I Am a Paradox

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Yesterday was not a terrific day. It was one of those pregnancy days when I wished I didn't have three more months to go, when I didn't want to be a family of four, when I wanted to have more than two kids but never wanted to be pregnant again, when the one kid I had was mad at me, and my husband thought I was gloomy and nothing he did was going to brighten me up. He brought me roses after his early morning shopping trip, Walmart roses that spent the day drooping in their vase, convinced they didn't want to be alive anymore.

I hollered at God but good for the errant doorknob that just about knocked me out as I was toweling my hair after my shower, "Don't I have enough to deal with without THAT?"

Breakfast went smoothly and we got out the door in time to drop Pete off at work so that I could have the car for grocery shopping and a midwife appointment today. Today, I woke, and the roses had perked up, spreading their scent all over the place.

When we got onto the highway near our house, I realized something was missing: the deafening road-noise that has driven me crazy since we moved here. It comes from badly-maintained concrete that bakes and moves in the Southern heat here. But it was gone this morning, unbelievably, and the road was coated in new, familiar Virginia asphalt.

I nearly cried with happiness, and thanked God, "Wow, what a cool, small wonderful thing for my heart!"

He didn't put the doorknob in the way yesterday, but I felt justified in asserting my frustration over the fact that He could have stopped it. The road construction wasn't done simply for the sake of my heart, but I praised God anyway, because it was an unexpected gift.

What makes the difference between how I relate to God one day to the next? What determines my mood today? What determined it yesterday? I change every moment, it seems, and I've learned to leave myself room to do that.


Mostly, it comes in remembering His faithfulness, in choosing to exist in His grace and trust His patience with me, whether I wake up on the wrong side of the bed or whether I wake up praising His name.

It is comforting to realize how He has stayed me in Himself and sealed me with His Spirit, even in the days I am ready to give up on me altogether.
"My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and give praise.
Awake, my glory!
Awake, lute and harp!
I will awaken the dawn.

- Psalm 57:7-8

(Image © Informal Moments Photography)


L.L. Barkat said...

Life can be hard. Even on the easy days. :)

Somehow, out of nowhere, this just reminded me of when I used to teach in a violent city school. Every day made me feel like screaming (and, to my discredit) sometimes I actually did.)

I remember feeling very desperate, not knowing what to do. And one morning I walked out my door and noticed my landlord's peach/blush roses. I put my nose in them and they smelled like sweet raspberries.

From that day on, when I would feel the despair overtaking me, I'd close my eyes and picture those peach roses, remember the sweet raspberry fragrance. It was... something... it didn't reverse things... but it was a secret oasis of hope and beauty.

Jessica said...

This truth is so simple, yet somehow so hard for me to remember: it really is all in how you look at things. I can set out to see God in the little things, or I can sit in my little pity party and feel like crap. Sadly, I often choose the latter. It sometimes takes all the power of my reason to finally tell myself, "You know, unless you choose to quit being miserable, you're going to continue to be miserable." And then, if I confess it and give it to God, usually it doesn't seem so bad anymore.

And if it does, I probably just need sleep and a prenatal vitamin. ;-)

Carrie said...

Kelly, somehow all of your posts just speak to my heart. Thank you for sharing this - it is SO true.

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