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Close to the Edge.


How easy it is for me to think that I’m “making it.”

And I don’t say this lightly. When I was married, we lived for five years under the daily threat of eviction.

Now I am divorced and transplanted across the globe, I give thanks daily for my accomplishments. My children and I are housed, fed, schooled, and I am working and paying the bills to ensure our life works.

This is an impressive achievement and I am the first to acknowledge that.

There are daily blips of course -- we are human. However, day in and day out I am viscerally amazed by the grace of God. We are here, we are surviving.

And then one thing – just one thing – wings in to throw our equilibrium and I recognise how fragile the whole thing is.

Last night, prepping dinner and using a mandolin to ribbon zucchini, I sliced off a chunk of my thumb.

My teenage kids were brilliant and didn't pass out. It was absolutely that “Oh ****!!” moment. Not a minor injury but a “Who will take me to the ER?”

By the grace of God, we have been welcomed into an extraordinarily strong community of love and support since moving here. I called a close buddy. “OK, so I’ve lost a large chunk of thumb and I’m thinking of super-glueing it back. What do you think?” “I think I’ll come over…” Katie was with us within minutes.

Two hours in the ER, hand disinfected and bound, I was returned safely home by said lovely friend. I went to bed.

Today, I fell apart. Very weepy, I missed appointments, I failed to organise household needs, I stayed on the sofa.

How fragile our equilibrium truly is. I think I’m kicking it, yet a badly cut thumb derails my world. I am overwhelmed. I am crying at the tiniest thing. It is the camel-breaking straw. It’s the “Who do I think I’m kidding? I’m so close to the edge I should have vertigo,” moment.

It has been an exhausting day. All the things I think I should have done have been left.

How to respond? Well, perhaps here is the grace. To recognise that even on the days I think I’m making it, I am actually held in the hands of grace. I am apparently “managing”, then something hits and I realise the whole thing is not under my control but His.

Today I did not achieve anything I hoped to. My kids saw me cry and bewail my state. I was a mess. So even more so they get to see how much I rely on God and not on myself. Today is a mercy. I am categorically not “Super Mom”.

Because when I appear strong, it would be easy to think it’s all down to me and my own strength of character. My own grit, vim and vigour. And yet the slightest cut, the briefest wobble, reveals my reality for what it is.

I cannot do this on my own. I cannot take care of my children alone and meet their needs. I cling to Christ. My stability and my provision come from Him. Look at the fact I even had a sofa to collapse onto. He does not and will not let us go.

So the wobbles are mercies -- TODAY being one of them.

Lest we forget.

And think - ridiculously! - that somehow we are managing this.

All by ourselves.

Jsg/May 2019

©2020 BY IN A MANNER OF SPEAKING