G.G.’s funeral was yesterday. It was a gorgeous, unseasonably warm October afternoon, and the entire family was there together, a rare feat these days. As the service wrapped up, each child was issued a balloon to release “to Heaven”. The kids then skipped off together, giddy and playful. You know, as only kids can do at a funeral.
As we left the cemetery, Carson quietly remarked, “Mom, those balloons didn’t get to Heaven. They fell down.” I could tell there was more he wanted to say, so I stayed quiet. “You know,” he continued, “it’s kinda like a symbol for something. Those balloons could keep trying to get to Heaven, but they were never gonna get there. It’s kinda like how people can try and try and try to get to Heaven. But really the only way we can get there is through Jesus.”
Out of the mouths of babes, I tell ya.
Y’all it’s been crazy around here. Death and injured pets and sick kids and surgery… all within the span of a few days. I’d like to say I’m handling all of this gracefully. I’m not. I’m just barely keeping my head above the water. Y’all, I cried to the CVS pharmacist today. We’re talking crocodile tears. On the plus side, my prescription was magically ready in the next 60 seconds. God’s grace, y’all.
Yes, there’s a lot going on. And, sure, I’m a nervous wreck about tomorrow’s surgery and the physical recovery that’s to follow. It’s funny, though. It’s the heart stuff that’s the hardest for me. More than anything, I’m dreading the coming weeks of losing much of my independence. Of not being able to be all and do all. Because, at the core, I’m a striver. I have a long history of striving and trying and striving some more to earn approval. Approval of God. Approval of people. Self-approval. Oh how many times I’ve crossed off every item on my to-do lists only to pat myself on the back and think, “Self, you’re good. You’ve got this. You need no one!”
Carson was spot on. How often we try and try to be deemed righteous or worthy or approved, only to realize that our efforts are completely in vain. That the only approval that ever matters is that of God which I already have through Christ. Through what He has done. Not through my own efforts or works. Through who He is. Not by my awesomeness.
It’s these truths that I must repeat to myself over and over again in the coming weeks. Because resting and receiving help and accepting that I can’t is just so hard for my independent self. But as I say goodbye to the use of my right arm for the next few months, I do so with the promise that there is One with far greater strength and ability than I will ever have. That this earth does not rotate on its axis because of my efforts. That I can rest in Him.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you with my righteous right hand… For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.