Monday, August 24, 2015

Shouting "Woooo HA!" at Suffering

My favorite thing my son says is, "Woooooo HA!"
A deft hybridization of "Woo hoo!" and "Yee Haw!"
Doesn't that just tickle you silly? Ridiculous. That kid... he's hilarious.

Today I'm thinking, there are a lot of things to "Woooo HA!" about in my life. There are also a lot of things that I completely hate. And it's not a neat, tidy divide. Very often, these two categories are inextricably intertwined... I can't have the "Woooo HA" without the "UGH."

I hate going to sleep at night knowing that I may be dragged from my nice warm bed many times... like, every hour. As I stagger across the hall, my bones ache and I just feel pissed. Hate it. UGH.
But when I'm curled up in my wing backed chair, in the dead of night, fogged with exhaustion... and it's just us. Silence. No distractions, and I'm pressed under the warm floppy-rag-doll body of my sleeping child... my heart is singing, "Wooo HA!" No one gets to love him like that but me.

I hate my stretched out belly.
I love that despite my imperfect body, my husband seems to GENUINELY see beauty in me. It's wild. It's insanity. It's amazingly beautiful and life-giving. "Wooo Ha!" And I couldn't have this unmerited favor without my flaws.

I hate weariness. Pressing through "not enough" every day. But I love naps. Naps are so sweet when you're bone-deep tired. I never loved naps before having children... now I dream about them with an intense passion only seen in starving people dreaming of food. Naps! Woooo HA!

I don't want to glibly to be all, "It's about your perspective, ladies!" because you can change your perspective all day (or, sometimes you can't, but that's another thing) and still hate where you are.
You can look for the bright sight, dig for the silver lining, stiffen that upper lip, and still despise the season you're in. It happens.
I'm really not a baby lover... they're precious, they make me smile, I can pinch cheeks and blow raspberries with the best of them... but ultimately, it's just not my jam. Most people groan in misery when their kids turn 2. For me it was the beginning of finding joy in parenting. But babies? Eck, I can savor every moment and still be screaming internally, "GET ME OUT OF HERE!"

Changing your perspective is not about making you love your circumstances, but it is about redeeming the things you don't love into a life you can celebrate.

Corrie ten Boom comes to mind. She had a knack for spotting the shards of mercy scattered through her shattered life. That didn't make her story happy, but it sure did make it beautiful.

Where is the small fragment of grace hidden in the thing you UGH?
Where is the itsy bitsy glimmer of "Wooo Ha" celebration in your least favorite trials?
That is the buoy that will float you upward through life's difficulties.
That is the fragment of heaven hidden in a broken world.

The utter softness of a baby's hand wrapped around your thumb when you're so tired you could puke? That is a promise of Christ's redemption of the world at it's finest.

I have a hunch that looking for grace is not about putting on rose colored glasses. Not about forcing ourselves to smile when we want to lay down and weep. It's about leaning into eyes that look up, over, and beyond the limping world and seeing where heaven peeks through.

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