Giving Thanks . . . When You're a Mess

Loveys, I haven't wanted to talk about this. Really. I'm still conflicted right now.

But this morning, the fabulous Glennon from Momastery posted a note on Instagram that hit me emotionally. Just a few raw comments about her depression. And I remembered why I think she's made such a difference to so many people.

Because sometimes a little honesty frees us.

So here's the truth, loveys: Last Thursday was the worst day of my life. (Not an exaggeration.)

The worst day. All was well at first. It was the Jeffster's birthday. I'd booked a babysitter and made reservations at a fun restaurant. It was going to be a great evening. We needed a date desperately.

And then.

And then an accident happened at my house and Lily was hurt. Those last three words still cause anxiety to flare up all over me. I called the doctor's office and talked to the nurse. Then she called back to check on us. I kept watching Lily closely. I called the nurse again. She paused and said, "And how are you, Mom?" Um, I'm a wreck. She knew it. I knew it. Jeff knew it. (He came home from work.) I kept watching Lily and I just felt . . . scared. And terrible. And sick. This was on my watch. I'm not supposed to let things like this happen. So many overwhelming feelings. Jeff and I talked and watched Lily, and something didn't feel right. So I packed up Lily and drove to the doctor's office. They got us in right away. The doctor was great. He calmly checked her out, then I could see him visibly grow concerned. He was trying not to scare me (since I was already crying), but told me we'd need to take her to the hospital.

Thank heavens we had a sitter lined up. She came to watch the kids, and Jeff and I took Lily to the hospital. I grabbed a toothbrush and some socks, just in case. So, instead of date night, Jeff and I sat together with Lily at the children's hospital. Jeff was awesome. Strong and calm and capable. I was like a weepy leaf. Shaking and crying and literally beside myself.

There were some tests and as it got later, we realized that we'd be there overnight. Eventually Jeff had to go relieve the babysitter and I settled in with my toothbrush and socks. My sister came up to be with me. Thank goodness. I was so relieved when she walked in, carrying Starbucks and an extra sweatshirt and a throw blanket for me. I needed to not be alone. Gosh, the blessing of family. Thank you, Lord. I was so upset that I couldn't really talk about it. I still don't really want to talk about it. But it occurred to me that these things happen to lots of families. Accidents and trips to the ER and moments we don't want to relive. Moments where you cry and shake your head and want to turn back time. Do you know those moments, lovey? Have you had them? And if we can't tell anyone, then we go through it alone, for the most part. It's okay to keep things private. I'm a rather private person. Some things should be private. But then there comes a moment where you feel completely lost and alone and you need people to pray. You need hugs and reminders that people love you and they love your children and they'll show up if you need them to. You need that friend who cries the minute you tell her, because she loves you and loves your kids. You need that friend who immediately wants to help, no matter how late it is. She'll drop everything and drive across town to the hospital if you need her. You need your family to pray. You need your sister to hug you until you finally relax and a little of the tension seeps away.

God does cool things for us sometimes.

My best friend from Texas was flying in on Friday. This has been planned for weeks. As we drove to the hospital Thursday, in the back of my mind I kept thinking that this was all terrible and I wish it hadn't happened. Michelle was coming. I couldn't even bring myself to call and tell her. I knew she'd be flying with Gillian and traveling is stressful--so I didn't even send a text. Jeff picked her up from the airport and explained as they drove to the hospital. You guys know about Michelle. How we've been BFFs since we were twelve. It's a 25-year-long friendship, loveys. It's real. We live in different states and last year was crazy with both of us moving, so we haven't seen each other in two years. Then she walks into the hospital room where I'm standing there in clothes I've worn for two days, my hair is frizzy. Lily spit up on the sweatshirt I had, so I've got a blanket around my shoulders. I didn't get to clean house like I thought I would before Shell arrived.

And it's like we've never been apart.

(I just started crying again.) And rather than spend the next several days absolutely consumed by things I can't control, God sent someone to share the moment with me. We took Lily home. She's doing well. I'm still a bit of a shaky mess, but all I can do is keep praying and be thankful things weren't worse than they were. We'll watch Lily closely and love on her. She's her regular, smiley self.

And I am so, so thankful for that gorgeous smile. For my beautiful baby. For friends who care and pray. For family who make all the difference. For Jeff.

My time with Michelle was wonderful. I'm so thankful she was here. God knew weeks before that having her here would help. Our kids played together. She got to hold Lily. We sat together on the porch Sunday night and watched the full moon and talked about everything.

We still need prayers over here. I still need the support of people who care about us. We're entering the season of thanks. Of gathering together. I feel it, lovey. There are pumpkins out and chalkboard signs about thankfulness and fall. There are Gather pillows and things everywhere that remind us it's time to come together and be grateful for what we have. I feel all that. It's more than words to me. It's truth. We need each other. When everything feels scary and you feel weak underneath it all. When you worry that you're not a very good mom. When you cry because you feel broken and tired. When someone sends you a text just to tell you they're thinking about you . . . we need each other. We went to the doctor again today and my little Lily was a bundle of smiles, as usual. You know what kept going through my head? That song/scripture. I will enter His courts with thanksgiving in my heart. It's possible to feel thankful and a little overwhelmed all in one swoop. We're fragile people, lovey. But we're strong too. It's a crazy kind of thing.

Thank you, Lord. For babies and friends and true love and coffee and doctors and hospitals.


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