There were ups and downs, highs and lows, over the weekend- but there was no rain on Sunday, the day we all gathered to celebrate a milestone in our son's life. The days preceding the party were emotionally charged and there were a couple upsetting incidents that clouded our joy. So on Sunday morning, early in the morning, as I laid in bed and looked at at the cloudy sky, I whispered a pleading prayer, "Please God, please- don't let it rain today. Let it be a sign that everything is not always all uphill."
Now that's a dangerous prayer. First of all, because God doesn't have to stop the rain just to make you feel better. Someone may be praying for rain in the house next door to you, and then what does God do?! Secondly, I was asking out of weariness and frustration- not necessarily out of faith.
But God can handle how and why I ask Him for what I do- and God parted the clouds and allowed the sun to come out. There wasn't a drop of rain. Mu, my best friend, arrived at the party early in the evening and told me it was raining at her house (several miles away)- but it wasn't raining at my house.
People gathered on our deck outside, talking and sipping cold drinks. My son was beaming with happiness at the number of people who kept coming. There were new friends, neighbors, school friends and family members. Old friends of our family arrived early, and looked forward to meeting with my parents. But would my Mom come? She's been battling depression and it has been fierce. But there she was, frail and beautiful, smiling tentatively, walking through my front door with loved ones at her side holding her up.
That's what we do when we fall down- we hopefully get held up by love, by loved ones who come rushing in when the wind goes out of our sails. Or in my case, when the knees grow suddenly weak and you're about to faint. I got sick right int he middle of the party. One minute I was chatting with people, feeling a bit ill, and the next minute I was rushing to the bathroom. Due to the heat and having not eaten all day and the emotional upheaval I had been through prior to the party, I suddenly felt the world swim. I became violently ill and wound up lying in bed. Different people came rushing in to check on me. My younger sister took over and began serving food. A dear friend started washing dishes that had piled up in the sink. My husband went out and chatted with guests after I whispered, "Just say that I'm resting for a minute. I'll be right out."I was weak, but people were strong for me. The party went on.
I thought it was heat exhaustion and nausea due to not eating all day and then drinking a few sips of too-sweet-iced tea. But today, several days after the party, I am still feeling ill. It feels like I have Mono again. I'll go get checked out at the doctor's. It's not that big of a deal.
What was a big deal was the day we celebrated my son's graduation from high school. That day was a challenge and it was wonderful. That day was exhausting and it was exhilarating. That day there were people in and around my house, pulling into the driveway, playing music down in our opened garage, milling around the yard, smiling and feasting on food that disappeared quickly. In fact, I ran out of food. But we never ran out of victory. We never ran out of grace. The skies held back the rain, but God let grace, like rain, fall down and we celebrated the victory of being loved by Him.