Monday, May 19, 2008

Even Especially in the Small Stuff

It's been said that the devil is in the details. And I wouldn't argue with that myself. Having seen and been on the receiving end of too many little things gone awry, I know firsthand how easily the devil meets me in my weakness in those moments. What I hadn't stopped to think about much until now, is that, if I stop for a minute to give the devil his due and not allow myself to become captive to his tactics, I'd remember that God is always there.

Several times over the last week, there has been ample opportunity for me to buy into the lies of the devil over what is, in reality, small stuff.

About 20 minutes from home, my gas-guzzling SUV began to overheat...with all six kids in tow and me alone at the wheel. Watching the needle of the thermostat cross the middle line and head for that tiny red danger zone, my anxiety and frustration mounted. The fact that my husband was an hour away, that a toddler-sized version of WWF was taking place in the back seat or that one of my children kept chiming in with, "Is the car going to blow up?" did not assuage my nerves.

Almost a week to the day later, after dropping The Boy at track practice, the three little ones and I sat enjoying an evening "make-up" soccer game for the big girls. Until my cell phone rang. As the game played on, The Captain informed me that his car had decided it liked first gear so much, that with complete disregard for the posted speed limits, it wasn't going over 20 miles per hour. Did I mention The Boy, located twenty minutes from the soccer game, now needed a ride home? Physically, I felt all the muscles in my neck and shoulders tighten.

You all know the continuing saga of the homestudy. So, I won't even repeat it here. I'll just add that the final adoption-related straw fell sometime during these car crises.

Not to mention work, family, school and the like; each of which has come bearing its own challenges--some minor, some not-so-much.

Muddling through each of these situations (and muddling may be too generous a word for my handling of some of these scenarios) did nothing but leave me feeling, well, alone. Like there was no way anyone else in the world could possibly understand what I was going through.

Peering out my front window, I saw uninvited company--fear, doubt and worry making their way to my door. Hand on the door knob, ready to open it, I felt a dark presence and a cold chill blow through my front hallway. Suddenly, I realized, the devil had me right where he wanted me--believing his lies, feeling alone when nothing was further from the Truth.

The truth was that on each of those separate occasions God was with me:

  • My car made it the last few miles to the local garage, which was coincidentally miraculously still open, before "blowing up".
  • My husband's car, which would require a new transmission, had an extended warranty on it that we didn't know about. Total repair cost? One hundred dollars.
  • Our homestudy, dare I say, has finally left Catholic Charities for approval.
When I shared the trials of the last few weeks with a woman I recently met, she listened carefully, tenderly and helped to lift my sagging spirit. Unbeknownst to me at the time, this very woman, who had the grace to hear me rant and rave about my *problems* without telling me hers; knew all too personally my feelings of defeat. Yesterday morning, her daughter's face graced the cover of our local paper. (Her '30 Days to Live' videos appear below) With tears welling-up in my eyes, I shivered as I realized that our meeting was no chance happening. And as I read the story of this beautiful, grace-filled young woman, I knew exactly who had taught her such strength, such courage. And I knew that God, MY God--HER God--OUR God has grace enough for everyone--including me.

My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:9


Suzanne said...

Thanks for sharing this clip! How touching.

Sorry about your SUV, you know that is my worst nightmare, the truck overheating with allt he kiddies in tow...LOL!

Becky said...

So humbling and touching.