Altogether There

Yesterday was one of those days where although I was tired, I felt relatively well and was able to be out and about and do stuff–mom stuff and work stuff and carpool stuff and friends stuff. Then last night I got about two hours of sleep because the side effects of this chemo are still alive and kicking. I forget sometimes on my good days that this body is so broken, and I tossed and turned with a neuropathy in my arms and hands that was unpleasant to say the least. (Neuropathy is tingling, pain, numbness, or weakness in the feet and hands. It’s a side effect that just started with this round of chemo.)

So I woke up grumpy and angry. Bear had a friend for a sleepover, so I trudged downstairs and made them pumpkin pancakes and scrambled eggs, because I love cooking and I wanted to cook for them because I love cooking and I’m tired of not cooking because I love cooking and I was miserable the entire time. I lamented all that is on my to-do list today–good things, necessary things, fun things. How am I going to do this? How do I grocery shop and go to Costco when standing in my kitchen for 20 minutes seems too much? How do I pay bills and write checks and reconcile our accounts when it hurts to hold a pen? How do I pick up the necessary clutter and organize a messy home when lifting my arms seems a monumental task?

And I pitched my internal hissy-fit. Really, Lord? I was doing so well. This is supposed to be my upswing weekend where I’m feeling well and getting stronger so I can get blasted again with chemo on Tuesday. This isn’t going according to my plan, my schedule, my desires. Really? And I’m supposed to believe you’re in this, too?

I grabbed my cup of coffee and sat in the living room listening to the boys chatter as they raced their cars in Need for Speed on the Wii. Coop curled up at the front door and barked at our neighbor’s seven (yes, seven) cats. Bella sang a new song she’s composed in her head. I picked up my Bible and my devotional book, because I needed it. I needed truth, because my heart wasn’t speaking truth. Oh, y’all…

“He keeps His promise a thousand times and yet the next trial makes us doubt Him. He never fails; He is never a dry well; He is never a setting sun, a passing meteor, or a melting vapor…Heaven and earth may well be astonished that rebels should obtain so great a nearness to the heart of infinite love as to be written upon the palms of His hands. “I have graven you.” It does not say, “Your name.” The name is there, but that is not all: “I have graven you.” See the fullness of this! I have graven your person, your image, your case, your circumstances, your sins, your temptations, your weaknesses, your wants, your works; I have graven you, everything about you, all that concerns you; I have put you altogether there.” (~C. H. Spurgeon)

It’s all there. Every stray cell is there. Every nerve that’s firing pain is there. Every ache, every pain, every fear, every hope. It’s all there.

The lives of all of God’s children are there. Not just our names, our lives. Every good day full of song and life, every tedious day full of struggle and monotony, every agonizing day full of lament and doubt.

It’s easy when it life is flourishing to believe He holds us. But when life has annihilated us, how do we believe?

Every broken heart, every grief-stricken cry, every choked out whisper of uncertainty. It’s there. Every empty womb, every ringless finger aching to be wed, every abandoned heart, every parent’s cry over a straying child, every widow’s scream in the night, every person longing for just one more moment with a loved one who’s gone, every despairing and desolate mind, every failure, every broken body, every crushed dream. It’s all there.

That hands that hold the universe hold us. No. It’s more than being held. We are graven there… we can never fall out. His promises are as true today as they were yesterday and as they will be tomorrow.

Every second of every day of every part of us. It’s there.

Oh, y’all… how I needed this to break through the struggle. I needed my focus to be lifted upward to Him, to Who He is, and I needed the reminder that even if today all I do is curl on a couch in a fog of pain medication, even this is there.

It’s held in love etched in His hands. Altogether there.

“Behold, I have engraved you in the palms of my hands…” (Isaiah 49:16)<

One response to “Altogether There”

  1. Dear dear, Angie, Thanks so much for this post. I so needed this , this morning. Love you dearly and holding you up to our Lord.


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