Saturday night, actually. And as cliché as that sounds, it's true.
Saturday was a full day for me--amongst other things, visiting and dancing with my friend Hannah, whose mom has been in and out of the hospital with cancer lately. I had fully written this very post the day before. It was full of as much complaining as not I suppose--just about little things. And driving home that rainy Saturday night, it struck me. God is so good and I have every reason to be content.
My mom is in Florida right now. She left last Monday and will be gone for a total of about two weeks. Why, you ask? A year and a half ago my mom got sick. Really sick. So sick that she basically didn't get out of bed for a year. She was bedridden from constant vertigo attacks, and I won't go into the details, but it was horrible for her. Horrible to the point where she said that if she didn't have us kids, she would rather just die and be with Jesus. When I think back on it, that year was a blur of trying to survive.
For the past several months especially, my mom has been getting progressively better. It's not been easy, and there's been huge amounts of prayer, but just the fact that she was able to get out of bed was a huge step. As she healed, she was kinda thrust right into life again--home schooling my little sisters, driving places and such. She needed a break.
So last week, she headed to Florida to get away by herself. Dear friends, do you have any idea how much I'd love to be in Florida right now? I've never been before. Yeah. Being in Florida would make my day. Plus, there's now extra chores and duties thrust upon me [I've never been good at doing laundry, okay?]. And both of my little sisters have had emotional breakdowns that end with "we just wish mommy were heeerre!"
But despite all I'd like to complain about, I am so.blessed. If I think on it, it's truly a miracle that my mom can drive herself to Florida. Especially after visiting with Hannah, who is in the position I was last year--mom sick, not knowing what the future holds, praying so hard. I'm so grateful that my mom is actually well enough to take a much-needed trip by herself.
I know I've told you all about going to TeenPact this year, and I also mentioned my desire but decision not to go to one of TP's epic alumni events, a camp called National Convention. Last year I went, and it was the best week of my life. My brother went this year, and he got home Saturday. The first thing I did was run up to him, shake my finger in his face, and say, "Did you have the best week of your life?! Because you BETTER have had the best week of your life!" To which he replied, "Yep."
I really wanted to be there. Throughout the whole week, my heart was at that camp. Sure, there were money issues, but the main reason I didn't go? God didn't want me to. I don't know why, but I'm at peace with it. I'm sad that I wasn't there and I wish I could have seen all those people and I still want to be able to staff and possibly go next year. But it's not where God had me. So instead of complaining that I didn't go, I should focus on the fact that it's incredible to know that in my heart.
After pondering it, I thanked God. Thanked him that I had that best-time-of-my-life experience last year. Thanked him that my brother could have it this year. Thanked him that, because I had it before, I could relate to my brother having it now.
In all reality, I have so many little things to be grateful for. So many reasons to be content, if I'll only realize it.
Even if I'm working super long days from Wednesday to Sunday, I have an opportunity to make money and awesome friends to work with.
Even if my face isn't always the most attractive thing in the world, I have cover-up and people who love me anyway.
Even if I couldn't find a tank top to match that summer dress I just bought, I have enough money to buy myself a dress.
Even if I'm extremely nearsighted, I have the option of wearing my glasses and hey--I get to see bokeh all the time.
Even if it was an unbearably and oppressively humid Memorial Day, I have air conditioning, ice cream, cold water, and friends to spend it with.
Last Saturday, that wave of contentment and gratitude came suddenly, as if God was just pouring himself over me to say, "Open your eyes."
And all of a sudden I am unaware // Of these afflictions eclipsed by glory // And I realize just how beautiful you are // And how great your affections are for me
I don't want to live just for the sake of focusing on the moment and miss what really matters. I want to step back and breathe in the bigger picture. The picture painted in bold colors and confident brush strokes. The picture that screams, "God loves me. He has given me so much. He is good. Always, always good."