Wednesday, October 25


I used to play this game with myself. I would try to imagine all the bad things that could happen and what I would do in case they did. Once upon a time, I thought it made me feel better. This was back when I still figured I could control the world. Now, I mostly just pretend like I can.

I read a story tonight, well, I skimmed it and looked at the photos. It was about a little boy who had a heart transplant, but he had a bad reaction to the transplanted heart and after several weeks of unexplainable complications, he died. I started to cry.

I realized as I was crying and asking God why He allows such hard and horrible things to happen to such little people...I'm scared. I want to know I can do everything right and put all my ducks in a row and tape my daughter up in bubble wrap and always keep her safe. But I can't do that. No matter what I do, I can't ensure her health and safety every moment. I don't have the power to control her environment to that extent. Though she'd probably enjoy the bubble wrap for a while, pop-pop-popping with every move.

I've read somewhere that becoming a mother is discovering what it is to live with your heart outside of your body. That's a hard thing to do. Especially when my little heart annoys the heck out of me and all I want to do is yell at her. Or maybe bop her on top of her cute blonde head.

Several months after my mom's death, we were cleaning out her closet and sorting through what to save, what to toss, what to donate. I found a letter from me that she'd kept in her jewelery box. It basically told her that I loved her, because I knew I didn't say it enough. I'd written that letter several months before her death, in the midst of some teenage rebellious act or another. When I found it, I started to cry. I cried because it had meant so much to her that she had saved it in a place she'd see it every day. I cried because, what if I hadn't written out my thoughts to her?

Death rarely comes at opportune times. I learned that lesson the hard way. Still, the lessons of caring for others and showing them how much you love them on an ongoing basis...they often get lost in the shuffle of trying to live my life. So I yell at my daughter. I scream at my husband. I wish I could have more time alone just to do what I want, when I want. And then I get scared that something will happen and I will feel horribly guilty for the rest of my life that I could have said something nice, I could have taken the high road, I could have opened my heart a little bigger...but I chose not to.

I've never read the book What's So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey, but I think about the title a lot. If you were raised as a Christian or even just around them, you probably have heard the song "Amazing Grace" hundreds, if not millions of times. It's so familiar it seems to lose all meaning. But, grace is amazing. God chooses to love me ALL THE TIME. Not just when I'm being good. Not just when I'm loving my family well. Not just when I pass out fliers for Him on the street corners (which is a relief, because I've never done that). When I'm at my worst, yelling at my daughter, screaming at my husband, arguing with God that I could really run the world better, plotting revenge against the driver that cut me off, He looks at me and He loves me.

And that makes me cry, too.


  1. Hi Amy

    That is so weird--I used to do the same thing...what if my parents were killed in an accident, how would I "the strong, oldest child" carry on and save the day? And I'd cry and cry over imagining what it would be like. I didn't know anyone else did anything like that. I feel better about it now, knowing that you did something similar when you were a child. :-) Say Hi to husband and child too!


  2. Sara,

    Thanks for your note! I'm glad you feel a little less weird. :)

    The more I talk to different people, the more I realize that almost none of our experiences are completely unique. The way that all of our experiences and thoughts and imaginations work together make us unique, but we can almost always find somebody who shares some of what makes us who we are.

    Mostly we just don't talk about such things, though. I wish I'd realized that when I was a teenager and thought nobody could possibly understand me.


  3. Amy,

    I don't know if this will make any sense, it is still a thought forming in my head...but I've been struggling lately with God, and last night the thought kept going round in my head, "can you find me God?" Today I was thinking about a song chorus, also a bible verse-"His mercy endures forever". I heard someone put that down alittle, that His grace certainly endures forever, but to need His mercy forever meant that we were pitiful forever...I didn't really like the comment when said, and today I realized why. I don't know about the person who said it, but yes...I probably will be pitiful forever (untill He finishes transforming me, which will probably be close to forever...) and that is mercy, and I am thankful for that mercy. God is mercy and love, and that is wonderful and amazing. Rest in His mercy, even when we are pitiful.

  4. Jenny,

    Thanks for sharing that. I think there has to be a difference between pitiful and pitiful, so to speak. I mean, I know that there is nothing I can do to earn God's grace (not that that keeps me from trying, you understand) but, we still have this incredible value as humans and God's children.

    It's like watching your kids try to accomplish something that's just too big or complex for them. You know they can't do it, and eventually, they figure out they can't do it, but an inability to accomplish what is required to care for themselves doesn't make them any less loved or cherished.

    Hmmm...this is getting kind of long. Maybe I'll have to post on this!


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