My week has been a bit of a rollercoaster. I had everything scheduled. I made a to-do list. I knocked out tasks left, right, and center. I even got a head start on my writing. Unfortunately, everything unraveled with some unexpected events Thursday morning. Like a Jenga tower, all my carefully crafted plans came crashing down.
I faced Friday morning with my stomach and shoulders in knots. We were running behind. I had overslept, the kids were dragging, and we made it to school just as the first bell sounded.
My daughter had a school performance that morning, so I ran home, grabbed my list of errands and my pile of shopping bags, then sped back to the school. I sat in the car for an extra minute, steeling myself for what lay ahead.
Not only did I have an impossibly long list of things that had to get done by 6, but I wasn’t sure how my daughter would do with this performance. I don’t care if my kids make mistakes in a performance—it’s all a learning process—but my oldest child is highly volatile under pressure and I didn’t want her to be embarrassed in front of all her peers.
My child has a neurological disorder. Doctors haven’t been able to name it, but they know it’s there. This disorder is some weird cross between high-functioning autism, sensory processing disorder, and ADHD. It’s like she has a sampling of multiple disorders and so it’s difficult to treat. She’s been doing so much better this year, but anxiety still makes her unpredictable.
I gritted my teeth determinedly, took a steadying breath, and got out of the car. As I prepared to cross the parking lot, the sight of the sunrise stopped me in my tracks. The dark purple clouds looked as though they were catching fire. Golden light peeked through the narrow gap between clouds and horizon. It was breathtaking.
As I stood there, momentarily distracted, I remembered something important: the same God who made this marvelous sunrise knows all my needs. He knows. He cares. He is as dependable as the sunrise.
I took a picture and headed inside. I sighed as I recalled that in all the chaos of the past 24 hours, I hadn’t been able to finish my writing.
When I entered the auditorium, it was already half-full and there were no seats with a good view of the risers.
Great. Hopefully she’ll be on one of the risers and not on the ground.
I shared the following to the Elihu’s Corner Facebook page while I waited for the performance to start:
The circumstances hadn’t changed, but for a brief moment, I felt some much-needed reassurance.
I watched the kids file in. My daughter was on the bottom row and blocked from my direct line of sight by the music director. Fabulous. I sighed, wondering if I should get up and move, risking the ire of the parents around me. I kept my eyes fixed on her face and waved, bobbing around the heads of parents, trying to catch her eye. She couldn’t spot me. Her face fell. She thought I hadn’t come. The knots tightened in my stomach.
She started coughing. When the kids started singing, she looked at the ground, her face red. Then she had a horrible coughing fit and ran off stage. Her math teacher—I found out later—got her some water, gave her a hug, and encouraged her to go ahead and perform. She told her, “Just focus on one face in the crowd and don’t think about how many people there are. You can look straight at me if it helps.”
I am so thankful to God for kind-hearted teachers!
She slipped back into the group and struggled through, still coughing quite a bit. Finally, she spotted me and her face lit up like a Christmas tree. I was relieved. When the performance ended and the kids exited, I filed back to the front on the school with the crowd of parents, my mind gearing up for the tasks ahead. I had eight hours to get everything done. The clock in my head started ticking again. I silently wished I could really have a time turner. I got in the car, stuck the keys in the ignition, and… my phone buzzed.
My daughter’s homeroom teacher texted me and asked if I was still on campus. My daughter was having a rough time. I headed back inside, told my mental clock to shut down already, checked in with the office, and headed to her classroom. She just needed some reassurance. I did what I could. I didn’t want to go too deep because I was worried she’d fall apart in front of her peers again. I wasn’t sure it helped at the time, but she told me later that the rest of the day—including the second performance for the school—went just fine.
While I was walking out, her math teacher stopped me to introduce herself. She had such nice things to say about my daughter and she filled me in on what had happened during the performance. Again, I’m so thankful God provided these two amazing women to teach my daughter this year.
I can’t say the rest of the day went smoothly. Just because we have these wonderful moments of connection with God, doesn’t mean the circumstances change. God pulled me through the day and somehow the important things got accomplished. Days like yesterday are a reminder that God is always calling us to look for Him in moments of joy and hours of distress. His creation shouts to us every single day, declaring His faithfulness and power. Are we listening? Are we taking their testimony to heart? Are we remembering His steadfast love when we hear their call?
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.”
Psalms 19:1-5, ESV
If you’re stomach is in knots today, or your heart is heavy with grief, take a moment to marvel at something in God’s creation. Watch the birds. Look at the flowers. Marvel at the changing colors of the leaves. The Lord who dwells within you is greater than your distress. His love for you never ceases.