When you are at a traffic light waiting for the left turn arrow, do you ever have a mini-panic attack in your heart? I mean, you saw the road clearly painted left turn only. You have turned left here many times before, yet somehow the oncoming traffic makes you doubt, and you glance in your rearview mirror to make doubly sure that you are where you are supposed to be. I can’t believe this still happens to me after living in the same city for more than 30 years.
Today is the first day of Thanksgiving break. A day where I don’t have to get my kids ready for school. A day where I can cuddle my husband in the morning, but it is 6:12 am and I am wide awake, drinking coffee and reading my Bible. Here is the part where some would expect me to say something inspirational like, “God is my priority. God doesn’t take days off and neither should I”, but that does not match the morning or my inner thoughts.
My 5-year old son woke up at 4:30 with a fever. He has a terrible cough and I of course gave him some Motrin, a cool washcloth, a drink of water, a loving prayer and all that good stuff. All was well. I went back to bed and just as I was falling asleep again, he comes into my bedroom asking me to turn some music on for him. Of course, I obliged. My sweet, poor baby is sick. He needs this. I walked into his room, pushed play on my decades old CD player and music blared loudly through the dented speakers. He had turned the volume all the way up and set a trap. He giggled triumphantly. “I did that” He had pulled this prank before. I didn’t expect it now, while he was feeling unwell. Surely he wouldn’t do something like this at 5:30 in the morning before sunrise. Surely he wouldn’t risk waking his sister. Surely he knows that we can finally sleep in after weeks and weeks of the struggles and fights we have to get to school on time. Anger stirred inside me. In a strange and sleepily firm voice, I told him that was not okay, but believe me, I wanted to say way more than that. I decided there was no point in trying to go back to sleep, because either he was going to keep coughing or this prank was enough to trigger his trained school-hour mind to stay awake. So the reason I am reading my Bible?…..
This incident was dangerous, because it set me on a whirlwind of anger and guilt in my mind.
“What do I do?”
“Shame on you for being mad. He is sick.”
“I can’t punish him.”
“Just let it go. He’s a kid.”
“I can’t let him think this is okay.”
“He needs to understand what he did.”
“He ticked me off.”
“I swear, if my husband comes out and tells me to go back to bed I will curse him out.”
So what do you do? I could have easily missed the fact that my son, while wheezy and feverish, still felt joy. He may be feeling miserable, but he had enough energy to laugh. Even as I am typing this, the annoyance remains and I wonder if I handled it in the best way. I suppose I did, because at least I kept myself from yelling. It is a relief that he isn’t so bed-ridden that I am awake with worry and fear over his health. Instead I chose to be awake with a determined desire for calm and repentance. I have a realization that I can turn left now, because even though anger, tiredness, and pride tried to surround me this morning, God sent me in another direction.
Sometimes it can seem that our problems are closing in all around us.
It’s okay. For I am full of pent-up words, and the spirit within me urges me on. I must speak to find relief, so let me give my answers.
Job 32:18, 20
You’re Safe. You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Isaiah 26:3 NLT
Turn Left. A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.
Proverbs 27:12 NLT
All that My Father gives Me will come to Me; and the one who comes to Me I will most certainly not cast out [I will never, never reject anyone who follows Me].
John 6:37 AMP
His Word steers my attention away from the oncoming danger and focuses my destin(ation)y. His peace keeps me from looking behind me and dwelling on negativity. It allows me to trust Him, as well as my maternal abilities and I can peacefully move on.