By Krystal Woods
My coffee maker is broken. In the last 24 hours it decided to abandon its one call in life and leave me destitute for my caffeine requirement. This is not allowed. Many things I will do or muddle through, but a morning without my cup of coffee is not one of them. I was up checking Kate’s blood sugars till 3am last night and Zion doesn’t care. He is up at 7am like clockwork.
I need coffee.
A text to my husband with these 5 words in it: the coffee maker is broken, says far more than those 5 words. You see, he knows me, and since we’ve been together since before the dinosaurs roamed the Earth, ok, ok, maybe not that long but a long time, he sweetly runs down to Rutters and gets me some. He did it because he is a good man, and a great husband, and a coffee drinker himself. He gets it. He gets me. And he gets what the days look like around here. Our days together are a whirl wind, just as I imagine yours to be. We are running here and there, seeing friends and family, and learning how to love each other well. I can sum up our current days pretty succinctly: coffee, carbs and crop circles.
Coffee with Jesus is the most stable and reliable thing in my life. It happens everyday, regardless. Years ago, I paired my need for Jesus every morning with my need for coffee every morning. Listen, for me it just works! I don’t wonder too much if it’s wrong to crave caffeine first thing in the morning when it’s paired with the greatest need and crave of my life: time with Jesus Christ. Our time together differs depending on the season I am in, sometimes it’s lots of revelations and dreaming, other times it’s ‘face on the ground’ crying out. Sometimes we are battling over me being me and Him being Him, and most times it’s just peace. I’m just talking to him about what’s going on and asking him to invade my reality with Heaven. (Eye to Eye)
This time with the Lord everyday is my lifeline. It is my church. It is my sanctuary. It is not a place though, it is life itself. Without this I would probably be dead. Really, no exaggeration. The After Walking was really awful. It has been the greatest unraveling of my life to date and during that time I walked very closely with hopelessness and giving up. It was the fight of my life to take what the Lord said about me and make in my own truth. To hear only one voice over all the others. To learn that I need to be OK with Him being the only one that’s OK with me. During this time I saw a peek into what “no longer wanting to live” looks like and I get it. For me, this time with the Lord everyday was what pulled me out the pit and gave me hope back. It is intentional time with Him each day that saved my life, my marriage, my family, my very breath. So coffee is a must around here because it’s not just coffee, it’s manna, it’s my daily bread. Speaking of bread, let’s talk about carbs.
Carbs, carbs and more carbs… and no I’m not on a diet. I am the pancreas of my 8 year old daughter, Kate.
Kate, I just love her name. It is such a sweet, strong, sucker-punch name. Just like her, our little Kate. I knew her name would be Kate early on in my pregnancy. She was a surprise baby and I had always loved the name Kate from afar and now, because I would have another little girl, I could use the name! A surprise she has been all along, with the biggest surprise of all being her body doesn’t work the way it is supposed to. (I Exalt Thee) The way it needs to, to maintain her life. This makes me want to throw up. Literally, vomit fear, and coffins, and test strips, and carb-counting all over the place. I hate that she has Type 1 Diabetes. There can be no errors with carb-counting, or insulin injections. Errors are not easily forgiven in this arena. Consequences of me not correctly counting the carbohydrates she is eating and dosing the correct amount of insulin to cover those carbohydrates has to be perfect. If I mess up, it means immediate medical intervention, hospitalization or even death. I have to be on my game all the time, day or night.
As much as I hate being a pancreas, I am learning that it is a very unique opportunity to lean hard into the open arms of the Father. He knows how I feel, He gets me. I breath in, “Father, keep me on my toes. Give me good judgment when making these pancreas decisions.” I exhale, “Thank you Father for giving me this child, please preserve her life and give her health.” Countless times during the day this chronic illness causes me to remember death and life are seconds away from each other at all times. It is a reminder to love hard and true and fearlessly. It is a reminder to breath, and pray, and breath, and pray. He is not far from me, ever. And I need to acknowledge that He is right with me as I count and as I dose. And as I trust because, folks, that’s really what it’s all about. It is not really about carb-counting, it is about counting on the faithfulness of a Faithful Father. Faithful not to give me what I think life should be for Kate or me, but to faithfully pour unending grace on the road that is before us that we must walk. Along the way we are offered the hand of a very steady Friend, who knows all about walking rough roads, and on the way we drink coffee, count carbs and step over crop circles.
That’s right, we have crop circles. They are random and mysterious and weird. Really weird. They just show up. I walk in a room and I see them. And I told you it was weird, right? Depending on the medium used, the crop circles can be made with blankets, cookies, napkins, playdough, race car tracks, etc. It is always a fascinating find and keeps my days unique and full of wonder, just like the maker of the crop circles does. Now my husband doesn’t like the name crop circles but I just feel like that is the name that best fits the situation. I’m taken back to watching episodes of Unsolved Mysteries as a kid and being baffled and a little afraid of crop circles. I mean how do they really happen? Aliens right?
That’s right, Zion is an alien.
At least that’s one explanation. Or it could be he has something else going on that is part of his special needs. But I’m not into labels and diagnoses these days, especially when it comes to Zion, who has had a file folder full of them his whole life. (Cheer Up, Zion!) And consistently proves doctors and special educators wrong. I mean maybe he is autistic and maybe it’s past trauma coming forward and being healed through creating. And maybe he’s an artist; a sculpture. He is a creator. He uses his hands to mold and smooth and fold and push materials into creations that only make sense to him and baffle us. And that’s ok. We are coming to a place where we can say, “We really don’t know and it’s ok that we don’t know.” And we really mean it. Zion is God’s child and he our child and he is made for impact and purpose and he will be exactly what His Father created him to be. We are just along for the ride and the crop circles. I mean really, it’s kinda cool to walk through your living room and see 3 huge blankets molded into a patterned creation on the floor, or come across a cookie on the kitchen table that is broken down into pieces, chiseled by teeth and then patterned in a way that looks purposeful, but makes no sense. Anyone thinking Easter Island? I mean how did those statues get moved there? It is like a mystery and there are theories. And so it is with Zion, our little creator. There is much we don’t know and grace says, “That’s ok!” Living with unknowns threw me down some pretty big spiral loops for a long time but I’m learning to give those concerns to the Lord, who knows all things. Zion really is the coolest kid, so much growth and still so much unknown. But he is a gift most of all and I’m learning to see him more as just that, a gift. My Father loves to give me gifts and the one that came from China is so cool.
So coffee, carbs and crop circles it is. And we love it. I have this phrase, that the Lord gave me a few weeks ago when our foster friend was staying with us: we are living the best life. And folks, that’s the truth. It is tiring and scary and mysterious and weird and joyful and peaceful and it is also the best life. I wouldn’t trade it. He is a great God and a good Father and a faithful Friend and a present Spirit that we serve.