I lay there in the stillness of the night, exhaustion crashing over my body intensely like waves on the shoreline during a storm.
Years ago, my husband and I lived on the central coast of California, one my favorite places we have ever lived. Being across the street from the ocean was the greatest gift. Seeing the water out our front window, going for a run on the beach a few mornings a week, and simply the sound of the waves. It was breathtaking, something I never grew old of.
A massive storm hit the coast one winter. There was thunder and lightening, unlike anything I had experienced in the few years I lived there. There were raging winds and torrential rain. The weather was forecasting substantial surf along the shoreline and cautioning people to stay away from the beach. After David got home from work one afternoon in the middle of it all, we hopped in the car to get a closer look (at a safe distance of course!).
It was unlike anything I had ever seen, almost as if it were a scene straight out of a movie. Or perhaps the east coast when a hurricane is brewing out in the Atlantic Ocean. We drove by the local pier in town, parked safely away and watched. The waves in all of their intensity and vastness crashed down on the pier so you could hardly see the brown planks getting lost in a sea of whitecaps.. It was wild and I had never before felt as small as I did in that very moment. I remembering thinking the waves could take a person out in well fell swoop without pause.
“I was there when He established the heavens, when He laid out the horizon on the surface of the ocean, when He placed the skies above, when the fountains of the ocean gushed out, when He set a limit for the sea so that the waters would not violate His command, when He laid out the foundations of the earth.” -Proverbs 8:27-29
I sat in the car that day in shock and awe. I couldn’t believe the calm waves of the Central Coast could rage with such power. Thankful I was sitting far enough away, I was not in any immediate danger of being swept out to sea.
The storms of life can often seem so intense. This situation maybe no different. Sitting at home for days on end without the connection we were made for. Add in a very extroverted personality plus a preschooler with a communication delay and it’s a recipe for difficult days.
The soft glow of my husband’s computer screen casted shadows on the wall in the dark night, a sight that was new to me, given the current pandemic sweeping across the world, allowing him to work from home more often these days. Unfamiliar territory, slowly, we are searching for our new rhythm of life.
Sleep begged to overtake my tired bones, my mind racing unable to give into the utter exhaustion from the days events. Attempting to manage homeschooling my three daughters along with multiple therapy sessions for my youngest while trying to figure out why she has been screaming constantly the past several days since the start of this whole situation, it feels like a lot.
The girls were asleep and the only sound was coming from husband’s breathing, in and out, peacefully, rhythmically. I, too, should be asleep but I am finding it difficult in these recent days to fall asleep and stay asleep. I can only imagine why and know perhaps several others are experiencing a similar story.
The new season of exhaustion has come in heavy handed determined to pin me down. I want to fight against it, but I find myself giving into it, allowing my mind race, to use it as an excuse for spiraling and inviting in the frustration that often follows spiral. Allowing worst case scenario thoughts in and giving them permission to stay awhile.
Deep seated fears have crept to the forefront of my mind. Completely justified in my mind, thinking back to all that we have been through in the past several years. Enough pain and sorrow, unexpected and unknown to last a lifetime. Yet, here we are again, more unknown.
I have two options… continue to spiral, allow the cycle or STOP. Surrender. Replace those thoughts with TRUTH.
What is true today?
We are healthy.
We are together.
Most importantly, we are loved by God.
Fatigue pours over me and in my last few waking moments before finally drifting off into slumber, I internally list the truths I know about God and His character. One by one. I may not feel it in this moment, but He is near, just like He has always been. Exactly like the first night we brought our youngest home from the two month hospital stay as she went through an excruciating time of two life-saving heart surgeries followed by the eleven day ICU stay a few short months later, her body fighting the dreaded RSV (a respiratory virus extremely dangerous for healthy infants, but even scarier for infants with heart and lung issues like Bernadette).
This is me fighting, fighting to hold onto the truth in the midst of the chaos and the overwhelm, putting one foot in front of the other, emotions and all. Falling into the arms of the One who has never left me, that “even the winds and the sea obey Him” as it says in Matthew 8.
Cling to the truth, my friends.