God did not lead me through these things for my sake only. I know He will receive glory from my testimony of what He did. The question is, how do I share about these things? When and what do I share?
Without question 2006 stands as the most painful, challenging year of my life thus far. Praise God that we do not know what the future holds–or we may lack the courage and willingness to face it.
Our testings and trials come on one of four levels: Mental, Emotional, Physical, and most of all, Spiritual. Sometimes we are hit on all fronts at the same time, which is enough to bring us to our knees…or flat on our faces. When this happened to me last year it nearly overwhelmed me.
Have you ever been so weighed down that even breathing seemed not worth the effort under such crushing pain? I remember days when I honestly did not think I would survive…and times when I hoped I wouldn’t.
This is no casual exaggeration. I’m guessing there are at least two types of girls who will read this: those who are shocked, cannot imagine how any godly Christian could sink so low, and leave disappointed; and those who know exactly what I mean.
My words cannot change your mind on the matter. My only goal is to share for those who, like me, desperately needed someone who could understand. Someone who could look them in the eye and say, “I know what it is like to want to give up. I know about hurt so deep that even thinking about it brings tears and physical pain. I know how it feels to seek God, scrabbling at the ceiling til fingers bleed trying to hear His voice. Hang on.“
For those who have lived with a body exhausted from the fight, a bleeding heart, a mind confused and searching, or a broken spirit…this is for you.
As welcome as it would have been, no one person possessed the answers I needed, or could rescue me from the pain or make things “good” once more. By God’s grace, several loved ones held on to me and kept me from plunging headlong into the darkness–but I still had to fight my way inch by inch up the cliff alone.
Just me and God. He alone could join me on the cliff face and help me climb. Like Shasta on the horse lost in the mountains between Narnia and Archenland, I could not always see Him. But Aslan never left Shasta’s side. In the same way, my Father never left mine, even when I felt utterly forsaken.
Could the Lord rescue me if it pleased Him? Could He restore my body, soothe my heart, clear my mind, heal my spirit? Of course. But I knew He did not have to. With the darkness numbing my vision, I expected nothing from Him. Our God makes no promises for happiness, healing, or an easy life–not in this world. And it often felt like one step forward, three skids backward. For a long time the horrific darkness tried to smothered me. Some of you know the darkness I speak of: you seem on the edge of hell itself. Until last year I never knew what that meant.
That which does not kill you makes you stronger. – Victor Frankl
I see this now. It does not bring joy or a sense of accomplishment…just an understanding. One that in itself brings more strength. This strength is that of the indwelling Spirit working through our weaknesses. No other kind of strength matters.
Some of the things of which I write are rarely (ever?) talked about amongst my circles. Some of it is frightening, some of it is just ugly. I imagine certain groups might look down on me for these writings, but the idea of that making a difference to me is admittedly laughable. It’s not about me anyway.
It’s about healing.
In you, O LORD, do I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
in your righteousness deliver me!