I spent the entire weekend in bed. At first I thought the blasted flu strain I've been reading about on Facebook finally found me. (For the record, the closest I ever care to get to flu strains is reading about them on Facebook.) I wavered between hot and cold and hoped dinner from the day before would stay put.
The longer the weekend went, the more convinced I became that the flu had indeed stayed confined to Facebook and my symptoms weren't anything of the germ variety. Life upheaval had gotten the best of me and I had worked myself into a good old-fashioned tizzy.
In a rare move, I spent an entire day in bed without once turning on the TV. I tossed from side to side, seeking the Face of God - as though He might be more easily seen on one bedroom wall as opposed to the other. I squinted my eyes tightly shut and prayed fervently for direction, for understanding, for forgiveness, for peace, for wisdom...for anything and everything I could think to pray.
After random breaks for reading, scrapbooking, and journaling, I pulled out a Bible study I started writing almost 2 years ago. It's the second volume of the study and the women's group that did the first volume asked to proceed with the second...so I have to finish writing it. (Studies are so much easier to read when they're written, don't you agree?)
In order to get back in the flow of my "voice" for that study, I read through the chapters I'd written so many months ago. I wrote about the "other" wife of Hannah's husband, Elkanah. I'd been writing about how she was surrounded by a houseful of blessings in the children God gave her, but she was completely consumed by what she did NOT have, which was Elkanah's love. My eyes fell on this sentence and I swallowed hard:
We can't bear the glory of what we have, because we are engrossed in the absence of what we lack.
That pretty much summarizes my foodless, rolling stomach, tear-laden weekend. So focused on the absence of what I lack that I can't bear the beautiful glory of what God has poured over my life.
Of course, God is always good, but I have seen His goodness in new ways over this past year. He's been redeeming and healing and restoring at quite a rapid pace...and yet my heart grieves what I still lack in my life. And while I believe with all my heart He understands that grief and doesn't get angry with me for it, I also believe it grieves Him that I look right past the beauty that is right in front of me.
I wish I could write that I found (while squinting at the bedroom wall) a flashing light of an answer. That my anxiety has dissipated entirely and I've fully embraced the beautiful blessing.
But I can't.
I can write that the tears have lessened and the peace that passes understanding has begun to settle over me. That I feel ready to get up tomorrow morning and face whatever blessing He has. That I'm committed to trying to bear the glory of those blessings and not finding myself flattened by the absence of what I lack.