My husband and I are known for our bad “luck”. Well, not really bad per se, more like weird. For example, several years back my mother–a teacher at a local elementary school–was busily preparing for the beginning of the school year. Being the ever-so-dutiful child that I was… I went up to the school to help her do some cleaning and decorating in her classroom. While she went to a faculty meeting, I decided to paint the lockers that she had against the back wall. Somehow (and I still to this day cannot figure out how) I managed to pull the lockers over on top of myself. I wasn’t pinned, as one would imagine, with my back to the floor and arms free to move the lockers off myself. No, for some odd reason my body instinctively went into earthquake drill mode and I ended up on all fours with lockers on my back. Do you know how hard it is to wiggle your way out from under lockers with your arms pinned under you? No? Well, I do. Trust me, after 20 minutes of squirming and praying that no one came in to see me in that predicament, I finally writhed myself free and righted the lockers.
There seem to be weird rules to my “condition”, though. I can climb up on the roof and clean out the gutters (ok, I could if I wasn’t DEATHLY afraid of heights) and be perfectly fine, however; I get a tonsillectomy and four days later have a bizarre reaction to the pain pills which in turn induces a seizure and fractures the circle thingy that holds my shoulder and arm together (After about a week of explaining that whole story over and over whenever someone would ask “What happened!?” I finally got to the point where all I would say would be, “I had a tonsillectomy” and walk away leaving my husband or best friend to explain). After the seizure, my best friend, Carla, gave me the nickname 2% because she saw a pharmaceutical commercial that said that 98% of the time nothing ever happens. Apparently, at least according to Carla, I am the 2% they are talking about. Now whenever I have those “moments”, they are referred to as 2% moments.
My husband seems to have this two-“percentness” when it comes to mechanical or carpentry things. It seems as if whatever can go wrong with his project, will. And, of course, the part that is needed cannot be found anywhere except on a rare, tropical island where tiny munchkins hand carve them…however, it will be another six weeks before the part can be ordered because they are currently on holiday to celebrate the snail migration across the island. And don’t even get me started on his 2% tire thing that is a blog all of its own.
Normally, I am able to laugh through these situations. I reckon, after being surrounded by these moments all one’s life what other choice do you have? This past weekend, though, it seemed as if all the burdens became too much. One thing after another went wrong, bills came in that we had no plan for and (of course) my husband’s truck needed new tires. On top of it all, it was my very first Mother’s Day and because of scheduling conflicts, we were unable to do anything to celebrate; we spent the entire weekend working.
By the time Monday morning rolled around the bitterness and weight of my ruined weekend pressed down, seemingly crushing my chest and sucking the air from my lungs. As I drove to town I half-listened to K-Love, a Christian radio station, and half drowned in self-pity. I caught myself singing along to a song that I’ve heard a dozen times before, but never really listened to. As the artist sang, “…show me something beautiful…” I found myself singing those words in prayer to the Lord. I prayed to God as I haven’t done in many a moon, begging him just to show me a beautiful moment in my life. As the song ended, my burdens seemed to float up and away, like black notes in a cartoon.
In Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free, Nancy Leigh DeMoss points out how every sin; every falter that we as Christians face begins with a lie. As the situations of the weekend piled on me, the Devil threw a tiny kernel my way, but that little kernel turned out to be all he needed. For some reason, as everything came at me I looked around and believed that Lord had given me more than I could handle, despite His promise in I Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape, so that you are able to bear it.” (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
Because I bought into the lie, I forced myself into a miserable weekend. Instead of simmering in the joy of my first Mother’s Day, and inhaling those precious moments with my baby and husband, I allowed myself to buy into the Devil’s lies. Those lies, in turn, caused me to doubt everything I knew to be true.
Our Lord is a loving Lord. He watches over us, His children, as we do our children. Just like human parents, it is sometimes necessary for Him to sit back as we “skin our knees”. I believe, though, that through our own stubborn independence we have a tendency to make things worse. Instead of immediately crying out to Him, we (or at least I) try to fix it myself and end up making things worse. He is faithful, and keeps His promises but in order for Him to take our burdens from us, we have to be willing to give them up.