Updated: Jan 26
It was time for Z to go for another x-ray. It was 5:30 a.m., it had been a rough night, and my head was pounding once again from sleeping with the dry hospital air blowing down from above me all night long.
He was woken by a diaper change from another blow-out caused by a bowel clean-out, followed by an invasive nasal suction that would make even the most tolerating person start their day on the wrong side of the bed. I knew he would need me to comfort him after being velcroed to a cold plastic examining table by strangers.
Attempting to wake my brain to communicate back to the nurse that I wanted to go along, I methodically swung my legs off the makeshift bed that overlooked the city from the 10th floor. On the way down the hall, I had enough vanity to ask her if any of my hair was bed-head-styled to point towards the heavens. She laughed and politely said it looked fine.
He felt exposed and tortured by the x-ray just like every other little person does. Such pitiful screams and cries come from those x-ray rooms. Immediately, when I picked him up, his cry changed from panic to a, "Comfort me, please!" kind of cry.
When we got back to the room I snuggled him in the rocking chair and sang him our favorite Mr. Roger's song, "It's You I Like." One of our "bestie" nurses, Monica, came in asking if I needed anything and I trustingly asked her to rummage through my purse looking for Motrin and Tylenol for my headache.
Nurses know that when they take care of the family members along with their patients it improves their patient's care.
After he was comfortable again, I went to get coffee. Upon returning to the room, I went over to the picture window next to my "bed" and pulled the cord to open the shade. I had set my coffee on the sill just before doing so. As the view opened before me, I couldn't help but well up with emotions and tears.
What I saw perfectly reflected my feelings, temperature, mental and emotional state; a slew of fog, coffee close at hand, and a medical building crowned with industrial machines, pieces of equipment, and pipes.
The day ahead of me was foggy. I needed the boost of energy and the medicinal effects of the coffee to keep me going. Like the building, I felt medical and mechanical. I believe some call this hospital fog.
I messaged my husband my woes. As I read the messages back to myself I heard myself invading his world with my foggy, grey words. Then the gentle Spirit of the Lord whispered to my weary soul.
"Abide in me and I will abide in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in me." John 15:4
I then changed the tone of my messages and shared the verse with Chris. He replied with,
"Come unto me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am gentle and lowly of heart and you will find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matt. 11:28-30
My feelings of weariness and heaviness began to morph into a sweet sense of ease, lightness, and hope. I could almost smell it. Sometimes when this happens, I even close my eyes and breathe in slowly with a sense of complete pleasure like the people on the old Folgers commercials. "The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup."
I was receiving a cup from my Savior.
It takes but a moment when one knows Him for one's whole perspective to change. He is kind, gentle, all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful, merciful, continuous, and always available.
I love hugs. I love being enveloped in the arms of those that I know genuinely love me. Sometimes I ask my husband for "strong-arm hugs." That just means, hug me tight and hold me for a bit. Now that some of my sons are grown, they can give me "strong-arm hugs" too. When I get these hugs, I just want to linger there, being held and forgetting all that is around me for those precious few moments. These are precious times.
I think of abiding in my Savior in exactly this way. The only difference is that He is always present and I can ask him for His "strong-arm hugs" at any time and they never have to end.
In His arms, I don't have to be strong. I don't have to know. I don't have to feel good. I don't have to do anything but be still. The only yoke (work) I have to take on is learning about Him and He gives me rest. That's easy! He says to "Cast all your anxieties on Me for I care for you." 1 Pet. 5:7 Do you see, the burden He wants us to have is easy, not foggy and heavy like what we so often feel.
In the earlier verses of Matt. 11, Jesus was rebuking the townspeople and religious leaders for rejecting Him. They wouldn't believe in Him even though they had witnessed His miracles and heard so much of His teachings.
They wanted to continue in their self-help ways and religious methods. They wanted to be able to be self-sufficient and figure out life's big and small questions on their own. Jesus' way was too easy. But, isn't that so opposite of what we want even though this is what we are inclined to do? We all ask, "Why is life so hard?" Life is hard, but Jesus is easy.
Do you see? He wants us to come to Him, believe in Him, trust in Him. He takes the hurts, work, and fog of life and meets us in the middle of it all and changes our perspective of the view.
The view before me hadn't changed. My circumstances were the same: my headache was still there, Z's medical issues and what they required were still a mystery and taxing, and what the day would bring was still a fog.
What had changed was my burden. Now it was easy. The work I had to do was light. When I abide (endure) in Him, He in return abides in me.
His "strong-arm hug" enveloped me from the inside out.
Mamas, whatever your situation or story, it is hard work that we do. It is physically exhausting, industrial, medical, mechanical, and we live our days more often than not in a fog. But, Jesus wants you to come to Him, abide in Him and wrap you in His strong-arm hug. You can go to that place anywhere, any time, day or night.
We can't clear the fog, drink enough coffee, or do enough work to save ourselves. Our self-help ways are fleeting and hopeless. It is in Him, and Him alone, that you will find your eternal peace and hope. He is your ever-present help in times of trouble.
"For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him. He is my rock and my salvation, my fortress, I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God" Psalm 62:5-7
This is what I wish for every mom on Mother's Day. His eye sees every situation and His strong arms can reach you right where you are. May the light and life of the Son pierce through your foggy days and feel the warmth of the eternal hope, rest, and love of the Savior.