So 2018 didn’t exactly get off to the greatest of beginnings.
Don’t get me wrong, we had a great New Year’s Eve spent with a fab family from Church. We played silly games, ate great food, drank and watched the fireworks. New Year’s Day started great, we had 30 people from Church round for bacon butties (a great way to start the year I must say!).
About 4.30 I go out to call the dog in from the garden. She is our great escape artist and loves to go into our neighbours garden so I’m out there for a while before she comes back.
I come back in (with dog in toe) to see I have had 6 missed calls from my sister. Now my family are not massive callers, we are a family of texters. So I of course text her back.
hey there, was out looking for the dog, what can I do for you?
She rings straight back, I pick up.
Um…there no easy way to say this but mum has had a heart attack.
…silence…brain tries to process what she has just said…tears…
I’m sorry, what? Mum has had a heart attack? Our mum? A heart attack??
Yes, she’s had a heart attack and is on her way to hospital
…silence…tears…brain struggling to process…I can’t breath properly…
Sorry, can you say that again? Our mum has had a heart attack and is on her way to hospital?
Yes, they took her to Cheltenham hospital and she’s been transferred from there straight to Bristol
…struggling to breath…tears…thoughts everywhere…
Is she ok? Is dad ok? Why has this happened? Is she going to have another one? Is she going to die? Do I need to come up right now? Will I get there in time? WHAT IS HAPPENING???!!
Dad is with her, don’t come up right now, I will keep you updated, breath and tell Carl
I put the phone down and sit in stunned silence trying to get hold of my thoughts and my breathing.
I’m in shock!
I have another beautiful quote from my current book (if you haven’t read My Grandmother seems her regards and apologises by Fredrik Backman then do!)
Only one person collapses with a heart attack…but two hearts are broken, and the house is never quite the same again
My mum had a heart attack, but there is also my dad, my sister and two brothers and her 8 grandchildren. That is a lot of hearts hurting.
And in all of that I have lost my trust in God and placed it in myself and I didn’t even notice it happen.
God, I should be there…I need to do this or that…I’m not there…I need to speak to her…I need to tell her this…
And God whispered back
Yes God, but I’m not and I should be.
I know Lindsay, but I’m there, I’m with her, I’m with them.
Yes, but, what if…
I know, I know! But I am with her, I am with her!
How quickly does that happen to us?
Something unexpected happens and we get knocked sideways, we completely lose our footing and stumble. We retreat from those who love us and want to support us, we shut down emotionally as a way of self protection and we go it alone!
In that moment I did that to Carl and to God. I barricaded myself in, protected myself from being vulnerable and they both stood outside of my impenetrable fortress and gently knocked.
Please let us in, let us be with you in this, let us sit with you
But it’s so hard isn’t it, to admit that we are hurting and to reach out and accept love from others, especially God.
But like any parent, God sees our pain and suffering and he just wants to be with us in it. That’s not to say that by letting God in all our pain will magic away (he’s not a magician!!) but he will stay with us in the midst of the mess, and he will hold us. While we thrash about and scream, he holds us.
In that phone call my hand slipped from God’s pretty quickly, I relied on myself rather than trusting that whatever the outcome may have been that he was still with me, with my mum and my dad and my siblings and our children. He had us all right in the palm of his hands.
And like any loving parent God has been gentle with me, he has t pointed out my mistakes but as I have looked back at the past week he has shown me that in it all he was there. When I wasn’t there he was. And now I’m not there he is still there. And he is with me too, as the reality sinks in he is still walking me through it.
What a good Father we have.