Monday, April 1, 2013

The one where I say yes.

There is only one man in all the world
and his name is All Men.
There is only one woman in all the world
and her name is All Women 
There is only one child in the world
and the child's name is All Children
~Carl Sandberg
In early February, despite lots of hand sanitizer, breastmilk and frequent reminders to, "Cough into your elbow, please," all three of my girls got RSV.

Upon getting the diagnosis, I covered my daughter's ears, so that I could utter desperate and cathartic prayers/curse words, and break down crying in front of my pediatrician.

And then this:

More desperate and cathartic swearing/praying as my sweet six-week-old, Ruby, landed herself in the hospital.
I'm pretty convinced that on the inside, we are all whiny, selfish three-year-olds.

I actually have two whiny, selfish three-year-olds, both inside and out. One thing I really love about one of them, my daughter, Brynne, is her honesty about what she needs. After a good ole RSV- coughing-fit, she would scream say things like:
I'm sick! I'm SO sick! Please hold me, Mama, I'm SO sick! 
I have no idea where her flair for drama comes from....


When Brynne asked to be held in her helpless, whiny, sick state---sometimes I would be filled with compassion, and hold her. And, sometimes my own inner-whiny-selfish-three-year-old won out, and I just could not muster up any grace for my daughter. I just can't be a rock-star parent all the time!


I think God sorta digs the whole whiny-selfish-three-year-old thing, in fact, I think that's why he said, Let the children come to me...:
I'm tired! I'm SO tired! Please hold me, Jesus, I'm SO tired!
Jesus is a rock-star parent all the time. He wants to hold me anytime my whiny three-year-old self needs him to. And he really wants to hold you too.  

So, through this whole RSV ordeal, I've learned a few things. Jesus really can hold you. I mean, really, physically hold you. You just need to do two things:
1. Do not, under any circumstances, use any variation of the phrase, "I'm fine."
That terrible "f" word. F-I-N-E

People love to give. We are all constantly fighting our inner whiny-selfish-three-year-old. It's hard some times. No one wants to be a jerk all of the time. One of the best ways to fight that inner jerk is to serve others. Please, please allow people to serve you! Think of it as doing your civic duty to keep jerks at bay.

We belong to each other. Mr. Carl Sandberg got it right---we are All Men, All Women, All Children. We were designed to be in community to serve one another to love one another---you should not walk through hard things alone. Embrace community---let community love you and serve you.

Nothing squelches community more than the "f" word. Swallow that word and pride and...
2. Say yes.
When people offered to bring me good coffee, non-hospital food, a shoulder to cry on, arms to hold Ruby, so I could take a shower or sleep---I said, "Yes!" I mean, really, who can say no to good coffee?!

This wasn't, and still isn't easy for me to admit that I can't do it all. That I'm not God.

But---that's a good place to be.

I'm actually thankful that I was in that place of desperation.

Not because my girls were sick, but because, when I said yes, I felt God's arms wrap around me tightly through each generous act of love. I felt others carry my burden.

Sleep-sacrificing, good-coffee-bringing, burden-carrying---this is what Jesus was talking about when he told us to love one another. That is community. 

And. When you let your community love you like that---that is what it feels like when God holds you. 

I want to challenge you. Be in community. Let yourself be known. Love. Be loved. And. Say yes! You'll feel God holding you too.

Linking with Jen.