It was 1 am, early Saturday morning and I’d been up for more than 24 hours with my sick dog. I let Jake outside for yet another round of soiling himself, another round of wiping his back end when he came in. Maybe it was the sleep deprivation, maybe the sappy movies I’d been watching while keeping my eye on him through the evening. Maybe it was the fresh air. I cried hard as I walked him around the block. I cried not because I was worried about my dog, but because of all the times I wasn’t worried about my dog. I cried because it seems to me the only time I let myself get close to anything or anyone is in that moment that I think I might be losing them. I cried mostly because I can feel so close to God in the hard times and struggles, but not so much when things are going well. I cried because I don’t know how to turn to God unless I’m pain, and I really don’t want to live a life of pain just to feel close to Him.
I heard Laura Story’s song Blessings this afternoon and I’m reminded that if struggle is what brings me closer to God, I can be grateful for the struggle.
As I typed this, I turned and looked a picture on my wall that my daughter Tori made. It’s a picture of me (you can tell because I have curly hair, brown eyes, and I’m wearing my favorite color, orange). I am standing in the midst of storm clouds, rain drops and lightning all around, yet Tori gave me a big smile. Down at the bottom it says, “I am thankful for Mom.” Perhaps there are reasons beyond my understanding that I feel closest to God in the midst of the storm. Maybe it’s not all about me.