I am so forgetful. Like, embarrassingly forgetful. Like, you just introduced yourself, and we've been chatting for less than five minutes, and I have absolutely no idea how to introduce you to my husband, because, for the life of me, I can't remember your name. I'm the kind of forgetful that loses her car in the Walmart parking lot and wanders aimlessly through the rows, intentionally trying to set off the car alarm. I have stopped arguing with Matt about what did or did not happen last year, whether or not I have seen this movie, or if we've been to that restaurant before. Seriously, people, I forget.
And I'm anxious. I come by it naturally. I'm a very gifted worrier. I may or may not have been mentally planning my escape route with Oliver in case of a sniper fire... or...zombie attack while waiting in the check out line at Target last week. You know, just in case. (Seriously. My mental health friends should probably call to check on me!)
The thing about being an absent minded worrier is that I forget the things that are true in the heat of the moment. Especially in the heat of the moment.
I need a token. I need something to hold. A reminder.
As a teenager I learned this about myself... and I began writing scraps of truth on notecards and putting them in my pocket during stressful days... or weeks. It was something to hold, to run my finger over, when I found myself begining to spiral into anxiety overload. It was something to ground myself with, it was something to turn my attention, it was something to lift my gaze. It was something to remember.
And it has become a bit of a thing for Matt and I over the past few years... scriptures and prayers scrawled on the back of receipts or napkins or hotel notepaper, and hidden in pockets and purses during interviews and meetings and hospital stays. It helps us remember. It helps us look up. It helps us trust.
Today Oliver had ear tubes placed. A very, very ordinary, routine procedure. But last night, I felt my anxiety creeping when I pictured a nurse walking out a door with my tiny son in her arms, to a room where I wasn't allowed to go, where he would be screaming and scared until he was sedated. And so Matt and I did for him what we do for each other... we found a scrap of truth and we prayed it over him.
In PEACE I will both lie down and sleep, for YOU ALONE, O Lord, make me dwell in SAFETY.
And not having any pockets this morning, we found a sticker and put it on his bum. I realize that he didn't know or understand what it said. But it is truth, whether he understood it or not. He can lie down, and fall asleep in peace, in his crib or on an OR table, knowing that God, and God alone, gives life and breath and safety. And his momma and daddy can walk to the waiting room in peace, knowing that God and God alone, makes him dwell in safety.
I'm not saying I didn't cry. I'm not saying that he didn't cry.
But we sent the very best that we could with our son into the operating room. He was armed with truth and protected by his Heavenly Father, whose arms are stronger, more comforting and vastly more secure than ours.