These words were ringing in my ears last week and reminding me that His grace is enough and it's waiting there for me to take, even in turbulent days.
The week leading up to my 30th birthday was turbulent. The first reason being that my older sister, Kristen, who has special needs was given an additional diagnosis of LAM, which is a lung disease. We found out that Kristen has this disease, but with no idea of how severely and the range of possibilities is really wide. We had to wait while my parents forged through red tape and referrals to advocate for her and get her to the specialist she needed. She did end up getting an appointment with the right doctor the day after my 30th birthday.
So with this new diagnosis and the emotional roller coaster that came with it, I tried to process as I went through the week. But my process ended up being much more of a stagger through potholes of fear and over molehills of hope than the gradual and steady churning and muling I’d been wishing for.
Adding to the turbulence, my oldest child started kindergarten two days before my 30th birthday. Cue the overwhelming pride, sadness, nostalgia, and the “We made it!” feels.
On a fun note, three of my best friends were coming in town from Iowa for the weekend to celebrate my birthday with me. I also had birthday celebrations with some couples we love and an all girls food and face masks extravaganza.
All good things, but the mounting emotions grew rather than cancelling each other out.
There were so many emotions and then top it off with the fact that my husband was out of town for almost the entire week….it was a lot.
I felt like this little frog jumping around on a bed of water lilies. Do I feel excited about my fun weekend? I'll hop on over to that lily pad....oh that doesn't hold my weight for too long. Hop! Ah, this fear and worry about my sister is quiet a large landing spot, but it's sinking even faster and taking me down with it. I'll just hop over here to this overwhelming nostalgia and sentiment about kindergarten....going down! Look there's a big old lily pad of stress and magic erasers waiting for me, I'll just linger over there on the "Why are my kids acting so insane" lily pad. And then let's do one more round of fear hops just for fun.
Even though some of the emotions I felt during that week were happy ones, I really struggled with feeling heartbroken and fearful that my sister’s prognosis would be grim.
But His grace was sufficient for each emotion filled moment.
His grace was sufficient for the tearful-walk-alone-back-to-my-van after leaving Lyric at his school the first day.
His grace was sufficient for all the toddler vandalism that was rampaged throughout our new house as I single-parented.
His grace was sufficient for moments of turning on a Netflix cartoon, shutting the door of my room, and crying on the floor.
His grace was sufficient for a calming sunset from the backyard after bedtime.
His grace was sufficient for the (as a friend put it) refining fire of the pick up line.
His grace was sufficient for my birthday which I thought would be spent doing mundane mommy things alone, but was instead filled with family from both sides blessing me and filling our day and night with fun.
“You feel weak and tired right now? That’s ok. I can handle that. You feel full of pride and in awe at your precious baby boy? That’s ok. I can handle that. You feel scared, overwhelmed and unprepared for bad news? That’s ok. I CAN handle that.”
After a grueling week, I’ve come here to tell you that God’s grace and love will wrap around all your heartbreak, all your struggle, all your need. He’ll bind you and keep you whole in him, no matter how close you are to the breaking point. I promise. With my whole heart I promise you, the grace is there. Enjoy it in your mourning and in your rejoicing. Bath your hurt in grace. Fuel your joy by grace. It’s abundant, it’s enough, and it is continually yours.
**Follow up: my sister’s doctor appointment resulted in the best possible outlook. She is asymptomatic and her condition is very mild and although she will be routinely monitored, for now we have nothing to fear!
And now: birthday montage! So thankful for all the people who made this birthday a beacon of grace and fun at the end of this weird week!