God's Got a Blessing, So Encourage Yourself
Dad, who has Alzheimer’s, broke into his tenant’s place for the 2nd time in a month. Saturday evening I got a call mom is in the hospital. Her pressure is up. Her arteries are narrowed more than before. She’s at greater risk for another heart attack and possibly a stroke. As I sat in the ER and watched her sleep, a point came where she gasped for breaths, each one more labored than the next. I thought she was dying. I shook her. She awoke. “Nurse, come check on her.” It was sleep apnea, but it rocked me. I left the hospital around midnight exhausted and frayed. By Sunday, I was slipping into depression and by Monday, it was time to finish out my last week of work. I’m being laid off tomorrow, the second in two years. Still, in the midst of it, God’s been encouraging my broken spirit with two songs: “God’s got a blessing” by Norman Hutchins and “Encourage yourself” by Donald Lawrence and The Tri-City Singers. I needed them on Monday. I needed them in days to come. To help at the moment I felt I was going to faint at my desk. To help when I found myself in bathroom stalls crying and hyperventilating. To help when I sat in my car and cried uncontrollably. To help when it felt like someone dug their hand into my chest and squeezed my heart with a grip that wouldn’t release. To help at nights and in the mornings when my pillow, sheets, hair, and shirt soaked up tears. To help when I couldn’t open my mouth to pray. To help when I read the Word and its words wouldn’t stay. To help even as I write this post with a fogged mind and overwhelmed heart. No matter the circumstances, he says. No matter the fear, doubt, pain. No matter Monday night’s binge on a bottle-and-a-half of wine where I cried on the couch listening to those songs. NO MATTER WHAT! God loves us. There are truth and promise tucked in aching hearts: He has a blessing with our name on it if we’ll encourage ourselves in the Lord.