Sunday, June 24, 2012


Today, Jeramie and I have been married six years.  My mama asked me last night if it felt that long and I responded with a resounding, "Yes!".  The past three years, especially, have aged our marriage in a way I never expected.  I like to think that we've also become more mature as individuals, and as a couple, but there always seems to be room for just one more temper-tantrum (and not from the resident three year old).

Case in point: the past twenty-four hours.

After a birthday party yesterday morning, the three of us drove down to my parents' house.  Our plan was to spend the night, eat Sunday dinner (that's country talk for a really big lunch) together, then leave Ethan for a few days while Jeramie and I spent some time celebrating the past six years.  That was the plan.  However, as whatever would have it, Ethan spiked a fever of 103 around 4:00 yesterday afternoon.  By 8:30 last night he was even hotter, and absolutely miserable.

Given that this is our fourth go 'round with this mess in the past six months, we knew that the fever would most likely spike through medicine, hang around for a few days, then disappear as quickly as it came.  We also knew that he would be incredibly clingy, restless, and in an all-around crummy mood.  It didn't take long for us to decide that we needed to cancel our anniversary plans.  The problem, however, is that those plans included a non-refundable night's stay in a posh downtown Wilmington hotel overlooking the Cape Fear River.

*Let me just take a minute to recommend Expedia and the Hilton Wilmington Riverside.  Both parties were compassionate, understanding, and more than willing to work together to give us a full refund.  We were blown away by their generosity and human-ness.

Once Jeramie got all of that settled, I felt better about driving back to Raleigh and not losing a chunk of change in the process.  But.  I cannot say I was happy about it.  Everyone was disappointed - me, Jeramie, my parents, and Ethan (even after losing his lunch in his car seat) and I loathe disappointing people.  On the ride home I told Jeramie that, as minute as canceling anniversary plans sound in the grand scheme of things, I was kind of ticked off at God.

I specifically remember making the hotel reservation and getting to the screen where we were informed (yet again) that we were reserving a non-refundable room.  We sat in front of the computer, staring at that screen for a solid three minutes, wondering what to do.  We considered closing the browser and nixing the idea altogether, but finally decided that we would only be doing that out of fear of the unknown, and we've agreed to not make decisions based on fear alone.  We had no reason to think that Ethan would get sick, and I've specifically prayed for his general health and protection from the "v-word" in the past few weeks.

Surely God would hear those prayers and let us enjoy our night, right?

As I was packing to head back home this morning, thinking about all of this and getting more and more angry, something occurred to me.  It's kind of deep, though.  Are y'all ready for this?

God is God and I am not.

It's that simple.  I can't control Him any more than I can control the weather or invading viruses, and I think sometimes I like to use prayer as a joystick in the game of life.  When prayers are answered exactly as I prayed them, it gives me the illusion that I made that happen, and not that I simply serve and love a benevolent God who wants to give good gifts to His children.

But, every now and then, He needs to teach us a lesson or two.  I went on to tell Jeramie that God's "I've got this" came in the form of Him putting money back in our pockets when it seemed highly unlikely. And, as my earthly Daddy sang to us last night, "you can't always get what you want...", I got the feeling God was using him to help me see that this isn't about me and what I want.  But, that if I try sometime, I just might find ... I get what I need.


So, what I need right now is a healthy boy.  Forget hotels, and pools, and moonlit walks down the riverfront ... I need Ethan to be well.  With every fever spike comes a spike in his heart rate and, as with every other time he's been sick like this, I hate thinking about what that's doing to that beautifully broken heart of his.  We're rotating Tylenol and Motrin and he finally gave in to sleep about half an hour ago.  Please pray for my boy.  Last night was rough and tonight we need rest in the comfort of our own beds.  It's not the Hilton, but it's home, and I'm here with the two boys who have completely stolen my heart.


Jenn said...

Joye, I am so sorry. I am definitely praying that Ethan is better and fast. I hate that you had to cancel your plans (again!), but I believe that God will restore all that has been lost to you, even if it's when you are finally at his feet.

I do adore the way you are so transparent in your writing; your journey with Ethan has not been easy (understatement!), and anyone can understand how you would have moments of frustration. But I have seen over the years how even at your angriest you always come back to the truth of who God is, and you continue to trust him, even if you have a tantrum here and there. Even Moses threw a tantrum, remember? So you're in good company there.

Love you girl!

Tori Shaw said...

I'm right there with you Joye! God continuously reminds me that He is in control, not me! I'm glad He is willing to be patient with me and continue to teach me these lessons. I'll be praying for your family.


Tara said...

You have an amazing heart for God and it is evident in all aspects of your life. This post really resonated with me, and I definitely think, like Jenn mentioned, He will restore this to you, because you ended up resting on His truth in the situation. I am praying that Ethan break free from whatever this is, in Jesus name. That God would heal him and he be fever free - Amen!

Misty said...

Joye, I am praying that you can get him on the right track. I know how it is to have to cancel plans due to sickness. Last weekend on Tylers birthday weekend, when we were supposed to be having a great day at Myrtle Waves his stomach issue hit hard. Needless to say that we were at the ER on a Friday night. So no go the weekend. Then the day after his 8th birthday we were at Duke trying to figure out what is wrong. Thank you for this post. We all have our tantrums and we would not be human if we didn't. Congrats on the wedding anniversary. Ours was 10 this year, can you believe it?! And you will get your relaxing time, we did and Tyler and Bryce had a blast. Just a little late. Praying little man is ok!

Sherry Reese said...

Happy Anniversary, Joye! I am so sorry for your disappointment...I would feel disappointed too. But God has a way of working through our disappointments, and I am glad that you found a way to see His glory in this situation. I am so so so sorry that little man is sick, and I hope it will pass quickly. I know it is hard to see him sick after all he has been through. My little man started running a fever yesterday so something may be going around but hopefully nothing too serious. I'll keep Ethan in my prayers!

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