This is what I woke up to on New Year’s Day, 2011. And the words, “Good morning, 2011!” rang through my head. I could see God smiling down at me like he was saying, “Look at this ‘Good Morning’ that I saved for 1-1-11!! Isn’t it beautiful?!? I’m so glad you’re awake to see it…” Yes…it’s simply breathtaking, oh Lord.
I woke up feeling pretty good, and I remember thinking, “Maybe God’s gift to me this year is no more throwing up!!” I sat, eating my first bowl of cereal while staring at the above view. By the time the sun came up completely I was ready to crawl back in bed for my morning nap, filled to overflowing with hope and anticipation for the upcoming, vomit-free new year.
When I woke up the second time, I still felt pretty good. So I’m not quite sure why my second bowl of cereal had a hard time staying down… Usually, when I’m eating and I start to gag my next step is a no-brainer–get to the nearest sink, toilet, or bucket as fast as possible. But this time when I gagged, I was so convinced that 2011 was going to be a vomit-free year that I didn’t move. I refused. “No way,” I sternly thought to my stomach muscles, who were gearing up to action. “You stay calm and just let this cereal have its place down there.”
Wishful thinking, I guess. Because it ALL came up a second later. So much for a “good morning.”
I barely made it to the bathroom in time…in fact, a good amount of vomit actually splattered across the bathroom mirror because it was so violently flying out of my mouth, despite the fact that my lips were sealed tight and my hand was covering them for extra reinforcement. I just found that splattered mirror vomit the other day, which is what has triggered this post.
Because I have thrown up so. many. times. this year already. There are days where I feel like I’m getting worse and I have to remind myself of the horror of my first trimester to put things back into perspective. There is SOOOOOOOOOOOO much to be thankful for….!!!! But my point is, when I saw the vomit splattered across the mirror, my first thought was, “Um, that’s disgusting. How did I miss that when I cleaned up the rest of the vomit mess that day? I wonder who’s come over in the meantime and seen this…?” Gross.
And my second thought was, “This. Sucks. Royally.” And Shame and Disappointment loudly mocked and criticized the little spirit of Hope that I had woken up with that New Year’s morning. “Who are you to hope? This is your lot–accept it. You’re going to be so sick these last 2 and a half months that you won’t be able to enjoy or anticipate the birth of your son. And you might as well accept the fact now that you will be this sick every time you get pregnant. So forget about having lots of kids. Forget about being a good mom while you’re pregnant with the next one. While you’re at it, forget about ever being able to wake up and say “Good morning” to your husband again. Forget about getting more than 2-3 hours of sleep at a time. Forget about ever being able to eat a meal without gagging again…”
The list went on and on. So much so that all I could think about was how sick I am…forgetting about the One who had given me the “good morning” word and the beautiful sunrise to go along with it.
Thankfully, I follow a God who is so much bigger than all of that crap, who interrupted this worthless monologue and broke into my spirit. “A ‘good’ 2011 has nothing to do with the amount of times you throw up this year. I have provided for you every day so far; do not worry about tomorrow. I will provide for you tomorrow, too.” And the simplicity of that age-old truth reverberated in my spirit. I don’t have to work right now, because God has provided. I don’t have children right now, and so I don’t need to take care of another little human at 6 am. Because God has not given me more than I can bear. And when the fatigue and the weariness are so strong around me that all I can do is cry, God has provided a husband who is strong enough to embrace me in such tender love and remind me of the truth–that God will take care of us. Do not worry about tomorrow, for today has enough troubles of its own…
So I thought I would have a vomit-free 2011. And that definitely didn’t happen. But health is not my greatest need in 2011. My God is my greatest need. My favorite mentor, Amy Carmichael, once wrote: