Monday, July 27, 2009

Better together

We had a rough weekend. As Phil put it this morning, I haven't felt this tired since Isabelle was a baby. Isabelle battled a fever all weekend, thus her usual sleep patterns were disrupted. She didn't nap well during the day, and at night she would sleep for 3-4 hours at a time, then wake up hungry and have trouble going back to sleep. Fortunately, when the doctor checked her out this morning, she couldn't find any sign of ear infection or throat abnormality, so she left us in wait-and-see mode. We didn't have to wait long. She was fever-free all day.

It's a relief, in a way, to know that nothing's wrong, but the emotional toll of the weekend almost makes me wish there was some explanation for the suffering ... both hers and ours. Phil started a new night job this weekend, on top of his regular job which is Saturday early evenings and Sunday afternoons, so much of the burden for caring for Isabelle fell to me, day and night. I don't deal well with anyone in our family being even a little bit sick, so I found myself crying every time he left the house. I was emotionally empty, physically drained and spiritually dry. I haven't cried that hard in a while.

Sunday night was by far the roughest of the weekend, but that afternoon, I was more hopeful than I had been all weekend because I knew at least that Phil would be there for a day/night block of time without interruption. Even when Isabelle's crying for "Mommy, mommy, mommy," I'm encouraged when he's just in the house because there's another option for her care.

The whole situation made me think of the verse in Ecclesiastes that is sometimes used in weddings.

"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, NIV)

I take this to mean that God does not intend for us to go through life alone. Married or not, we need other people to help us along in our life's journey, especially when the tough times come. Otherwise, we end up burnt out -- spiritually, physically, and emotionally. We don't always need someone who can fix our problems or pull us out of the tough times. Sometimes all we need is a shoulder to cry on, a warm embrace, a kind word, or a listening ear.

And while we're strong together, we're strongest when God is in the relationship, be it a marriage, a friendship or a family.

It's not always easy to admit we need other people, but it's clear from God's Word that Christians, especially, are meant to function as one unit, a body. Toes wouldn't last very long by themselves, nor would ears or noses. The parts of our bodies are designed to work together for the good of the body; so, too, should we, the body of Christ work together for the good of the whole.

We don't have to go through life, the good or the bad, alone. We're not meant to. Who do you need in your life today?

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