The Fabulous Familiar

Taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Wind-Up Toy

Sometimes, I must admit, I am like a wind-up toy. Stick me in an open land, wind me up and watch me wander all over the place until I stop. I will occasionally tip over if an object gets in my way and make that really obnoxious sound that alerts the nearest person that I am still wound up, but not making headway. Subsequently flick me back onto my feet and I will continue scampering every which way.

I thought I was satisfied with this hurried life of mine. I felt that when my winding contraption gave that final click and I was stuck in a still, solitary state, that I would go absolutely mad.

So I ignored the signs, the quiet whispers,

Telling me to rest, to find a good book and curl up with it, to take time out to just talk to God.

Instead, I stubbornly went after my own ambitions, thinking rest, prayer and solitude were for those less determined.

In its place, however, I found that those who neglect such things end up with mono. And job disappointment.

Both were like large stop signs to me. If this isn’t mono, it is truly its twin sister. It sucks all the energy out of you; it produces viral sores on the mouth and tongue, and slowly makes food lose its appeal (and for those of you who know me, food hardly ever loses its appeal!)

I must admit that the first day spent in bed was not one of my best days. I had just gotten under the covers, coping with my new diagnosis, and the phone rings. Seeing that it is the area code from a job I had been wanting, I actually manage to answer with a voice that slightly resembles me on a good day.

“Is this Ashton?”

Disregarding my initial notion to say, “What’s left of her,” I sweetly say, “Yes, it is,”—fighting the gunk that is trying to clog my airways.

My forced smile gradually begins to sink as I catch the main parts of a “We went with someone with more qualifications” speech. Before I could close the deal with a sense of professionalism, the doctor’s voice begins to ring through again: “I’m almost positive you have mono. We’ll do a blood test in 7 days to confirm.” I choke up slightly, but politely thank the girl for letting me know.

Perhaps I overly share in my writing, but I only do it because I know others of you have been there. And I know that by choosing realness, I am letting you know that your thoughts have been thought before, your feelings have been felt before.

I use that to preface the following: I spent the next several minutes calling out to God. I would like to say that I said nice things, things that could go in a book and inspire generations to come, but I didn’t.

I was hurt. I was sad. And yes, I was a tad angry.

That’s the thing with us wind-up toys. We wind ourselves up and then are disillusioned enough to feel like our mechanical, overworked ways are the Lord’s ways. Then we look ridiculous when we’re stuck in a corner, still moving our legs like we’re making progress.

We don’t get to where we wanted to go and then we look up at the toymaker like, “Hey, why did I even work myself to death if I’m not going to get anywhere?”

That’s when he looks down at us and softly admits, “You didn’t have to. My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”

I am proud to say that the last few days have become better than the first. My throat has never felt worse, but my heart has never felt better. I am more fatigued than I have ever been, but I have also never been so aware of God’s strength.

It took forced quiet time for me to realize how important a personal relationship with God is; and how moments of peace and prayer feed that relationship like gasoline on a fire.

{“Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”} 2 Corinthians 12:9-10


Blogger HannahKey said...

Feeling like this right now, girl. I don't have mono, but the way this semester has been going, I might as well have a knob sticking out of my side and symbols in my hands. I have been caught more than once heading for a corner. I LOVE my internship, but the hours are so, so long. I feel like I have been slacking in the wife dept, but Scott continues to encourage and tell me that I am doing a good job. Your analogy could not be more perfect. I am so, so sorry that you are sick :-( Scott knows how frustrating it is to search and search for that job and only get the call saying they found someone else, or, "sorry but we're not hiring right now." It's incredibly discouraging. But, God provides.

I love you, cousin.


February 2, 2011 at 8:07 AM  

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