"You make me braveYou make me brave No fear can hinder now The love that made the way"
As the sanctuary filled with a congregation of voices singing these words from Bethel's song "You Make Me Brave," I felt his fingers reach for mine.
It was his brave act of the day.
You see, we'd had a rough month, my husband Ted and I. In fact, you could say we felt a bit like Alexander. You know, the little boy who had the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Except ours dragged on and on and on for weeks.
While we hadn't woken up one morning with gum in either of our hair or tripped on a skateboard before dropping any sweater in the sink, much like this literary poster boy for not-so-great days, we had one thing after another go wrong. Including a lousy car ride. If only our vehicle woes, like Alexander's, could have been summed up by longings for a window seat.
Nope. Not ours.
Our troubles began with me and a dead car on a freeway off-ramp. Two hours from home and from Ted. In the middle of nowhere. Just me and our 8-year-old daughter and a car that had overheated itself to death.
What followed next was a series of frantic phone calls, a tow truck, a 30-minute $60 taxi ride, and a rental car. By the end of the day, I was physically, mentally, and emotionally beat.
Two days later, when we returned the rental car, we were over-charged. The over-charge demanding more than just our money. It cost us over an hour of time at the drop-off location along with tears of frustration as one of the managers attempted to pit Ted and me against each other. Both of us returned home exhausted.
It then took two weeks for the shop to even diagnose our car's problem. And once they did? Well, the bill was enough to fund a weekend Disney World getaway for our family of six. Three weeks into the drama, we made the 2-hour trek to pick it up, only to find out 20 minutes after leaving the shop that the problem which had left me stranded still existed. Once again, our car needed a Mater-like lift back to the shop. Defeated, we drove home with one less car than we'd planned.
This was only the beginning, though.
On the heels of the rental car fiasco, came a stomach virus. And Ted's blood pressure – an issue his doctor had been trying to manage for months – started inexplicably fluctuating again. The changes took both a physical and emotional toll on him. And us.
Yep, we had almost a month of what felt like terrible, horrible, no good, very bad ... frustrations.