I stand across from her and see the tears begin to emerge, and the way the face fights and cringes at the pain within. It’s overwhelming and freeing all at the same time. For those that are healing or have found healing it’s a reminder of our testimony and how God parted the great seas for us. Somehow we remember the pain like yesterday, still feel it, but it doesn’t imprison us like it used to. For some of us it’s a moment of breakthrough as the heart is turned to truth and light reveals the darkness. I wonder if it gets easier. In some ways it has. Some days I feel like just the same kid trying to figure this all out. In some ways I hope it never changes.
I remember many, many nights and days that I would hide in my bed, or in the shower and just wreathe underneath the pain of grief. The way your body tightens as you stop breathing for a few moments before gasping a breath and weep again. Not too loud though. I didn’t want anyone to worry, to hear me, to come and ask what was going on. It was just as it was yesterday. Life wasn’t any better yet. I wanted to hide and be known all at the same time. I felt jarred back and forth between the two, like waves crashing on a stone-filled shoreline.
And somehow, when nothing else mattered, and everything mattered, all I could do was to think about how painful and overwhelming my entire life had become. My outlook, although very broken and harsh, became very simple. Life and death. Loved ones, and precious memories. Petty needs and worries vs. the most important things of all.
Through all of it the Lord pursued me gently, fiercely, compassionately, and steadily. In my mind and heart I could sense He was just within arms reach, waiting and asking if I was ready yet. No! I feel as though I’m falling a part. I’m going to go crazy if I go there.
I look back on my life so far and there’s been many things that I’ve grieved and lost. Many things I’ve pleaded with God over. Many things I fought to come to terms with, and many things I’ve seen fall apart before my eyes. And yet there’s been this beauty and joy I’ve experienced as well. My Savior, Jesus, was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and yet he is the fullness of joy. He does both. And in those days, sometimes all I held on to was just that. That somehow He does both, so he’ll lead me and carry me through both. And somehow, since some of the most painful seasons of life, I’ve also experienced some of the most beautiful moments I could have ever imagined.
So I’m here to tell you that I’m willing. I’m willing to break with you and weep with you. Life is going to have both the good and bad, at odds with each other, because of sin. This world is a battlefield and you can either ignore it, or do something about it. You and I can’t save it all, but we can allow God to do some absolutely miraculous things in us and through us.
Lord, you have given me joy and hope beyond anything I could have ever imagined. You have sought me out and brought me places and allowed me to experience life at it’s greatest joys and sorrows. I’m humbled that I’ve been able to do both and to use my voice to lift others up. I’m humbled for the joys and blessings I have at this moment. I pray you help me do both appropriately and in step with you. That you would burn your Spirit, word, and love so deep down in my soul that I would never wander. But when I do waiver, hold on to me. Keep me in your presence always and continue to keep me in your will. By your power allow us to move mountains and see people healed and saved. What I do matters to you. I matter to you. These people matter to you. Help us walk this out…