Blessed Be Your Name is one of my favorite worship songs. A straight Job rip-off, I feel like it encompasses all of life. There are days when I feel the sun shining down on me and I want to skip through a meadow. This, however, is not one of those days or seasons in life. My husband is slated for back surgery a week from today after over a year of chronic pain. He is unable to lift or carry our one-year-old son, which means I am pulling double-duty as a parent. I am worn out, three-months pregnant and living in a sea of Legos and Eric Carle. My stomach has been a mess and I didn’t think things could get much worse. They did.
I was getting ready for church on Sunday morning. My son was crawling through my legs as I brushed on some blush, but then he disappeared. A few minutes later, I heard a thump. I raced out of my bedroom and saw a mother’s nightmare – an open gate at the top of the stairs, followed by my son rolling down the second half of the steps. I screamed and cursed at my husband, forgetting that I could just as easily have forgotten to close the gate. I swooped his body up and we rushed to the ER.
One bloody nose, a CPS interview and an hour later, we were back at home. All I could do was cry. If I closed my eyes, I saw my son in only his diaper rolling down our carpeted stairs. I thanked God for the carpet and the rug at the bottom, but I couldn’t stop thinking about an alternate outcome. I felt hardened. Angry.
My buddy Lorraine told me that when she is hard, she sings worship songs to soften her heart. It was the last thing I wanted to do, but that night, fearful of closing my eyes, I went into my closet and began to sing. I know that nothing surprises God, but I had to admit that I wouldn’t be jumping for joy if my baby had broken his neck. How can I bless the name of the Lord on the road marked with suffering? And then a wise woman shared with me that blessing the name of the Lord doesn’t mean, “Oh, super, God! Thanks for this loss and that death.” It’s more of an inviting God into the whole mess and acknowledging that He is Lord. Somehow that was an enormous relief for me. I don’t want my husband to be injured, I don’t want him to be paralyzed from back surgery, and I’d prefer my son to survive adolescence! And those things may or may not happen, but God is present. And all I really have.