how to live a life with a disease that I will forever live with. I’m sometimes not okay with it. And I want you, my friend, to see that I too, struggle. But the one thing that keeps drawing me back to reality. Back to contentment. And back in focus? Is gratitude.
Let me put this disclaimer out there. I’m not saying that I never have a negative thought and that I’m always sitting in the middle of my living room, singing kumbaya, with a smile on my face. I’m not. The other day, I was so overwhelmed with my situation and not knowing how to help my tender child who is grieving and dealing with this all just as much as we are, that I just lost it. Twice. Full out snot dripping, eyes blurry, sobbing. I needed to get it all out, I guess. C’mon, I know you’ve done this too. By the end, I was a few Kleenexes in. And it felt AMAZING. Anyways, ALL that to say, allow yourself room to be disappointed in the sense of finding a safe place to release that disappointment. We all need it. Friends. Family. You name it. Find those peeps, people!
My heart has been heavy for Mazy, who is acting out much like she did 2 years ago, after my 2 surgeries. I feel we are going through the same behaviors, actions, and words. She will just become unglued, over what I would deem a silly situation, but to her, it’s the end of her rope and it’s life and death, man. If she doesn’t get goldfish crackers, well, let me tell you. She will starve for days. If I don’t get that piece of paper now, her whole day will be ruined. I mean extremes, folks. But you know what? I AM THE SAME WAY!!! And I can laugh and joke about this because this is ME! And I’m an adult, acting the same way. One thing, will just set me off. But in working with Mazy and helping her try to process this all, I am realizing that she becomes unglued because she can. She feels safe. She knows I can take it. She knows I will still love her. Kicking and screaming. She knows she won’t disappoint me. And for that, I am so thankful.
When Mazy split her chin open and had to get it glued shut, I was absolutely shocked to hear she never once cried at urgent care. But she felt she had to put on a brave face. With Dan and I, she can just be Mazy, emotions and all. And as hard as it is to navigate through those emotions that will come out at any given time, it makes me love that girl that much more, knowing she is just being real. And struggling. And feels comfortable going to me/us.
Being grateful in the midst of disappointment, is a detour in and of itself. When I get stuck on the road of “ugh”, the best detour is when I can see the little blessings in life, in small ways, but ways that change my whole mind frame. I have this weird love of driving to go somewhere. Driving is fun for me – give me Chicago traffic any day. It allows me to just sit for a minute, soak in the world around me, and be thankful. At times it feels like everything around us crumbling, but when I can look out and look up, and see the littlest of details in my life, and realize they are being held together by the God of the whos, what’s, where’s, when’s, why’s, and how’s, my whole perspective changes. And driving allows me to take a deep breath and smell the roses (or fumes, I guess).
The God who cares about all of those simple situation questions, often known as the 5 w’s and the lonely h, cares. It may not feel like it. But seeing gratefulness in the every day, mundane, snot in the Kleenex moments, and the unleashing of a child’s emotions, keeps me on my knees, and keeps me grateful for God’s sovereignty, omnipotence, omnipresence, and love.
You will find that your greatest disappointments, are showered with a grace that only God can give, and a gratefulness that will keep you looking up, knowing you are His, forever. Snot and all.