• Angelene Woodard

The Blessing of Barf

What an evening it had been. We enjoyed fantastic food with family we love and don't get to see that often. Laughter and sweet prayers were the playlist. The silliest of gifts were exchanged.

We celebrated Christmas Eve long into the night and were glad to get our just-turned-five-year-old settled in for bed.

Of course, as any mom knows, he only started puking once I myself was settled in. (At least it wasn't in the car, right?)

The first year of throwing up at midnight was concerning. We put all Christmas day activities on hold. You know, in case he was contagious.

The second year had us asking ourselves, "Wasn't he sick last Christmas?".

Baby brother joined in the fun on year three. Yep, our two little boys sat right there together on that cold tile. And in a cooperative effort (never been seen before or since), they took turns puking into the porcelain.

What can I say other than the truth?

They were hungover.

Little tummies can only handle so many Christmas cookies.

And Hello Dollies.

And Aunt Kiki's we-only-get-this-at-Christmastime-fudge.

And ice cream sherbert laced with ginger ale.

And those chocolate covered syrup cherries that are so stinkin' sweet they burn your throat.


My husband and I have come to anticipate this annual tradition. Five years and counting, y'all!

Last year, our oldest looked up from the bathroom floor and in his misery asked, "Why doesn't God help me?".

It was ridiculously late. Neither he nor I had the stamina or brain power to have a productive conversation at that moment.

I eventually explained that our tummies are not designed to be assaulted by massive amounts of sugar. Regurgitation is the body's way of freeing itself from poison.

God designed these amazing bodies. It's pretty incredible that our stomachs are able to purge themselves when necessary.

Yes, I agree. The drama of puking is agony. Indeed.

But, the puking itself is God helping. That is the answered prayer.

(I can't be sure. But, I think it's the liver that asks for God's intervention in this scenario.)

There are times in life when the misery we endure is just exactly what we need.

The suffering disguises God's good grace and mercy. But, in fact, the painful experience is the God given solution.

A few more examples of unwanted blessings are as follows:

- That dreaded surgery may just be God's helping hand.

- Those food stamps may be God's merciful provision.

- That embarrassing prescription you don't want to fill may be exactly what He thinks you need.

- Selling everything you own, saying goodbye to loved ones, and moving to another state (again) may be right smack in the middle of His will.

- Maybe marriage counseling should be seriously considered when suggested in love by a trusted, Christian friend.

- Shopping for a different church is the absolute worst. However, it may end up being the absolute best.

Just as our son was totally clueless about how the human body functions, we are often totally clueless about God's solutions to our problems.

We think God could not possibly be involved in this messy situation.

We think He only offers assistance in pretty packages complete with beautiful bows.

We think the Holy Spirit doesn't intervene in ways that could be best described as messy, uncomfortable, or less than desirable.

Well, He does.

He's there. He delivers in the middle of the night. In the middle of the bathroom floor. In the middle of the mess we've made.

He's there helping us through the ugly. He helps through the pain. He helps through the chaos.

Sometimes His solutions are not what we want. But that doesn't mean it's not what we need.

Would you consider sharing this post on social media this holiday season?There are many hurting souls who really and truly need to see God in the middle of their mess.

Comments are welcomed!

Happy Holidays, Friends!

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