Anxiety is there when I wake. I crawl out of bed, the sick baby who slept in my arms stirs and cries. I stumble into the kitchen to pour cereal and make coffee. Now two of three of my children are crying, the third is so glued to a screen she is oblivious to the others. The husband woke up with the older girls to let me sleep in, gracious and thoughtful, but my mind still groans under the weight of sleeplessness.
“I may need you more today than most days, Jesus.”
Then I think, “Well, that’s a dumb thing to say, I need you desperately every day.” But it rings a little true as I try to keep up with three people’s immediate needs while neglecting all of mine. I need coffee, I need food so I can take medication, I need to pee, I need Jesus.
“Sustain me, fill in where I lack. I am not enough and I feel like I am about to break. You are greater than my mind, greater than my brokenness.”
Every morning starts this way.
I get to the settled part, the moment when everyone’s needs are momentarily satisfied and they run off to giggle and play. I get to the quiet, and my mind’s noise consumes.
I turn on some worship music and tuck my knees under me on the floor, head in hands. I need to posture myself in submission, to accept his grace and remember that I don’t have to stand on my own two rickety legs. I tuck into “child’s pose” because I am a child. I need His arms to wrap around me.
Tiny feet pad down the stairs. Tiny ponytail standing straight up. She crawls next to me on the floor, whimpering. Pushing herself under my chest, she curls into a ball and rests her head on my arm. Tears still cling to her cheeks, but I feel her body relax. I feel the wetness of her dress, the cause of her tears—she’s had an accident. Mouth covered in the crumbs of stolen cookies, her clothes wet and smelly. I pull her close to my chest, my own child’s pose wrapping around hers.
Her mess cannot deter my love.
We rest there, breathing in each other’s air. I am her and she is me. We roleplay the state of my heart right there in my living room. My mess does not stop Jesus’ steadfast love. It comes at me, violent, tearing up the world to curl itself around my filth. HESED. Covenant love is one way. Covenant love cannot be repelled or repulsed.
He has traded His good for my sorrow.
And so, we start our day.