"All these financial struggles and constant pain are so unnecessary!" I cried to my husband. I had to bite my lips to prevent myself from adding once again, 'And it's all YOUR fault!'
3 months ago, Joshua told me that he couldn't come home for dinner at the very last minute for 4 consecutive nights, leading to my back injury. You see, the way I do things is very different when I'm alone with the kids as opposed to having my husband's presence and help.
If I had been told beforehand that he would not be back the entire week, I would have gladly planned and handled everything by myself. I would have cooked simple meals such as fried rice instead of the usual soup with 2 dishes. I would have nursed the baby before starting dinner so that I wouldn't have to breastfeed while playing the role of a waitress to 3 hungry children and trying to get some food into my own stomach so that I would not suffer low blood sugar at the same time. I would have prepped the children to fall in line with the Mummy-has-no-help SOP and that they would have to pull their weight accordingly. The bath-time sequence would be different, playtime would be cut short and the kids would be in bed earlier so that my battery wouldn't run flat before everything is done.
Yet, at 6pm dinnertime, my husband messaged me that he would be 10 minutes late, only to tell me again at 6.15pm that he was delayed by another hour. By the time he finally came back, the kids were already in bed and the chores all done. Throughout the process, the kids kept asking me if Daddy was going to be home soon or was working late as they wanted to know what was expected of them but I could not tell them for sure too.
Imagine running a relay race. At the point when you are supposed to take over the baton, you keep jogging forward while looking back and reaching out your hand expecting your team mate to reach you but he never does. When I tried to ascertain the next morning whether Joshua would be home for dinner that day, I was once again assured that he would. However, the unfortunate turn of events had a repeat telecast again and yet again. My back suffered badly for trying to be an ambivalent octopus that week.
Thus, I have had constant backache despite trips to the doctor, massages, expensive chiropractic sessions, physiotherapy and popping of painkillers till this very day. Living simply, we have barely enough to support 6 people on a single salary, but to add my unexpected medical bills?
I was reminded last week that I had harbored unresolved bitterness against my husband all this time and I had allowed the evil one to gain a foothold in my marriage. I had to ask God to help me release total forgiveness to Joshua because he definitely did not sabotage me on purpose. In fact, his love for me prompted his desire to be there to help me during the nights in spite of his heavy work week but he simply couldn't do it, against his very good intentions.
Nevertheless, I have learnt an extremely important lesson through it all. God had allowed this injury to happen in order for me to learn total surrender and dependance on Him. Just as a shepherd would break the leg of a way-ward lamb and carry it on his shoulders till it recovers to teach it not to wander from his protection, God is teaching me to depend on Him instead of my own strength by giving me this torn in the flesh.
I would be lying through my crooked teeth if I were to tell you that people marveling at my ability to care for 4 young children and running the household without much help do not stroke my ego one bit. I didn't even know that my self-reliance and pride were in the way of my relationship with God till I realized I was chaffing at the bit each time I had to ask for supernatural help to continue with my homemaking work while enduring pain with every movement I make.
I have to surrender my strengths and abilities at the feet of the cross and boast only of my mighty God who enables me to do what he has entrusted me to do. I can now joyfully say that even if I'm never going to be completely healed from my back pain, I can indeed do all things through Christ who strengthens me!