One horrible night a dear family member attempted suicide, the terrifying wait to get to the hospital, the hours of waiting to see if they will recover are draining life and faith by the moment, overwhelm to say the least. Then came the relational crisis as they were locked up in the Psyche ward blaming us and begging not to let them do it when you have no choice, then I was told by this dear one not to come back they didn’t want to see me.
That same day having no sleep at all I had to move my daughter Tess into our house and out of an apartment as she was starting Nursing School and we wanted to help her with housing for those years. All the moving and cleaning to get her deposit back took till about 2am that night. Now totally exhausted we arrive home in early February, 20 degrees outside, to discover we have no heat. Beyond overwhelm I just told everyone to wrap up in blankets we weren’t going to a hotel. It was another miserable night to say the least.
The next morning I got up as is my custom to spend my time with God, all wrapped up in blankets, steam coming off my coffee I was not happy, in fact quite bitter and cold. My normal routine was to take my journal and begin to write the things I am grateful for. That morning at that moment I was far from grateful, in fact I began to tell God just exactly how I felt that I wasn’t going to pose and act like things are great when they clearly are NOT! “Grateful! What in the world should I be grateful for?” I said.
Then the smoke of battle began to clear and I remembered an amazing nurse who had helped us the night of the suicide attempt. You see this loved one does not do well with pain, they can’t even deal with an IV, so when this nurse came in to do a Blood Gas Test I was thinking this was going to be horrible as I had had one of those one time and they stick an artery and for me it was much, much worse than a IV.
This nurse was so kind and gentle he rubbed the artery for about 30 minutes before he did the test and I will never forget my loved one saying, WOW, that was easier than an IV. I told God, “Yes it was a horrible night but You did send us that amazing Nurse, THANK YOU!, yes you were so kind to do that.” No sooner than those words came out of my mouth that I realized, oh, YES, they lived, YOU SAVED THEM GOD!!! Oh, no, how could I have been so caught up in my problems to miss THAT!
I’m guessing I don’t have to say it but I will, the ANTIDOTE FOR OVERWHELM IS GRATITUDE. It’s like magic, superhuman power to go from complete overwhelm, fear,and bitterness to Joy and Thanksgiving. What a gift gratitude itself is.