“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.”
At the start of last week I was frazzled. I had a to-do list a mile long in order to prepare the house and the meals and the schedule before O and I left for our trip to San Diego. My sister and her husband were going to stay at our house so school drop off was a breeze so I wanted to make sure things were as easy as possible for them. I needed to get ahead on blog work, make a few meals to stock the fridge, prep the guest room, get al the laundry ready-the list goes on- all while O was working long hours to start the week and out of town to end the week. I looked at O on Sunday night and said, “I just don’t know how I’m going to get all of this done.” Turns out, none of it would get done. We would end up cancelling that trip and every single plan for that week. We faced the flu instead.
We’ve made it through 5 years of parenthood without dealing with a flu and I’ve gotta say, I underestimated it. It started with Keogena coughing a little bit here and there. By Monday evening, I was giving her a steroid with the nebulizer. I had to battle anxiety in a big way that day. Not only had one of my biggest fears snuck up on me- illness in the ones I love- I didn’t push the needle on my what I had planned for that day at all. I set aside my post-its to care for my baby.
The next day, she had a fever. She was miserable. My to-do list went untouched. Wednesday, O left for the airport while it was still dark out and Oshiolema woke up hot and lethargic not too long after. I was starting to get a hunch this wasn’t just a cold. Thursday morning we headed to the pediatrician and tested positive for the flu, Thursday night was spent at the hospital due to strange symptoms in Oshiolema. O arrived home at midnight on Thursday with a fever, a cough, and his sweet heart that had hid how ill he truly was while he was away.
The week came and went. It was one of the harder weeks of my life, to be honest, mostly because it was a perfect storm. The things most difficult for me in this life are seeing the ones I love sick, being nervous I’m going to get sick while pregnant, being behind while preparing to leave town and doing all of those things without O by my side. What happens nearly every time O hops on a plane? One of these things come into play. The attacks aren’t subtle and they’re not random. We have a very real enemy who comes only to steal kill and destroy (John 10:10) but this week, what the enemy intended for evil, the Lord used for good (Gen 50:20.)
I spent my days taking temperatures, wiping noses, disinfecting, changing cold cloths, running lukewarm baths, making homeopathic concoctions and oil blends, cooking healing foods and pouring dry cereal, stripping sheets, doing mounds of laundry, cleaning and keeping my people comfortable. At the start of this week I had said “I don’t know how I’m going to get all of it done.” By the end of the week I realized I had done ten times the work I’d set out to do and none of the things on my list, all by the grace of God alone.
By His miraculous grace, I didn’t get sick. Me, the pregnant one running on two hours of sleep a night. Me with an autoimmune disease that leaves me a bit more vulnerable at times. Me with two sick babies laying on my pillow, coughing in my face, sharing my bed and covering the whole house in a layer of germs. He allowed me to stay healthy and strong so that when all three of my people needed me most, I was ready.
By His miraculous grace, this flu didn’t hit them one week before when I was in Scottsdale and they were here alone. By His miraculous grace, the flu didn’t hit just a couple days later when we were in sunny San Diego and the kids were here. I can’t get over how much of a kindness the timing was. A true gift.
By His miraculous grace I was able to serve with a joy I don’t think I’ve felt yet in motherhood. Not once did I feel begrudgingly that this was happening and that they needed so much. Not once did I feel inconvenienced. Despite me feeling weak and woozy myself, there wasn’t a single moment where I felt incapable of what service was required of me that day. I’m certainly not saying these things to boast because I can say with full confidence that it was only by the grace of God that those things are true. I was able to watch the Lord work in a brand new way this week and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Every so often I’m reminded of the importance of not worrying about tomorrow. I actually lost sleep thinking through the details of planning for the week ahead and friends, not a single thing came to pass. Instead of sitting on the plane to California today, we’re home for the week and prioritizing rest. No meals needed to be made. No schedules needed to be written up. All of my worrying was in vain as it always is and I can’t help but repeat the words in Matthew 6, “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’…Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
I haven’t really been able to process the fact that we had to cancel our trip and miss the conference. I’m at a bit of a loss for what to make of this coming week, but I do know none of this is a surprise to the Lord and it’s not for me to worry about. Only He knows what tomorrow holds and the very best I can do is be faithful in today.