Just Get Out Of Bed & Give Me Today
I stared at the top of my bunkbed, the only movement happened occasionally when my roommate on the top bunk shifted into a deeper sleep. Our room was quiet. The only light peaked through the curtains from the parking lot. Everything else was dark and still.
Time for that moment had paused.
There were no distractions, no one asking me how I was.
It was just me, alone.
I was trying to comprehend what was happening in my life. I was thinking about memories with my mom, her voice, her touch, the smell of her Calvin Klein perfume. It didn’t seem real that she was just gone, forever. “Madi,” I spoke to myself slowly, "Eternity. She’s stepped into eternity." Saying eternity in place of death felt less aggressive, a softer way to speak to myself.
The word eternity carried so much weight, but also felt completely empty. While time stopped in that night, the sun would rise and life would begin in the morning. Schedules and obligations would dictate my day, and it would resemble normalcy.
But it wouldn’t feel normal for me.
There was a huge distinction from normal and what I was living.
Life before March 12th, life after March 12th.
Life with my mom, life without my mom.
Morning would hit, and I would continue life after March 12th. Yet, for this brief moment, the darkness, the stillness - it didn’t feel like before or after anything. Time had stopped, everything was still.
“God, you did this. You killed her,” the thought slipped out timidly. I knew it was a slippery slope to accuse God of hurting me, to let doubts of His good intention wander actively in my mind. It didn’t stop me though, “You could have healed her. You could have fixed this. But You didn’t.”
It felt like I was standing on a line, I had two directions to choose. One side leading me away from God. It was tempting. It wasn't because I didn’t believe in God, but because I was hurt by Him. It felt like an easy choice, one that would protect myself from disappointment. If I never asked Him for anything again, He couldn't ever hurt me again.
The other direction was Him - His arms. I could almost picture them. They seemed secure and steady, like just falling into them would be comforting. I imagined it would be like falling into a bed after a long day, not thinking of anything except closing your eyes and getting rest.
That seemed wonderful.
"But oh wait, I’m mad. I can’t fall in God's arms for rest”
My eyes blinked myself back to anger, how idealistic of a thought rest was when my whole world was falling apart.
I woke up the next day to this, "The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper” (1 Kings 19:11&12)
Life felt loud and overwhelming, but God gently whispered into my ears that morning, “Just get out of bed and give me today.”
So I did. I got out of bed and gave Him that one day.
I wrote that in my journal 2 weeks after my mom died - a little edited, to be honest.
3 years later, and the concept of eternity still feels vast and vague. The permanence of death doesn't feel real yet, and I have nothing figured out when it comes to what eternity actually means. What I do know though, is that in my darkest, weakest, and most vulnerable God has only ever asked me for today.
Over the last 3 years, I’ve given Him a lot of my days, and I have, like a true idiot, withheld some too. I will start to think I don't need the rest His arms offer, I'll move forward on my own. When (because it always does) gets too heavy, and I'm about to break, He reminds me with no condemnation, “Just get out of bed and give me today”
He could, and maybe someday He will, ask me to step out and do something incredibly brave. I would imagine though, that day will start like today did, a whisper in my ear saying, "Just today." Maybe that is bravery in itself.
Today I woke up missing my mom a little more, memories of what this day 3 years ago was like came back. My heart stung a little, but God told me the same thing this morning that He's been saying every morning the last 3 years, "Just get out of bed and give me today."
So I did. And I can confidently say that unlike the girl laying in the dark staring at the top of her bunk bed, I will give Him my tomorrow.