This week, I finally read Audrey Caroline's story--a story I've been hearing about for some time, but haven't been ready to read. It's been hanging out on my back burner until the time was right. Until Wednesday.
Wednesday was a difficult day for an unknown reason. You know how some days, you finally get to 5:00 and feel like you've been beat up for the past ten hours? That's how Wednesday was for me. My Big Sis was here for a visit, which I loved...but we talked about difficult things....friends going through hard days and babies sick with strange, undiagnosed illnesses. She left and I called a friend....and that conversation followed the same vein. Lack of money for basic needs, sick mommies unable to care for their newborns, nagging doubts. Justin walked in the door from work and proclaimed that his day had left him utterly defeated. He took one look at me and knew I was on the same page.
After debriefing somewhat, I left dinner prep in his hands (no appetite) and packed Sean up to meet my Wednesday Friends up at the coffee shop. Apparently small talk and weak smiles couldn't hide my mood from even them, since about 2 minutes into our visit they asked which Mack truck I had just been struck by. Out of concern for my stability (!) they kept the conversation light-hearted until we parted ways a short hour later. Back home, then, where Reuben was weeping inconsolably, for it was two hours past bedtime and he had gone three days without an afternoon nap, and the exhaustion was palpable. We moved him onto our bed so that he could cry all of his emotion away. I vaguely remember saying something to Justin about remembering that feeling; of needing to cry out all of the energy so that rest could come and fill the empty spaces.
The rest of the evening went on like that. And on, and on. Reuben finally fell asleep, and immediately Sean woke, teething and screaming. Justin and I were at our wit's end. And somehow, eventually, everyone was in bed, and the house was quiet, and even Justin went and buried himself in the covers....and it was then I began to wonder if the coffee girl remembered to make my drink decaf. It was 11:00. The house was asleep, and I was wide awake. Maybe it was the caffeine...or maybe it was just that I needed to find a place for all of my emotion to go, too.
So I opened up Audrey Caroline's story and began back when it all started, in January.
You might think this was a strange moment to begin such a journey. But I think those moments when we're at our weakest are the moments we are most susceptible to eternity. I felt the need to pour it all out on Wednesday night so that I could be filled up again with the hope of Thursday.
If you're up for the emotional calisthenics, pull up a chair: http://audreycaroline.blogspot.com
It took me two days and lots of hard crying to get through this story. It's not a quick read while the kids are eating peanut butter for lunch or Baby's having a nap. But oh, the reward--of experiencing a sister's encounter with Jesus that is real, raw, excruciatingly painful, and-- strangely, seemingly contradictorally-- full of life and hope.
Isn't that just how our God is?