Sometimes, you’re getting group texts from your dad about how brave your mom is during her first chemo, and while you’re looking at them, your baby falls out of her high chair onto her head, and you’re at a restaurant trying to be cheerful for your sweet mother-in-law’s birthday dinner, and you whisk your freshly injured baby into the waiting area and stand facing the painting on the wall so no one will see you crying. But, you see that you’re face to face with a painting of a guy standing in a field full of bulls.
And the painting makes you think of being a five-year-old flower girl at your mom’s second wedding because her new husband – the guy that would adopt and love you as if you were his daughter by blood – would attend his own wedding with a major pectoral injury he got cutting horns off of a bull at the farm his family owned. This is the guy who married your mom. Your mom who is getting her first chemo treatment during the birthday party you’re at right now. And your baby is still crying from her fall. Now she has a big red bump on her little fuzzy head. It happened on your watch.
Once you gather yourself enough to return to the table, your older kid wants to know why you’re crying and you say, “Grown up stuff, Baby. Eat your broccoli.”
Finally, you’re putting your baby to bed and your mom texts you that she’s nauseated and you feel sick inside, imagining the worst, preparing for the future, trying to have hope while also trying not to get your hopes up.
Then, you have a moment where you feel sorry for yourself, which is immediately replaced by feeling guilty for being so selfish. You think about what your mom must be feeling. What your mother-in-law with the weepy daughter-in-law at her party must be feeling. And then you feel even worse.
And then, you remember that crazy worldview you have that shapes who you are. The belief that a dead man rose and will come back for you and your mom on a white horse (Revelation 19) – that He split seas (Exodus 14) and healed lepers (Luke 17) and created the universe from nothing (Genesis 1) –and you remember the times He healed you and answered impossible prayers and opened your eyes to His goodness and His sovereignty.
And you exhale.
And you smile.
And you text your mom pictures of your babies playing.
And include lots of emojis.
And you go to sleep and dream of dark things.
And wake up with fresh mercies.
We’re going to be okay.