Saturday, July 25, 2015

If you must count...

Sometimes I muse in this little space. Occasionally I ramble with the intent to encourage other people in a similar situation to my own who may be struggling. I love to encourage. I love to build up and bolster the faith of friends near and far with my story and the things that God has been teaching me.
But most often, when my thoughts and feelings and learned life lessons find their way through my fingertips onto a previously blank page, it is because I need to hear them myself. I need encouragement, I need reminding, and today is one of those days. 

I want to both laugh and cry as I remember the chief resident telling me before residency began that I shouldn’t worry, because “July will be easy! We break them in slowly.” And he was serious. We are on day 13 of a 28-day stretch of Riley working without a day off. Until two days ago I thought this would be his day off. I didn’t read the schedule right, and was counting on a brief reprieve. Expectations are a funny thing, aren’t they?

I want choose laughter, but if I’m honest, the tears are waiting at the ready, waiting for a small breach in the dam to burst forth and flood my pillow.  

Today I find myself tempted to dwell on this fact. 
This is rough. 
We have such a long journey ahead. 
My mind wanders to the count. How many more days, how many more months? How many more late nights and early mornings? How many church services, parties, appointments, and dinners will I attend husbandless? And the more I count, the more I am tempted to despair.

Counting is dangerous, if you are counting disappointments. If you are highlighting the parts of your life where you foolishly believe, even if for just a fleeting moment, that God is being unkind. 

If you must count, count blessings.

I look back sometimes to the blog posts I wrote during the first two years of medical school. 
When the old adage, "when it rains, it pours" was realized in our little family.
 Wow, those were rough years.

But life was so sweet. It was sweet, because it had to be. I was forced to either notice and number my blessings, or sink under the weight of intense trial. 
So count I did. Everything. Every moment. Every blossom, every laugh, every success.
I must get back to that. Count that which is good, kind, lovely, true.

If I can do that, my perspective will shift. If I can focus on the small, everyday gifts from my kind and generous Heavenly Father, then this season, too, will be a sweet one.

One, two, three...

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