Grace for a wretch.

It’s Friday night and I want to do nothing but be quiet and still. It has been a week.

I accidentally stuck myself with a needle after drawing a patient’s blood, so now I have to get tested every so often for dreaded diseases. That same day, I managed to splatter someone else’s blood on my face when a tube cap didn’t cooperate. I’ve had enough of other people’s bodily fluids this week.

I’ve also had enough of attitudes. I don’t mind angry people. In fact, I rather like them because I gladly accept the challenge to make them smile and see a bit of good in whatever is happening. But I’m not a doormat. And I’m not an idiot. And I will not take such treatment lying down.

I’ve had enough of whatever is wrong with my gut, too. The girl who never gets sick has been plagued by attacks to the gut far too often in the last several months. Today was no exception, and came at a time that heaped work on other’s shoulders. So I’m really tired of being a burden, too. And being sick.

The phone will not stop ringing. The emails keep coming. And there’s always another assignment waiting for me to research and review and write. I am juggling four jobs and grad school with rare moments to draw a full breath. For a dreamer-traveler-lover-wild woman who needs silence to think sometimes, this has been an extremely difficult season of tough decisions and too much of everything.

I’m total crap at asking for help and acknowledging weak points. This serious character flaw led to me pulling in the driveway Wednesday night at 10:00 pm, and crying in the car for an hour before summoning up the energy to just go inside. I yelled at the Lord, too. Because I want to know why. I want to know why I am in this goodbye town. I want to know why I feel so out of place. I want to know why I am so blasted lonely. I feel like I got lost somewhere this last year.

Before you go calling this depression, let me tell you it is not. I know depression. I wallowed in its gripping arms for more than a year after an abusive and manipulative relationship ended. This right here is not that. This is just a journey. It has its bad days and its good.

Golly, this was a bad week for so many reasons. For so many reasons, it was also good. It was good because every time I cried, I also, unbidden, started singing, “Amazing grace. How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.” That was all. I didn’t get any further in the song. I didn’t really need to. I am the wretchiest wretch of the wretches. And still the sound of grace washes over me like a gentle rain, smoothing out my wretched sharp edges and reminding my wretched heart of the depths from which I was pulled nearly ten years ago.

It was a good week because before that jagged sob session in my car, I had been at worship practice with people who are imperfect and bruised and love the Lord. (I am forever grateful to my brother Phil for asking me to sing again a few weeks ago. It is one of the few refreshing things about my wild life these days.) I blasted out “glory in the highest” over and over into that mic, feeling shivers in my spine and knowing that God is good and He is glorious and He sees and knows and cares and He gives me a song to sing every second even when I cannot speak a word and I cry loud and snotty.

It was a good week because I have gotten to talk to my brother nearly every day about this life stuff. He’s a war vet and a police officer in a large city, so every conversation feels like a stolen moment I must cling to. I’m grateful to have my little bro as my grownup friend.

It was a good week because some very dear friends who are very far away saw fit to tell me they loved me from their respective corners of the world. They know that the written word is the quickest way to my heart, and they delivered without even knowing how I was feeling.

WORSHIP IN RAIN

It was a good week because He is a good God. I might cry again tonight over unresolved things because I could really use some healing right now in my hurting heart. I’m working tomorrow because money must be made and my mad skills are needed in a small capacity. (Yes, I laughed as I wrote that.) And on Sunday, I’m going to get up and sing my wee wretch heart out on that stage. Most people in my church do not know my story when I get up there, and I do not need nor want them to. It’s not about me. Not now or ever. I just need to know that even on bad weeks, I still live out the love of this good God I so desperately seek to serve. Amazing grace saved me nearly ten years ago, and in the beautiful process of sanctification, saves me daily. Amen.

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