He Delighted In Me.

“He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” Psalm 18:19

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Although I’ve lived in spacious places all my life, I have never once been able to comprehend the Lord delighting in me. Loving me, yes. Tolerating me, sure. Choosing me to be in His family and then sticking by the choice because He’s honorable, even when I’m aggravating as crap? Not my problem, He chose me!

I never understood delight until I had the opportunity to watch my daughter learn something. To watch her try and try and try again, failing so many times and occasionally screaming a little in frustration, until one day she got it.

If you could see it, the proud smile she makes when she finally gets something, it would slay you. And there my husband and I are, cheering like fools for something truly insignificant, just like she’s won the Nobel Prize.

Because for her it’s not insignificant, for her it was a massive achievement. She may not know that, but I do! And the day I finally figured out what it was I was feeling, it brought tears to my eyes.

I delight in her.

I delight in the way she stubbornly persists trying to figure things out, in the way she suddenly gives up and flings her hand to her chest and looks me in the eye to say “please fix it for me.” The way she comes to me for comfort when things don’t go as she’d hoped, even though what happened is exactly what I told her would.

I delight in the way she keeps trying new things and is never content to rest on her laurels. I delight in her little frustration move — she claps her hands together once angrily and makes a little shriek. Sometimes there’s a foot stomp involved. I try to look away so she doesn’t see me smile.

I even once found myself delighting in watching her little mind learn manipulation. I could see the gears turning and watched her try to give me something I wanted so I’d give her something she wanted. It didn’t bode well for our future, but in the moment I delighted in how smart and creative she is.

I don’t care that she picks her cheerios out of the spoon instead of using it properly, nor the mess to clean up afterword. She’ll learn that skill eventually. Maybe next week, maybe next month, but what’s the rush? She’s dang cute now just as she is.

I don’t chastise her for dreaming big — even when I know her little hands aren’t strong enough to lift the thing she wants desperately to lift — even when both she and the thing inevitably go crashing to the ground and tears ensue.

I don’t belittle her because she’s not tall enough to get in and out of her tricycle since it still has the safety ring around the seat — even though it means I have to lift her in and out — and also have to unclick the belt every minute or two because she can’t do it yet but still wants to keep practicing clicking herself in since she only recently figured out how to do that.

I don’t expect the impossible, because that would say more about my lack of intellect than her ability — oh come on, you’re almost 16 months already, you should be able to drive yourself to college.

I’m quite certain that other stages of development will not be so cute or delightful, at least from my point of view. For instance, I know for a fact that my mother loves me — always has and always will — but when I was 13 and struggling to learn to express myself and manage hormones and all the other horrible, hard things we have to figure out at that age, I’m pretty sure there was not a tremendous amount of delighting going on.

But I think it might be true that God delights in us even then — even when we’re raging adolescents sneaking out of the house and screaming in rebellion. I think there’s a good chance He might look at us even in that immature state and say, oh, look how good they’re doing! Look how quickly they’re learning! Look how hard they’re struggling trying to figure themselves out. I love them!

This morning my daughter is on the tail-end of being sick for a week. It’s the first time she’s had a fever, a cough, a cold of any kind. I think she’s handled it magnificently. But this morning she seems a little tired of it all. Most of the time she’s been grouchy, grumpy, whiny … and then in a blink she’ll flash her beautiful smile and start laughing at something stupid.

After watching her switch back and forth for a couple hours, I actually thought to myself — can’t you stay with one emotion for more than 30 seconds?

I can imagine the Father looking down on me — me, who in the space of 30 seconds can go from oh, she’s the cutest thing in all of creation to argh! get me out of here I just want five minutes to myself and then back again — and I think He’s thinking are you ever going to learn to be less selfish? But really, He might actually be thinking, oh, look at how much she’s growing! She managed to stay unselfish for a whole 45 seconds that time — that’s a new world record! And maybe He makes a bit of a fool of Himself up there clapping for me!

The main problem with understanding delight might be the simple fact that I think I’m a grown adult and should be capable of so much more, and therefore bash myself internally and get so frustrated that I can’t do something as well as someone else. The problem, as always, boils down to my infernal pride.

But He sees me as the tiny child I actually am — and He delights at my progress. He’s squatting down low with arms open wide as I toddle toward Him, trying to keep my balance while frequently distracted, stumbling often and occasionally falling on my head.

His face is shining with pride and enthusiasm, cheering for me and urging me on to where He’s wanted me all along, safe in His arms.

If you’ve enjoyed this essay, I’d love to hear about it! You might also enjoy one of my Novels, Essays or Poems.

Why Am I So Highly Favored?

Photo by Gareth Harper on Unsplash

Have you ever wondered what Mary was thinking when she said, “why am I so highly favored?”

For some reason, this past month I’ve been pondering her response to the angelic news that she was to be the mother of the Messiah, and this is what I’ve come up with — perhaps Mary understood what a black-hearted sinner she was at a much greater level than we are even capable of today.

She was still a part of a sacrificial system, after all, where the sins she committed had to be paid for every year. A quantifiable cost had to be handed over for every sinful choice she made. Blood was spilt, and a new provider of that blood had to be purchased and killed, over and over again.

When your sin had to be paid for in such a visible, costly way, year after year, while you stood in front of the community steeped in the shame of it — I wonder if it provided an opportunity for a little more insight into the weighty burden of sin.

Mary was part of a community that groaned, looking ahead with yearning hearts toward the promised Messiah who was to come and free them from the whole bloody system.

Which leads me to believe it was wonder she must have felt, knowing what she knew about herself — and still — realizing she was being chosen to be the mother of the Lord.

How can this be? Why me?


I was 39 when I got married, and for most of those 39 years I’d been so petrified of vulnerability and loss that I’d constructed gargantuan walls to protect myself. Thank God my husband had the patience and kindness to invest the necessary time in knocking them down, but that’s another story.

In those first months of marriage, frequently a little jolt would shoot through my body and my eyes would tear up — how did this happen? What did I ever do to deserve this man? In fact, why am I so highly favored could have easily come from my lips.

It was wonder — knowing very well that I didn’t in any way deserve the gift I’d been given — and hand-in-hand with the wonder came gratitude.

But as time went by those wonder jolts came less and less frequently, until about a year into marriage I’d become accustomed. Six or so years later, I only have those jolts every once in a while, when I look at my husband and my eyes fill with tears. When I wish there was a way to demonstrate the depth of my gratitude for the gift of him.

In our daughter’s first months it was even odds that if she was quiet and I had a minute to just stare at her, I would start crying, unable to understand the miracle. Where did you come from little girl? How could this have happened to me?

But I was also curious if the same pattern would play out, and sure enough, she’s just over a year old and the wonder jolts are fading. And therefore the moments of spontaneous gratitude have lessened as well.

It turns out my capacity for wonder lasts about a year.


We’ve all experienced the devastation of the why me question. Almost always, it’s screamed out in a moment of unspeakable loss, when we find ourselves blindsided by the world we’re being forced to live in. But I think the reverse question — why me, in the positive sense — is just as provocative and a lot more truthful.

Why this man? Why this baby girl? Why these never-failing parents? And family and friends in such precious, worthy numbers? Why have I been so showered in such incalculable joys? And for heaven’s sake, why me?

That line of thought often brings me to the most shocking of all, why did my Lord choose me?

Because regarding this one question it seems my capacity for wonder is endless. Each time I truly stop, take enough time to calm down and quiet my mind — I am flabbergasted. Destroyed. Jolted apart at the seams by earthquakes of wonder.

I know who I am. I am black-hearted and desperately wicked. Almost every inclination of my heart is evil, almost all the time — which is especially aggravating given that I’ve been at this a few years and should have moved an inch or so toward the goalpost…at least!

Why me? Why am I so highly favored, that my Lord should choose me to be in His family?

I don’t know. I don’t understand it at all. But the wonder of it electrifies my heart with gratitude and praise, and I am undone.

And I hope you are, too, today. I hope you can take a beat — just one — in this crazy, busy season of shopping and wrapping and cooking and cleaning and planning … to ponder on the greatness of Him and His ridiculously crummy taste in family.

Take a brief, choking look at your own heart — and then look long upon Him and wonder anew.

Why are we so highly favored?
Because He said so, and that is enough.

If you’ve enjoyed this essay, I’d love to hear about it! You might also enjoy one of my Novels, Essays or Poems.

This Light and Momentary Suffering

Have you ever thought about the woman in the Gospels who bled for 12 years, who suffered so greatly and spent all she had, but was never healed? A woman so desperate for relief she fought through a crowd to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment?

How many times did she get her hopes up when she heard of another doctor and another remedy, only to be crushed again and again? How many well-meaning remarks did she have to endure from friends and family? How often in the middle of the night did she get on her knees and beg God for help, throat nearly strangled by tears of grief?

And nothing. Twelve long years of silence from heaven.

What about the man born blind? How often did he and his family endure scoffing and hypocritical questions? How many times was he taunted by neighborhood kids growing up — oooh, your parents must have sinned big for God to curse you this way! How many times did his parents drag him to the temple to make sacrifices for the sin they thought his blindness represented?

Did that little boy cry out to God from his darkness? Was he resigned to his fate or filled with bitterness? How was he treated by the extended family, unwillingly burdened by the shame his blindness brought upon them all?

Twelve years of bleeding and suffering. A lifetime of darkness and shame. And for what?

For you, my friend. And for me.

So that the works of God might be displayed in them. So that we might believe.


One of the most typical street foods here in Turkey is called the döner. It’s sort of like a burrito, a tortilla that you fill with beef, chicken or lamb, and then a few other ingredients like pickled vegetables or french fries. The seasoned meat is stacked in an inverted cone on a vertical stake which turns slowly next to a heat source that continually cooks the meat as you take thin slices off.

Now I don’t mean to turn you off of trying a döner sometime because they can be quite delicious, but to me, sometimes suffering feels a little like being a döner. One day you’re minding your own business reading a nice book beside a quiet river, when suddenly someone slips up behind you and stabs you with a stake. Then they mount you in front of a blazing fire and instantly you’re in agony. You’re spinning and spinning and burning and burning. There are bits of you being sliced brutally away, and it seems like it’s never going to end.

And what do we do when we’re on the stake? Our tendency is to look down at our flesh melting away, mesmerized by the flames seeking to devour us. When the knife returns again and again we cower and nearly lose our minds in terror.

Look at me, we scream at God. Help me, save me, heal me!

Of course that’s our response — no one loves pain and suffering. And no one in their right mind volunteers to be burned alive!

But can I ask you something? Have you ever considered how many people suffered bringing you to faith? For me the number is high, but I can tell you in particular that I staked my parents through the heart and kept them up there spinning in the flames for years when I was a’prodigaling.

Yes, I was struggling through addiction and pain and grief. Yes, I was broken in a million pieces and fighting for my life. But in the most basic and truthful way, I was rebelling against God. I refused to yield to what I knew to be true because I was so angry with Him I could barely function.

And all that time in rebellion I stood there turning the wheel of my parents’ stake, watching them burn and writhe because of my actions. It wasn’t that I didn’t care, it was that I simply couldn’t take the step that was necessary to get them down.


A number of years ago I met a man in Senegal who told me how he came to believe in Jesus. He worked for a believing family for 20 years who treated him well and shared the truth with him over and over, but he never believed. Then one day, all but the father were killed in a car accident. Watching the father’s faith hold up through the onslaught of overwhelming grief caused this man to finally believe what they’d told him about Jesus all those years.

It was a great outcome for the Senegalese man, but personally, I always wondered about that father. What would he say to his former employee? Could he say it was worth the loss of his family that this one man might believe? Certainly not! Was there a sliver of good that came out of it? Okay, if you put it that way … but tread carefully, please.

Have you ever considered that the suffering you’re enduring — the weight of pain that feels like it will crush you at any moment — might be part of His plan to save someone else?

We take pride in our Western individualistic culture and pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps — but it is not only not Biblical, it’s damaging in some ways. I don’t think the self-centered lenses we view the world through give us the complete picture of the way God operates. He sees His bride as a whole, a family, members of one body … AND … He will do anything it takes to get to a single lost sheep. I’ve come to believe He might even throw us up on the stake Himself.

So the question is — can we still believe in His goodness when our life is going up in flames? What if we’re in agony, on the spit, being turned and burned on every side, and it never ends this side of heaven? Will we be able to maintain our trust in a good God who loves us more than we will ever understand — and yet — is willing to let us keep burning for reasons He may never explain to us?

If the rock-solid foundational truth we have been able to build our lives on is that God is good, I believe it’s possible our answer could be yes. I can at least say I know personally a good number of people whose answer is yes. To rephrase Paul, let God be good, and my world go up in flames around me.


I will send out an army to find you
In the middle of the darkest night, it’s true
I will rescue you
I will never stop marching to reach you

In the middle of the hardest fight, it’s true
I will rescue you
Lauren Daigle, Rescue


Are you grieving? Let us grieve with you. Are you bleeding? Let us bind your wounds. Are you weary? Let us carry your pack for awhile. Have you just lost a dearly beloved? Let us wipe your tears and sit quietly by your side.

But let us never forget that this is not yet, in fact, heaven. Let us never forget that we are the broken and beloved He has chosen to populate His army with, living daily smack-dab in the middle of the territory of an enemy who seeks to devour us whole, but ever marching forward until every last one of our brothers and sisters is rescued from enemy hands. We belong to one another because we belong to Him.

Not all suffering is unexpected, some of it we can choose to walk into — leaving a group of dear Christian friends you love so that you have more time to spend with those who haven’t yet had a chance to hear, making yourself radically uncomfortable to spend time with and get to know a people group grievously opposed to your belief system, mortifying your flesh and your pride and your personality to truly love your enemy with no expectation of reciprocity.

What are you willing to endure so that your prodigal brother can finally come home? What are you willing to suffer so that your daughter will finally comprehend how much He loves her? What would you do for the guy at the office whose comments make your blood boil if you knew he would one day be your brother? Would you willingly place yourself where it’s possible they could drown you while climbing over you to get into the lifeboat? Because they’re drowning. They’re flailing. They’re dying. Right now.

The bleeding woman and the man born blind have been in heaven for approximately 2,000 years. How much time do you think they spend remembering their suffering? Or do you think they can say, like Paul, that it was light and momentary? Personally, I think the weight of glory has utterly obliterated those desperate years for them. And just think, their party is only beginning.

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Mothering in the Shadow of Death.

“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him.” 1 Samuel 1:27

Yesterday I celebrated my first Mother’s Day from the side of being a mother. We went to church and I was holding my daughter while we began singing and my heart was swelling with thankfulness to the Lord —

How did this happen, this beautiful gift in my arms? How can I ever thank You enough?

— and reader beware, don’t read any further if you’re looking for a happy story this morning!

And then the familiar intro of a song that has the power to strike fear in my heart within the first few notes — Majesty — the song we played at my baby brother’s funeral. The song I will always connect, no matter how much I’ve learned to enjoy singing it, with being shattered upon the immovable will of God in a broken world, as for His own purposes, He acts in ways that we would never choose.

I’ll tell you what it felt like: it felt like a slap in the face, a punch in the gut, and like the kind of grand foreshadowing I’d write into one of my novels to see if the reader was paying attention.

It felt like God was letting me know that He was about to take my daughter. It felt like death.

My husband knows how I feel about that song and he looked down at me and teared up himself when he saw the tears in my eyes and the difficulty I was having breathing. He reached for my hand and I clung to it, trying to get control of myself.

I employed the tactics I’ve learned over these past seven months of fear-attacks since my daughter arrived. I rebuked the fear in the name of Jesus. I confessed to giving into that fear and asked for forgiveness. I asked for help from the Holy Spirit in taking my thoughts captive. I refused to listen to the voices and the temptation to worry about tomorrow. I focused on breathing in and out and loving my daughter today, which is the command I’ve heard over and over since her birth.

But I couldn’t get past that little niggling doubt about foreshadowing. What if this is the kindness of my Father helping me begin to prepare?

I’d like to say that all my strategies worked, but in actual fact, after begging Jesus to save me from the waves threatening to drown me where I sat, I had heart palpitations. It was like another slap, a glass of cold water in my face. Suddenly I realized it could be me who was going to die and leave her behind.

It was enough to shake me free from the attack, and for that I thank Jesus for His creativity in getting me out of the smoke at times when I can’t help myself.

My daughter needed to be fed so I took her back to the cry room during the sermon and half-listened, slowly coming back to normal. Outside the flood of emotion and terror of the waves, I focused on His face and what is true: I will love her today, You’re in charge of tomorrow.

Our pastor’s wife spoke on Hannah. I didn’t hear much until my daughter fell asleep, but then I tuned in right as she read the above lovely verse, which I’ve heard time and time again. It’s even quilted onto one of my favorite quilts a dear friend made for my daughter.

But do you remember what the next verse says? I went to look it up and lost my breath all over again.

“So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” 1 Samuel 1:28

I realized as I never had before how Hannah must have felt. She knew from the beginning that she had promised Samuel to the Lord. She knew she would only have him for a couple of years, and then she would lose him forever. She would go home alone and live a life of missing him. Of thinking of his sweet little hand in hers, of his eyes staring up at her, of his head leaning on her shoulder and the little puffs of breath he breathed into her neck.

A lifetime un-lived. A growing up un-watched. An unbreakable bond with one end flapping in the wind.

And she knew.

My God.

How could she do it? How could she love him in that moment and not let her heart turn sour with longing and her soul crust over with bitterness, watching the days fly off the calendar and knowing they were completely and desperately finite?

We all love quoting Psalm 23 to ourselves, but I think I’ve always pictured those when-I-walk-through-the-valley-of-the-shadow-of-death moments as somewhat temporary. Horrible and desperate and agonizing, of course, but I’ve lived through a few of them so I know you eventually crawl forward into the light again.

But now I realize this awful truth of motherhood — we are always living in the shadow of death.

Our children live with us here in this broken world where a sovereign God demonstrates every day that His thoughts are not our thoughts. He chose to close Hannah’s womb to show His glory. He chose to give her Samuel and then take him away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Our children grow up in a world where, every day, God makes beauty out of ashes. And unfortunately, there are new ashes made every day by the endless and innumerable fires burning everywhere we look. He chose to give us free will, and because of that free will being exercised, He is every day out here among us, putting out fires and pulling off miraculous recoveries. He’s also in the fire, kneeling beside those who are burning alive. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

We will watch our children be wounded and threatened and devastated and, for some of us, we will watch God take them or allow them to be taken. A God who is so holy that you can’t even look at Him without going blind. A God who has done so many wonderful deeds among men that His goodness can’t be catalogued. A God who gave what was required, Whose love for us is immeasurable. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

This is the God we serve and this is the world we live in, and motherhood might be the worst juxtaposition of the two I’ve yet lived through.

Still Standing.

It’s Saturday afternoon and I’m waiting for video to render in one program and upload in another. During this brief mental pause, it has occurred to me that I haven’t left the house since Tuesday. That “quick swim” outing I had planned turned into a doozy of an unexpected, semi-awkward, multi-locational conversation that lasted upwards of eight hours … but that’s a different story.

I’ve been working against a deadline this week, and through it, unintentionally discovered a brilliant albeit temporary cure for my blues — forget everything else that is frustrating and dive deeply into something you know how to do! Even if it’s related to the creative process, which harbors its own emotional upheaval and for me usually looks something like this:

  • Step 1: I have no idea how to start. How did I get this job anyway?
  • Step 2: Oooh, well, whaddya know, this isn’t looking half bad.
  • Step 3: This is the best thing I’ve ever done.
  • Step 4: Oh my word this is crap! It’s time for a career change.
  • Step 5: I have no idea where to go from here.

My creative cycle repeats as often as necessary until the job is done, or until other bits of life yell loudly enough to get my attention. Meanwhile, pretty much everything else suffers. This round that means I haven’t studied a lick of Turkish, haven’t exercised, and just this morning realized that I’ve been in the same t-shirt and shorts for three days. If there was a shamed-faced emoticon, I would insert it here ____.

Luckily my husband has had a meeting or appointment almost every day, so he’s been able to forage for food elsewhere, because the most effort I’ve put into household operations is to thank my previous Holly Homemaker moods as I yank something out of the freezer and slam it in the microwave.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about my tantrum, and doing an informal, cost-benefit analysis of this life we’ve chosen. Difficult words keep coming to mind — words like patience, forbearance, diligence. And the most upsetting words of all — perseverance and its’ byproduct, character.

Someone once told me that running up hills builds character. I replied without even thinking — I have enough character thank you very much … which is why I’ve always freely given myself the choice to walk even the most gentle of inclines. My rationale is — I’m already up off the couch, so what more do I need to prove?

A couple weeks ago I read a book that posited that we are, in actual fact, always qualifying ourselves for the next job. I can’t remember the quote exactly, but it went something along the lines of: “when I was five, my job was to not draw on the walls or hit my sisters — a job I found very difficult. When I was ten my job was to go to school and to not hit my sisters — also difficult. Now my job is even harder, and I find it as difficult as ever.”

Which reminds me of a rather horrifying statistic I read once, that people in comas lose 8% muscle mass every day.

Which brings us finally to the set of questions that have been filling my silent spaces lately — is it really true that if we’re not climbing up the hill, we’re already starting to slide down it? That if we’re not moving, we’re atrophying? That in our very core we were made for struggle? That a 40-year-old not only cannot, but should not, be satisfied with a 5-year-old’s job, or even a 39-year-old’s for that matter? And is it really true that nothing causes us to thrive more than to fight the good fight, to run the good race, and after all the dust of the latest skirmish has settled, to find to our great surprise that we’re still standing?


Most of the things I write about on this blog have to do with living in Turkey — something curious, or something difficult, or something ridiculous to the point of hilarity. But I struggle with what to write about when I’m completely and utterly blah about living here. When I have no interest in interacting with the culture or its people. When all I want to do is hide out in my comfortable home and work on things that don’t require my brain to stumble through its confusing, and as yet very ill-lit, Turkish pathways…

This is when you see gaps in posting. Because really, I only find culture shock entertaining when I can get a good story out of it. And sometimes when the power goes out yet again, I don‘t find it charming. And, oddly enough, I don’t amass humorous Turkish anecdotes when I refuse to speak it…

Oh no.

This is why it’s always dangerous to verbal process in a public setting — I’ve just realized what’s happening. One time when I was living with a family with small children in California, I sat beside a two-year-old for over an hour as he writhed in agony on the floor, refusing to be comforted, contorting his body and face and howling his righteous wrath.

I’m on the verge of a full-blown tantrum.

I’m sick unto death with Turkish and struggle and miscommunication, and the constant barrage of assaults against my much-abused yet ever-howling pride. I’m exhausted by the daily energy-suck that is walking around surrounded by language I don’t yet understand. I miss my family and my friends and familiar things and “normal.” I miss looking at the ingredients for a recipe and not immediately wondering what I can use as a substitute.

I actually got mad yesterday when we walked past an advertisement I’ve seen hundreds of times, for a neighborhood restaurant with pictures of big juicy hamburgers, because every slab of hamburger meat in this city has an additive that ruins the taste.

Not to mention how I try to make myself invisible when I walk past my çig köfte friend, dying to tell him that it’s nothing personal, but do we have to chat every. single. time. we see each other? Can’t he accept my American differences for one day and let me drive straight into my metaphorical garage and shut the door quickly so I don’t have to see the neighbors, let alone talk to them?

And I’m sick, sick, sick of walking past all the Syrian mothers with their lethargic did-they-drug-them? children in their arms and not having a decent solution to offer. In my country I have resources, I know people, I can send out a call for help on any number of mediums — but here, so far all I can manage to do is look them in the eye and smile and offer a prayer. And they keep coming. God, they just keep coming!

And the hypocrisy — dear God the hypocrisy — of still grumbling about the bad taste of hamburger while you pass the Syrians, a very good chicken alternative in hand, wishing only that they would take a day off of begging for their daily bread so you could walk to your comfortable home in peace. It’s like some kind of cancer, consuming you from the inside out. And oh, how deeply seductive the almost self-defensive urge to off-load the weight of your own hypocrisy by indiscriminately blaming the blithe and comfortably ignorant Americans.

And please don’t remind me that I chose all of this, that I agreed of my own free will to move here — I’m conveniently choosing to ignore that particular fact at this time. Please don’t remind me that I love this country and these people with an emotion that goes so deep it hurts to look at them from across this not-temporary-enough language barrier, as I jump and wave and try to get their attention. Please don’t even open your mouth to tell me that this no-doubt very normal stage of cultural adaptation, too, shall pass.

I know all of this. But frankly, my muscles are fatigued with trying to hold it in and act my age. The two-year-old inside of me refuses to be comforted, cooler heads will not prevail. Injustice and impotence, exhaustion and humiliation, change and loss — steadily, side by side, have quietly boiled together in this cracked pot. There are other, stronger ingredients in there, and I have faith that the dish will be delightful once it’s finished — but at this point in the cooking process it’s producing a cloud of something that looks and smells a lot like two-year-old rage.

As a non-parent, the only positive thing I’ve ever seen come from a tantrum is that it blows out all the negative emotion, leaving only enough strength to crawl into a parents’ lap. And if you don’t even have strength enough for that, you can lay quietly and wait for the Parent to lean over and grasp you into His arms.