“All that you have for me today I joyfully receive”
-Amy Grant in her book “Mosaic”
That prayer has become my game changer. The simple faith that is embodied in one short sentence has redirected my gaze back to Christ; usually in the moments that seem the farthest removed from my own definition of good.
I hesitated to share the following, because I don’t want it to sound boastful, trite, or superficial. Originally I had determined to write this as a third person narrative in order to conceal intimate details of my own life.
Instead, I have been convicted that it’s my story, my struggle; and it’s time to tell it.
My beautiful family is blended. Some of our children spend part of their time with us, some of our children spend all of their time with us, and one of our children is a young adult. In our family like everyone else’s, germs happen. Infection spreads. Sickness occurs.
Life is interrupted.
As in, exposure happened.
Red throats happened. Plural throats.
In the moment that I received that text apologizing for a child’s positive result; I stood at a crossroads. I could have exploded a venomous sarcastic spew of hurt.
Amy Grant’s prayer lilted through my mind like a lyrical melody of hope and grace. I was reminded of another conversation in the past month; one where teary eyes were seen, gracious yet true confrontation happened, and I humbly accepted full responsibility for an horrendously painful mistake. I was recently gifted with the forgiveness that I did not deserve, and the genuine friendship that I had done nothing to earn.
Who am I to refuse forgiveness when I have been forgiven so fully, and embraced into friendship so completely?
So, I responded with a text that simply said, “It’s forgiven”.
That was NOT where it ended.
In my volunteer work, there is a year-end celebration that James and I look forward to every December. We put on our nice clothes and enjoy a date night, complete with prime rib, fun socializing, a recap of the year’s accomplishments, and my personal favorite: a whipped sweet potato bar, with bacon bits for toppings!
Can you guess where this is going?
First, Marissa had it. Next, Ruby had the symptoms. I was starting to feel feverish on the morning of the celebration. I left work in a hurry to rush Ruby and I to our consecutive appointments. I ran into the house to wake her, and the dog thought it was a game. I opened my eyes as I hit the fridge on my way to the floor. I laid on my back, staring at the ceiling.
I peeled myself up, rushed Ruby to the car; and everything else went downhill from there. I missed the exit. I missed the driveway. The self check-in kiosk wouldn’t let me past, so we were even later.
I had the same choice to make again and again: either I choose to remember that I already forgave this, or I stay bitter…and make myself into a liar.
I prayed that I would receive everything today with JOY, right?
I gave my word that would receive EVERYTHING with JOY, right?
So, I yielded my right to be angry. I gave up my indignation. In that Holy Spirit-filled moment of supernatural grace, I had joy as I trusted that my Daddy God would somehow take it and turn this situation into a beautiful gift.
Ruby also had a positive test result. My test may have been too early in the incubation stage, as my fever had just begun to rise. We picked up James from work, and set out to pick up our medicine. While at the doctor’s office, they had discovered a different underlying infection in me, aside from the potential throat infection.
On the way, I called to say that I wouldn’t be at the year-end celebration. I couldn’t potentially infect so many people just because of my selfish desire to enjoy my friends while consuming large quantities of whipped sweet potatoes out of a margarita glass.
At the pharmacy, my prescription coverage wouldn’t run. I’ve recently been assigned to 2 coverage plans, one as the primary insurance and one as secondary insurance.
Enter the computer glitch.
Forty minutes later, the pharmacist and I had both made phone calls, and we had each spoken with multiple people.
Representatives from my insurance company all patiently attacked the computer glitch to rectify the situation. The pharmacist patiently walked them through the process.
Again, another choice to keep my word and choose joy in everything.
In my heart, I quietly prayed and asked, “God, what are you doing here? I trust you… I just don’t understand.”
He reminded me of the $8.00 difference that was adjusted…and also of the more than 100,000 other subscribers; some of whom also have two coverages, and who need that extra money as much or more than we do.
I was reminded of how when we lift our eyes off of our comfort, and fix them in joyful trust onto our faithful creator, He makes one big mess into a beautiful story of forgiveness and redemption… Infections, germs and all.