Rain, rain go away.
Everyone in my area will agree that this summer has had record rainfall. Downpours. Flash floods. Roads closed. Detours. Sump pumps working overtime. Activities canceled.
We have had rain in record breaking proportions. Several times I have gotten stuck on roads that were closed due to flooding and have had to detour completely out of my way to get to my destination, taking me much longer to get from Point A to Point B.
I have also experienced downpours and detours personally. I have had days, and sometimes extended periods of time, that it seems like nothing goes right! Like the saying goes, “When it rains, it pours.” There have been many times where storms just dumped on me!
I have had moments with my health that have been one thing after another. Once I underwent one surgery (a hysterectomy) where everything from the beginning went wrong and resulted with several unplanned consecutive surgeries, pancreatitis and my staples coming out leaving my entire incision opened. And the worst thing was they could not complete the hysterectomy due to complications so I still had all of my original issues plus a slew more by the time all was said and done. That time it definitely poured and I had many unexpected detours to overcome.
And then there are days like I had last week. Nothing major but a multitude of continuous, misfortunate events that led to my extreme irritation and a slight (actually more than slight) emotional breakdown. Looking back now, it’s amusing… but then… not so much!
To set the scene…
My youngest child, Morgan, was married six weeks ago so I no longer have children living at home. Since the wedding, my husband has had to go on a few week long business trips. This left me completely alone at home which I am convinced is a recipe for disaster. We were also having a week of seemingly endless rain. I used the time inside to clean out a few closets that needed attention. But this left me with several large garbage bags that needed to be put outside for pickup.
Raining lightly on Tuesday night, I decided to run the trash out before the skies opened as my weather app showed was coming. I dumped the entire cat liter box into one of the trash bags so it would be gone and not smell. I took several bags out and that was the last one I took to the curb.
On the way, the bag ripped spilling its contents all over my lap, clothing and wheelchair! I had cat liter dropping on the sidewalk and driveway as well as clumps of excrement on my lap, down my legs and on my foot pedals. I tried to shake it off and had to try to get it off my foot rests by bending over and using my hands to shake it off. It was disgusting and smelly. I wanted to quickly get inside to shower off the stink!
I went up my front sidewalk to go up my ramp. Now I had been frustrated with my ramp because when it was wet, I noticed my chair would slide on it. I was always able to get up but my wheels would slip and spin. This evening my wheels did indeed slip, and I went backwards with my back wheels going off the sidewalk into the mulch and my front wheels not touching the pavement, but now up in the air.
With my front tires inches off the ground and my back tires in the mulch, I quickly realized I was stuck. My tires were digging deeper and deeper into the muck of dirt and mulch. Getting nervous, I moved my body up in the chair, rocking it back and forth as I hit my joy stick forward. It took a decent amount of time, but finally I was able to get the back tires to push up onto the sidewalk. Now my chair is covered with cat liter and mulch! I was wet, stinky and disgruntled!
Back to the ramp. My tires were damp, slippery and dirty and would not give me enough traction to get up to the front door. So now I am stuck outside. I wheeled down my sidewalk to see if any neighbors were out and about. But it was raining so everyone must have been warm and cozy inside. Plus everyone has steps to their doors so I couldn’t knock to ask for help. Waving my arms in the air, I tried to flag down passing cars to see if someone would stop to help me. No one stopped.
Now I am crying because I have been outside for quite awhile without a viable plan to get back inside. I knew I had to call someone for help but who? Steve was in South Carolina. Zach and Morgan live close by but still would take about 20 minutes to get there so I decided against them. I decided to text Morgan’s close friend, Emma, who lives about five minutes away. She answered me immediately and her and her mom were actually driving home and close to my house.
A few minutes later they pulled in and pushed me up the ramp within seconds. Emma even took out my dog so I wouldn’t have to go back outside that evening. I was so thankful and grateful for their help. After Emma and Mary gave me hugs and left, the heavens opened and it was a deluge of torrential rain outside. But inside it was also a downpour of my tears.
I was a stinky, disheveled mess leaving cat liter and muddy tracks throughout my house.
I was alone and depressed, missing my once full house and hating the silence.
I was weary of living my life in a wheelchair and all the inconveniences that constantly come up.
I was angry that simple tasks like taking out the trash or going into my house was a grueling effort.
I was questioning myself because I had just read my devotional about when storms come you need to still trust God. But instead a small storm was rocking my world. I have been through so much worse but for some reason this night’s events had me an emotional wreck. I cried as hard as it rained and probably for as long. I was just so weary… bone tired, worn out, spent! I wanted to drive my wheelchair off a cliff and never get in it again.
After sleeping, I woke up and realized that it was a funny story and that God really had been with me through my “storm.” He helped me get out of the mulch; He had me get in touch with people who helped me physically into the house but also emotionally supported me with hugs and love; and He held the total downpour until I was safely inside.
I honestly do not know why I cried so much that night. Like I said, I have been through much worse. Usually this story would make me laugh but it didn’t. Not right away anyway.
But I am comforted by the fact that…
I follow a God who can calm the storms! (Mark 4:35-41)
I have a Lord who collects my tears in a bottle. (Psalm 56:8)
My Savior has also cried. (John 11:35.)
God knows our troubles. (Psalm 34:17)
I believe in a God who cares for me and reminds me to give Him my worries. (1 Peter 5:7)
Downpours, detours and storms are going to come our way! Expect them! Jesus says, “In this world you will have trouble.” (John 16:33) Prepare for them! Just like people order sump pumps or generators, we can prepare by drawing closer to God, learning and imitating His character, studying His Word, and having a group of trusted friends to support you. Preparation will help you when the tough times come so that you can stand firm when the winds shake you, the rain dumps on you and you need to take unexpected detours.
I may have emotionally lost it last week but thankfully His mercies are new every morning. I was able to wake up and laugh about the preposterous events. And even more, I was able to see His hand taking care of me even in my distress, anger and weariness!
And just to wrap up the story… I showered and cleaned off the cat liter, finally smelling better, but mulch fell out of my chair for the next 3 days!