A Visit from the Invisible Enemy & My Cup Runneth Over

The past few days have been rough. Jedidiah began getting sick on Tuesday of last week, while we were still on our trip to northern Indiana. By the time we got home, Lilia began getting sick, too. By Friday, we were all feeling awful. We have a book at our house about Loius Pasteur who invents a vaccination to fight off the “invisible enemy.” We use this language to explain sickness and medicine to Jedidiah, and he really seems to get it. So, as we might say to Jedidiah, we were all being attacked by an invisible enemy. And, after Lilia cried all night on Friday night, we decided that our efforts at home were not enough and that we needed to go to the doctor. Sadly, both children had double ear infections. As Josh put it: 2 children, 4 ear infections. They were both also developing bad coughs. Also, Lilia has not been able to keep hardly anything down – let’s just say we have a large pile of laundry to do now. I think it must be one of the most miserable experiences in my life so far to feel very sick and have to take care of sick babies at the same time. My patience has run thin, my strength is used up, and my reasoning skills ran out a long time ago. I am indebted to Josh, who has endured this week more gracefully than I have. Just now, I was comforting Lilia after a coughing fit (as I have done roughly 200 times in the past 48 hours), and I decided to begin quoting Scripture. In all honesty, I often do not pray about these situations very much – somehow it just seems like a battle to endure but hardly worth pleading with God over. But, I knew that I needed strength & a change of perspective. And my simple prayers for help were lacking any inspiration. So, in my exhaustion, I just decided to quote the first Scripture that came to mind. It happened to be Psalm 23 – an old favorite from my far away camp days. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness, for his name’s sake. Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” The NIV says “my cup overflows,” but it was the KJV version that came into my head – “my cup runneth over.” I repeated the phrase a few times out loud as I sat beside Lilia, and she calmed down. I calmed down, too. My cup is running over. Even as my body aches, my head throbs, my baby cries, and the laundry and dishes scream for attention, my cup still runs over. I have this wonderful family, a lovely and safe place to live, the medicine and food I need to recover, a community to support me if I need a break, and family to call and encourage me & give me a tortilla soup recipe (that happened earlier in the evening). I was nudged in my spirit to repeat this phrase to myself, and, as I did, I felt the peace that passes understanding change my perspective and remind me that joy is possible even now. My cup runneth over, and miss Lilia calls again…

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3 thoughts on “A Visit from the Invisible Enemy & My Cup Runneth Over

  1. Tom Nisbett says:

    “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever…”

    We are loving you and praying over you…Dad

  2. Amberly says:

    such powerful testimony. i’m reading a little book by Kathleen Norris called The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy, and Women’s Work. this post of yours could be the next chapter…

    yes, we’ll talk soon…

  3. Kate Wallace says:

    Goodness, Candace! It sure sounds like y’all have had a rough week! But the way you’ve responded, even in the midst of exhaustion and illness, by leaning into the Word is inspiring! I hope you are all feeling well very soon!

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