You all know the phrase: When it rains, it pours. When you feel like you just can’t take any more sadness, heartache, trying news, bad luck, illness, it just piles on higher. This is the rainy season of our lives. I keep hoping for a break in the storm that just won’t come. I had said to Hubby, “I really can’t take anymore.” And then more came raining down on us. How do you find your way through the rainy season of your life? When you feel abandoned, forgotten, alone, how do you push through to find the rainbow at the end of the storm? I can’t even imagine what might be next for us. I don’t dare ask anymore, “What else?”
September found me super stressed. I was overwhelmed with life for some reason. Then in the first week of October, the company Hubby had worked for for ten years suddenly closed their doors. Before he even called to tell me the news that Thursday morning, he already had another job lined up. That’s just the kind of man he is. A week later we learned we were unexpectedly expecting. The timing was not what we would have chosen, but we leaned on each other in love and knew we would love this child with all our hearts.
Over the next two months I spent my limited energy switching over insurance, shaving our budget, and trying to keep up with three little people. The Hubby worked himself to the bone at the new job by day and trying to reconcile the outstanding contracts from the previous job by night.
Little Man weaned just before his first birthday because the nursing aversion was awful for me. Otherwise, I felt great pregnany-wise. Which scared me a little, because I felt great during Faith’s pregnancy too and she didn’t make it. There were so many similarities in these two pregnancies. I kept telling myself it didn’t matter, that this was a different pregnancy. I trusted the nurses and receptionists who told me it was ok to start care at 10 weeks, even though I’m high risk and was on daily shots during Little Man’s pregnancy. I kept waiting on insurance to kick in so I could schedule that first appointment. I may have been nervous at the prospect of having four under six years old, but I was happy to be expecting this extra little blessing. This extra child to bring love and happiness to our home.
Then three days before Christmas I went to the ultrasound appointment that changed it all. Baby Aimee wouldn’t be coming home. The sprinkle on our life rained harder. Somehow we made it through the last Christmas festivities and preparations. On Christmas day two of our Littles got sick, and Little Miss showed signs of croup the next day. We stayed home and tried to rest, tried to heal. I tried to stifle the depression that was creeping in. The anger began. We were now in the midst of a heavy downpour.
Then Hubby learned the new job was conducting company-wide pay cuts. He got some concerning news regarding his old job. We went in for the D&C. The procedure coincided with the coldest week of the year, during which we had to winterize pipes, faucets, and animal waterers, and cover the garden. not a big deal, unless you already have too much on your plate. Recovery was harder than anticipated. I reached another low in my grief journey. I started to feel a little better, and then worse again.
At first I thought I just had a cold. I got mad. I’m still in recovery mode and I get sick on top of it all? “I can’t handle one more thing.” In the middle of the night Little Man woke up with a fever of 101.5. I laid on the cool leather of the couch with him. Both of us sick. Alone in the middle of the night. A few hours later, after a dose of Ibuprofen, he was up to 102.3. I came to a place of surrender. “Really, God? This too? Protect our family. Heal us.” Still with a chip on my shoulder, I prayed.
The next day I found myself in prayer many times. Small breath prayers, the way I usually pray. It was Saturday and Hubby was out working a side job. A day of survival. We somehow made it through the day, but it became clear this was no ordinary cold (thanks, mom). This was the flu. The girls came down with it on Sunday. Hubby worked a little in the morning, then went on an expedition to find dried elderberries. The two stores that normally carry them were out. I said just come home. I would have to make a tiny batch of elderberry syrup with what we had left. It would have to do. On the way home, he called with a flat tire. I piled our flu-ridden family into the car to rescue him with a jack so he could change his tire. Last night the Hubby started coughing. And today he is working his day job and then a side job this evening.
As I read through my Facebook comments this morning in response to the whole family being sick, I kept reading “When it rains, it pours.” It sure does. BUT, maybe, as Laura Story so eloquently put it, “Maybe His blessings come through raindrops. Maybe His healing comes through tears.” It took me reaching that “I can’t do anymore” moment, and then having one more thing pile on top, for me to surrender to Him.
The Broken Way reminds us that Love bears all things. “To bear,” is stego in Greek, which literally means a thatch roof. “Love bears all things like a roof bears the wind and the rain, like a roof that bears the burden of lashing storms, brutal heat.” Love bears even my brokenness, even this torrential downpour of life we find ourselves in. “You never have to overcome your brokenness to claim God’s love. His love has already overcome your brokenness and claimed you.” He loved me first. He loves me through it all and has already received me just as I am.
I know that many years down the road Hubby and I will look back on this storm of our lives and celebrate that we made it through because of God’s love for us. But Not Right Now. Right now we are in the midst of it and just trying to make it through. And praying for the storm to end soon.