I’m not a person who likes drama. I’m not a person who likes change or turmoil or chaos. On the contrary, I’m a planner, a plotter, a person of routine. We’ve moved, we’ve had a baby and now that baby is asleep in a hospital bed next to me. The lack of routine and order makes me twitchy and itchy and makes me dream about running away to Costa Rica. Although Harper is beautiful and appears to fart rainbows she has contracted the RSV virus, which although not serious is a royal pain in my butt. She is wheezing, and coughing and vomiting.
When I talk to my friends I feel as if I have turned into a drama queen. Every conversation seems to start with me sharing some life-altering news.; “we sold our house”, “we bought a house”, “we moved”, “we had a baby”, “we’re in the hospital”. I never thought I would long for the days when my conversation would revolve around whether or not I should be forcing Lucy to eat hot lunch at school. I actually dread talking to my friends right now because I feel as if all I’m doing is lamenting the chaos, anxiety and stress that surrounds me. And yet, in this most crazy time I have never felt so supported and loved. I cannot think of a single moment before that I have had more people rally to my side to lift me up, carry me along and ease my burden. I’m feeling the need to take a moment and acknowledge that help and support.
Over the years I’ve made some dear friends out of former students. Young men and women who have grown up, moved on and become amazing people. Many of them have sent me messages and notes of encouragement over the past six months but a few have made a real difference:
Lindsey: Thank you for your prayers, visits, care, and encouragement. Your unabashed love and kindness has been a soft cushion during a hard time
Taryn: As always, thank you for feeding me, but also for your open-hand of help.
Micah: I appreciate you moving heavy furniture for me, but also for making me realize that asking for help (and taking it) is not a sign of weakness.
Micki: We couldn’t have survived without you. You have dropped everything to run to our house to watch our kids, and care for them as if they were your own. Every mother dreams of a babysitter who loves her children as much as she does and I am so blessed to have found that in you. Words don’t go far enough
Like so many people I have reconnected with dozens of my old high school pals through Facebook. It has been amazing to see how the people I liked in high school, I still like. Some friendships have grown stronger and some have felt like no time has passed at all. The numerous notes and messages of encouragement have meant everything to me during these past six months.
Laura: It is nice to know that I still have a friend with whom I can make tasteless jokes during the most trying of times and who doesn’t think I’m a bad person. God bless you.
Tim: Your words of encouragement over a long distance brought me more comfort than you can imagine.
Kym: You have always been one of my biggest cheerleaders, and supporters. Thank you for all that you do, which is more than I can acknowledge here.
My Church Family:
I’ve never gone to a church long enough, or been involved enough to ever truly understand what people meant by the term “church family” but now I do. I get it. At a minimum I haven’t had to cook for weeks but the best part has been feeling the love of so many people praying for me. FOR ME? So many people from our church have called, written, stopped by, sent notes to tell us that they are thinking about us, praying for us and offering to help. People we barely know – people we have just met. I have never been the recipient of such charity and kindness and although at times it was hard to humbly accept I couldn’t have survived without it.
There truly is not enough space. To thank my family properly would take an entire blog post. However, I need to give the biggest thank you to my in-laws, Carolyn & Max, who have basically lived with us for the past three weeks and without whom my family would have surely fallen into crisis. They have done dishes, bathed kids, unpacked, cooked meals, assembled furniture, done car pool, gone grocery shopping, babysat, dressed kids, moved furniture, hauled trash, etc, etc – you get the idea. They have been angels supporting David and I and letting us know every step of the way that we are not alone.
My Partner, My Friend, My Love
Stress like this can either bring a couple together or tear them apart. When faced with a heart-crushing, mind-boggling amount of stress David has a tendency to take that out on the person closest to him — me. When I’m stressed and feeling the weight of the world I get stubborn, prideful and controlling. We’re lovely. So you can only imagine how conversations have been going in our house. Let’s just say that far too many of them ended with me saying “you’re an ass” and David saying “why are you being so stubborn?”
There was something rather cathartic about my unexpected natural childbirth. The physical pain, screaming and my complete dependence on David allowed us to release all the stress, anxiety and frustration that had been swirling around us for months. When labor was finished and Harper was welcomed into the world David and I stood there once again united. Look at what we had done? We knew that this past six months was going to be hard and even though it ended up being more stressful than we anticipated we did it and we now stand on the other side.
A strength of a marriage is not measured when times are good but when they are bad – not in health but in sickness. I cannot imagine facing the trials and challenges of life with anybody else by my side. The greatest gift David and I have for each other is forgiveness. All the mean things said and hurtful actions over the past six months I forgive, and I know David forgives me. None of it matters. What matters now is that we have a family of five, a new home that our children can grow up in and my best friend is standing by my side sharing it with me.