My dad has worked his whole life to make things better. He takes care of people. There was never a night that I stayed out too late that he was not awake, waiting for me. He never fails to ask what he can do for someone else, whether it be picking up frozen peas for my roommate or remodeling a house for a pastor. He shows up every time. This is who he is.
I get this from him… this need to take care of things. And at twenty-two years old, I am learning how to be responsible.
Sometimes, If I am not worried, I fear I am failing to take care of things and be responsible. So I worry a lot. To the point of tears and paralysis, often.
How can we possibly survive living paycheck to paycheck, feeling like there is never enough oil in our jars, the summer my brother’s car broke down, I had to balance my bill for college in order to graduate… the winter my dad lost his job at home and I had a hundred and four degree flu at school and I was too afraid to tell him because I knew he would worry because that’s what he does.
How do we make it when it feels like the world has rolled on top of us and this time its going to be different, you’re so sure that you won’t make it. When I’m exhausted, and just want to be finished because I don’t know if I’ll survive another day of this uncertainty and things falling apart.
And it doesn’t seem to ever stop. I can’t get Simon Bolivar’s last words out of my head: “damn it, how will I ever get out of this labyrinth?”
When you reach the light at the end of this tunnel, you know it will scorch you, leave you gasping, and its all a cruel trick because there are always more lines you have to cross and hoops you have to jump through just to get through the day. The mornings you wake up tired and it takes every ounce of courage to get out of bed and face whatever is waiting for you on the other side of your bedroom door.
I have a lot of those mornings. More than I care to count. The devil lures me into fear and then laughs at me, making me feel like a complete and total failure when I give in.
I need to get it together, I tell myself.
But what I really need is to grab onto grace sufficient for my weakness.
To sing in faith: I will not fear the war. I will not fear the storm, my help is on the way.
Even if I have to sing through tears, curled up on the floor. To finally breathe, calmed by the measures, by the repeating of scripture over and over and over again.
Because when you breathe panic, there is no way to be filled. Chest rises and falls out of control and its just so fast and you barely receive any oxygen that way.
You must come empty to the altar. Because the God who spoke into the chaos of darkness brought about a living, breathing world, all for the sake of loving it. He is before all things, and in Him, everything is held together.
When I lack faith, He is faithful. He who has promised is faithful.
He sustains me because he loves me. And surely He knows what I need before I ask. So I allow myself to breathe in slow the mercy. The grace that never leaves me where it found me, because He who began this work will be faithful to bring it to completion.