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Thursday, December 1, 2011

My Recent Landlord Notice

I read to my little girl before she goes to sleep most every night. Most of the time we read the Bible, but sometimes she wants fairy tales or nursery tales. We recently read The Three Little Pigs, and I was struck at how each of the pigs spent a varying amount of time and energy on building their houses, and of course the last pig, who spent the most time on a brick house, built a house that withstood the Big Bad Wolf's puffs.

Yesterday, my friend and crit partner, Katie Ganshert, a debuting author with Waterbrook Multonomah, wrote a post on accomplishing the impossible, with God's help. I needed her reminder that when the waves (or the huffs and puffs of the Bid Bag Wolf) try to knock you down, you have to stand firm in your faith. Jesus will see you through, and there will be no rivers that will sweep over you (Isaiah 43:2).

Recently, there was another tragedy at my place of employment. A family has one less member present than they had with them on Sunday morning. Being the clinician for the agency, I was called in to be there with the family when they were told, and this was the absolute hardest thing I've ever faced in my career. I'll never forget the screams, the denial, the anger, the defeat, the pain. I'll never forget the look on the mother's face as it crumpled under the weight of the news that her child would never be with her again, laughing, playing, texting her.

Life changed in the span of time it took to say, "I'm sorry, but your child has been killed in an automobile accident." If ever there was a time when the waves would threaten to crash over a person, that would it.

I absolutely dreaded going back to work the next day. I knew there would be hours upon hours of comforting, checking in, being present and being on. I knew I'd have to do critical incident stress debriefing, over and over and over. After the night before, I honestly didn't know how I'd do it. I'd released my own pain and sadness at home, and felt raw.

Monday morning I managed to take a shower, get dressed. I felt like a shell of myself. No motivation, exhausted, spent. I believed my house to be made of straw and sticks, easily blown away. I was depleted.

But on my way in to the office, this is what I saw:
Rainbow over Humboldt County, CA
All it took was this one visual reminder (which yes, I took this photo while driving...huge no-no in CA, but I didn't think anyone would believe me at work) to evoke God's promise to the earth to never again let it be overtaken by a flood.

I was rejuvenated, renewed. I actually smiled when I arrived, and was able to do all the things I had known I had to do...but with a song in my heart, despite the pain and exhaustion keeping residence there. It was exactly what I needed, and I realized that my house was built of brick and not just straw or sticks. My Landlord painted me a little note in the sky to remind me, too.

Let's analyze: Are you building a house of straw and sticks, or are you taking the time and energy to use brick? What huffs and puffs of the Big Bad Wolf are being sent your way this week?