I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills,Married with these words:
from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord,
which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved:
he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, he that keepeth Israel
shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is thy keeper:
the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil:
he shall preserve thy soul.
The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in
from this time forth, and even for evermore.
Psalm 121 (KJV)
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.
Psalm 91 (KJV)
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night bright and chipper and ready for the day? Even after going to bed late, like at midnight? Well, I have! Many a time, indeed. Last night was probably due to the diet Pepsi I had in the afternoon. I keep forgetting I cannot drink pop drinks with caffeine in them and expect to sleep at night. Silly me!
I had duly fallen asleep around 10:30, after watching an old movie I'd never seen, Bonjour Tristesse, just as an old movie I've heard of all my life but probably never watched was starting, From Here to Eternity. I got up and went to bed around 11:00, putting the house to sleep as usual. I went to sleep with no problem.
However, at midnight I was awakened by a very loud, incessant BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP right in my ear! I'd forgotten I had inadvertently turned on an alarm I didn't know my new bedside clock had, linked to a button I must have pushed the night before while looking for an OFF switch for the radio I couldn't see in the dark. I finally found the way to turn off the horrible BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP in my ear, by holding down the off switch. Ok! What will they think of next?!
Somehow I went back to sleep soon after that.
But I was rudely jolted out of sleep at 2:30am by my cat jumping in the window right above me and rattling the "nice" vertical blinds. I've had so much turmoil over this coming ISP meeting, (which I called but which is being railroaded by the case manager and her supervisor), that OF COURSE I could not go back to sleep. I rolled over and my mind immediately went to work on the problem again. To no avail, AGAIN.
I tossed over and over for THREE HOURS, trying again and again with my dull intellect and scant information about The System and The Laws to solve the unsolvable. The cat continued her hijinks until I finally got up out of bed and put a stop to her swiping at the shower curtain, by shutting the bathroom door with her outside it.
Still no sleep.
I suddenly remembered that I am a Christian, and that my mother made darned sure my head would be chock full of Bible verses before she would ever let me out the door as a teenager and a young adult. Oh yes. I'm supposed to repeat Scripture when I can't sleep. And pray. Oh that's right.
But how many times have I remembered these verses, and how many times have I prayed these prayers? And none of them helped. Everything stays the same. My daughter hates me, my son is caught inside his own mind, and my husband has exiled me forever from my home and hearth. My son refuses to allow his father to be present for any reason to help me fight his battles. My debts are greater than I can ever pay, short of dissolving the small retirement which is all I have left of 30 years of marriage, and the debts mount daily in spite of my making payments each month due to the usury of the credit card companies and the government banks. And I cannot get a job, no matter how many ways I stand on my head or jump through blazing hoops. Nothing is ever solved by my repeating Bible verses and praying in the middle of the night.
However, it's all I have. So I decide to let the questions stop, decide to just let go, decide to call on the Force, otherwise known as God. I figure if He's really out there He's got to hear me calling Him to duty, right? I mean, that's what God wants, right? So there I lay, tossing and turning still, but now willing to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches, or at least to me. Right? Of course right!
Into my mind come the words, "The Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand." Well, long have I known that one. I wondered why it mattered that I knew that one. These words got mixed up in my head with words from another great Psalm, and in the wee hours they floated in and out of my consciousness for awhile. And then I began thinking on what that phrase means that says, "the Lord is thy shade upon they right hand." I remembered a summer Bible study with Beth Moore videos and study book, a great gathering of sisters at Lake Grove Presbyterian some years back, in which we studied the Psalms of Ascent. This phrase was discussed, and it was explained that in battle a warrior's left side was shielded by his left arm, while his right was only protected by the sword in his right hand. When his right hand was lifted toward an enemy then, his right side was left undefended from other foes. Hence the importance of having a "right hand man", so to speak. And a "shade" is a protection, or it might be a shadow, or a doppelganger, I supposed.
The past weeks and months have been fraught with new worries about my son's future and totally unsolvable situations for which I have been the sole responsible person, and I have made mistakes and I am going to continue making them, feeling totally and utterly alone, even surrounded by loving church family and supported by my family members and friends. No one is able to be present, and even if they were they don't have the knowledge of The System and The Laws to really be helpful. A body just for moral support would simply make me look silly, I want to avoid that indeed. But I cannot stand in my human ignorance and think I can take on this System. I cannot sit at that table alone and protect my son from whatever they are bound and determined to make happen in his life. They have assembled laws and rules that shut a parent out entirely if they so choose, and they seem to be so choosing. They will take over this meeting, I know this. And I have no earthly power to stop them. If you know anything about me, you know this is the greatest evil in my life, not to be able to do anything about the wrongs being done my son, as was the other greatest evil, the wrongs done my daughter.
So I thought of God as my Right Hand Man in the struggle in which I am currently embroiled daily, until I fell asleep a bit after 5:30am. I had finally given up solving the puzzle alone, and let my Right Hand Man take over. In the morning I looked up these two Psalms, which I've copied above. I read them now with great peace which passes all understanding. And that is saying quite a mountain for me.
So since I am powerless, and God loves the powerless, these words I've copied above are for me. "Great peace have they which love Thy law, and nothing shall cause them to stumble," is another great Psalm that was given me one day at Moms In Touch, and it is so true. So very true. When I remember my Heavenly Doppelganger Shadow, protecting my vulnerable right side while I try to find the answers for my children, I no longer feel I am struggling alone, or struggling at all. Because He's the one doing the struggling, and for Him it's no fight at all. He's already won it.
Now that I am aware of my utter powerlessness, I can give up and let Him who knew no wrong take the wheel. Don't you love how I mix my metaphors. I do. I love that they are coming in one after the other now in poetic phrase after poetic phrase, to comfort, to bolster, and to accompany me on my way. I hope I remember them all when I get to the meeting on Tuesday alone. But, as you can see here, I'm not truly alone, am I?
I smile as I type that last paragraph.
Jesus, take the wheel,
Take it from my hands.
Cause I can't do this on my own.
I'm letting go.
So give me one more chance,
Save me from this road I'm on.
Oh Jesus, take the wheel. (Carrie Underwood)
Thank You for saving me from this road I've been on, always thinking I'm the only one who can help me, my son, my daughter, and my husband. And thank You for the message of the wee hours.