28 days

I was sick for 28 days. Illnesses came in succession, with hours or, at best, a day in between. It was a the longest 28 days I've experienced in awhile. I fully realize that I'm not the only one who has been hit hard by illness in the past couple of months. Every time I check Facebook, someone is complaining about being ill, their children being ill or the entire family being ill. (By the way, I was totally guilty of this.) I think it's just been a bad season.

Twenty-eight days is a relatively short amount of time, but a long time to be sick. In the latter half of those 28 days, I began to feel as if I lived in a bubble--looking out at people who were living life normally, while I was stuck at home unable to do much of anything. I desperately wanted to do things. I was depressed, and a little jealous of all of the healthy people playing with their children, going to work, cooking yummy meals and wanting to eat them.

I don't have any deep insights about why I think God allowed me to be sick for so long or why literally everything I had been doing came to an abrupt halt. I haven't figured out an overall plan in this which somehow allows me to think about it all with a knowing grin. I'm not even glad it happened. Honestly, I wish it hadn't. I hated the days I couldn't take care of Micah. I felt guilty for asking for so much help, even though I was super appreciative for it. (Thank you Brandon, Nona, Mom and Debbie for all of the chicken soup, for taking such good care of Micah and for your faithful prayers. I love you.) Even though I can now manage to cook dinner, clean the kitchen and bathe Micah at night before I collapse with exhaustion, I'm still not at my normal energy level. I don't know if a person can understand why bad things happen regardless of how bad the bad thing scores on the "How Bad Bad Things Rank" list. (Yes, I realize my bad thing doesn't rank very high, but I give it at least a 3.)

And yet, I trust.

I trust that God does have a plan in it all. I trust that the plan is for my good. I trust that God can work out His plans and purposes without my help. And I do smile, just not with any level of knowing. I'll admit it--I'm clueless here.

I smile because I haven't run fever in almost two weeks. I smile because I was given gifts from the Psalms, such as, "For You will light my lamp; The Lord will enlighten my darkness," [Psalm 18:28) "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life," (Psalm 23:6) and "For You have considered me in my trouble; You have known my soul in adversities" (Psalm 31:7b). The blessings at the end of the 28 days sit in a heaping pile at which I stand back and marvel with a clueless, dopey grin--a restful family vacation, the ability to celebrate Micah's 2nd birthday on Saturday, the Marriage Oneness study Brandon and I have begun together, utterly unexpected answers to longtime prayers. And these things given, when I can't and couldn't give God a single thing in return other than my unfailing belief that He would eventually heal me and that He is always good . . . especially in times of trial. And yet we know that faith is not something we can conjure or muster. Faith is a gift; more evidence of God's goodness. (Ephesians 2:8)

For my family, friends and friends' families that have struggled too long with being sick:

"I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord."

-Psalm 27:13-14

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