This was one of those mornings that went nothing like I had planned. The Mo-man woke up with a gross, green snotty nose so the church nursery wasn't an option. I may or may not have been thinking "yes! I can get the grocery shopping done with just one kid!" Wait. Did I just admit that? Forgive me, Lord. Pray for my soul, friends.
Anyway - my older babes headed off to church with their grandparents. Morrow and I piled into the Suburban with a loooooong list of groceries and other random last minute Christmas things. I mean, no matter how many times I go shopping at Christmastime there is just one more something that has to be picked up. This was my chance to get it all done quick. Morrow would sit in the cart and no one else would be in tow. Sorry Fred Meyer shoppers for sharing our germs.
But, Morrow had other plans. I knew that dazed, open-mouthed look too well. Just as Fred Meyer came into sight, Morrow's big blue eyes fluttered to sleep and he was out cold with those sweet chubby cheeks puffing up with every breath. Poor baby with a cold, could I really deny him a nap?
So, there I was in the Fred Meyer parking lot. Me, a sleeping Morrow, and a store full of things I thought I needed - so close and yet so far away all at the same time.
What's a girl to do with all that quiet?
This time Jesus and Starbucks won out over Candy Crush.
I found myself in Psalm 40:
"I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and the mire. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord."
Just that week I had received a phone call from an old friend. She had heard about my recent struggles and wanted to check on me. I had no idea where she was with Jesus, or what she'd think about me when I started talking about Him. I hesitated. But, He has been so good to me, I had no choice. It was overflowing out of me and I found myself telling her all that Jesus had done for the kids and for me.
Maybe she thought I was crazy. That I am a religious nut who is way too into Jesus. I'm not sure.
I wish I could say that I had no shame in the Gospel. That I never had a moment's hesitation in speaking Jesus's name. That I never gave my reputation a second thought. But I did hesitate. And I don't always attribute praise to Jesus for how well I am doing and for the blessings I have received. Sometimes I don't attribute glory to Him and I just give the easy answer that we are doing well.
So, as I read Psalm 40, I thought, "Lord, by your grace, may it be so. May I live as if you are real, because you are. May many see all that you have done for me. May they hear the new song that you have put in my mouth and may they fear You and put their trust in You."
In the crazy of my life over the past eight months, the Lord's right hand has done mighty things. I did not think I would ever survive divorce and becoming a single mom. I think I expected to shrivel up and die. But, like the psalmist in Psalm 118, "I will not die but LIVE, and will proclaim what the Lord has done."
But, only by God's grace can we live through the unthinkable and only by God's grace can we have such a new song placed in our heart that we will proclaim all that He has done without fear of man and their opinion. Because oh! what a privilege it would be to see many fear and trust the Lord because of anything He has done for me. Grace upon grace upon grace.