For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Monday, August 19, 2013

What I Don't Understand

The sound of vomiting came from my bathroom. I could hear it, but it was muffled by my sleep. Then the voice.

"Mom? I'm sick."

A child calling, "Mom," breaks the sleep hold in an instant, and I am already sitting up when I ask, "What can I do?"

"A cold washcloth and more trash bags?"

The morning passed with the sound of vomiting and the swapping of trash bags. Nothing stayed down. Even water was offensive.

Afternoon found ease with crackers and toast and finally some dry cereal, and while he fought the virus, I considered what to do with the broken dishwasher and the backing of the shelves the girl child and I were building...the backing that had been cut too small. I pondered these things as I scrubbed more gunk (technical term) from the flat top stove that was forever needing scrubbing, and I questioned the terms "low maintenance" and "easy to clean".

Then the phone call asking me about WonderGirl's driving and telling me again how much easier life would be if she had a license and I can't keep her small forever. Can one look at a child with eyes the same height and think she can? And what about this activity and that one, and if she were just driving, I wouldn't be saying my time and energies are already stretched. Did I understand yet?

I understood.

I understood that people like to make judgment and demands when they don't know, and nothing I do lives up to everyone's expectations, and when the week has left me feeling inadequate and seeing all the ways I fail all the time, another person telling me how they think I am inadequate and a failure--and not just inadequate or failing at just anything. Oh, no. Inadequate and failing as a MOM, my heart fails, too.

And I wonder what is in His heart when the problems of life and the problem people are everywhere and the still yet to be seen.

But tomorrow is Sunday and the respite of church where my soul find solace and strength and Him. My soul longs for Him because the longsuffering has me thin.

Then the sun rises, and the light reveals the sickness, not of the boy child but four pets whose digestive tracks have all gone soft, and I hit my knees, not to worship but to work through the piles of illness, and right now, the piles are not all that stinks.

Right now, it all stinks, and really, could it have been so hard to give me a good morning THIS morning? Has the week not been enough? Does what feels like the sadistic have to slip into the Sabbath, too? If you made today for rest, can You not give me some?

After the piles of sickness, I see the pile of dishes left not so much from lack of discipline but from lack of dishwasher and the presence of sickness. The ability to make breakfast sits piled high in the sink, and I try to hold the tears in while the water runs. And my heart is sick. Sick of another thing on the list. Sick of one more thing on my every growing to do list. Sick of...this.

Somehow this sick heart and tired mind makes it through the dishes and the cooking of breakfast and out the door on time with two children in tow, and thank God they are no maintenance today because really I think one more thing may break me.

Then it happens. The breaking.

"Check engine".

I stare at the light on my dashboard, and in that instance, my light is gone out.

I am in darkness, and I wonder where my Daddy is and why He is silent...and really? Today?!

So I pray...for whatever that is worth. I've been praying all week, and instead of finding answers, I have found a harder assault. And I am helpless on this battlefield. I have no more armor and no more energy, and I need...I just need. Desperately need.

Because it is more than the list of what has to be addressed. It is the seeming sabotage of my efforts to address them. I figure out a strategy only to have it stopped by another problem, but I figure out how to handle them both, and before I can take a step forward, something happens that makes it impossible to address either, and if you have to do B before you can do A, and C must be done before you do B, and you find yourself somewhere down around M only to be slammed with an N that knocks you to your you sit there. On your knees. Because all you have is the reality that He is God and you are not, and He doesn't answer to you, and as much as you want answers, you remember Job...and then what do you do besides just sit there because really. You cannot handle it getting any worse.

So I just sit there. Hoping to stay off God's radar.

People are confused because I am quiet, and I am never quiet, but when you have a million questions and no answers and the hits keep coming even where you expect to find refuge, what does one say?

Sometimes the whole goal is simply not to sob.

At least not where people can see you because what would they say? What would you say? How could you explain? How do you explain that a God you know is good has left you feeling far more broken than blessed? How can anyone understand? Surely they can't.

I can't.

But I know He is good, and I know He is kind, and I spend the day trying to find peace with the pain.

Sometimes the greatest faith is finding peace with the pain...especially the pain that seems to have no purpose.

And all I know to do is cry...and whisper. "Please find me. I can't find you in this. I need you to find me."

And somehow I find my way to Isaiah where the enemy is bigger than Israel, and surely defeat will come, and the king only knows one thing to fall on his knees before the God who let them get here, so he does, and he never asks why. He simply says, "Without you, we will be defeated. We cannot stand against this army. Without you, we will be taken captive."

The words whisper from me. "Without you, I am defeated. I cannot fight this battle. I don't even know where to start. Without you..." My mind cannot fathom the thought...without Him.

As hard and painful as life is with much as I don't understand why He does what He does...without Him? I cannot fathom.

I read the words He speaks to the king. "Tomorrow you will see your deliverance. I will handle this."

Tomorrow. I don't know what tomorrow holds, but He is there, and His plans are not thwarted by the next letter in the alphabet, and I don't know how, but tomorrow things will fall.

This morning I woke early, and before I was out of bed to let the dogs out of the house, I knew the answer for the shelving problem and the oven top, and while those rolled through my mind, He whispered over them, "Call first thing about the truck."

I did knowing it is impossible to get in to see the shop I use on Monday morning, except this morning when they had an opening. Come on in. The disconnect button is blurry through this humbled daughter's eyes.

Four hours later the call comes in. The diagnostic is run, and two codes have pinged. They took off my gas cap, put it back on, and the codes cleared. Seems the gas cap was ajar, and they think it is petty to charge for that, so it is free. And my mind remembers another place that charged $120 for the same thing and had no concern or mercy.

Then the bad news. The front brakes are worn dangerously thin. Then I remember. The red light. The hard jerk to the right, the pop, and having to press the brakes again because they didn't hold. In the busyness, I had forgotten. But my Daddy didn't. This is concern. This is mercy. This is a Father doing what has to be done to keep His children safe. This is a Father who loves...even when this daughter is so completely unlovely...

"By the way, when the tech was looking through, he found a $20 bill in the seat rail of the front seat. He put it in your cup holder. I just wanted you to know in case you wondered where it came from."

And I am drowning in this mercy pool, and the tears are falling again. No. Not all the alphabet is fixed, but how much He loves me fixes my heart, and I still don't understand.

I don't understand this mercy. I don't understand this grace. I don't understand the lavish generosity. And once again He leaves me not understanding. I don't understand Him...or this wild and crazy love of all.

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