Wow, it has been a while.
The past several months have been some of the worst I have endured. I have struggled personally with depression, as this is the sixth year I am battling my disease; and at times, it seems like the fight is as merciless as ever. I could lie to you and say that I have been strong every moment, that I have shown no weakness, have had no doubts, no questions, no breakdowns, but that’s not what I’m about here. I am human. I ask God questions. I tell Him why I’m not happy. There’s no point in hiding anything from Him; He already knows what you are feeling, what you are thinking before you even tell Him. These days, my questions aren’t so much the, “why” but the “how”…How am I supposed to do this anymore? How do I keep fighting? I am so tired, God. How is this the life you redeemed me for? Where is mercy? Where is grace? How do I fight when I just don’t want to another day? How am I supposed to continue fighting this fight when I feel so weary, so downtrodden, when I feel like the enemy is at every single turn of the corner?
In the hospital, a question you get bombarded with a great deal from the nurses and doctors is what your pain score is from 1 to 10. I often think about one of my favorite movies, The Fault in our Stars, when asked this question. The movie talks about the comparison of physical and emotional pain, and it hits the nail on the head. No matter what I am enduring physically, no matter how much pain I am in, or how many surgeries I have had, the physical pain never rises above a 9. I say that because I know what a 10 feels like. The waiting, the disappointment that my life has turned out so drastically and direly different than I ever imagined possible, the failure I feel from all that has come with my sickness, the staring at my unanswered questions, the looking at my life like a fragmented mirror reflecting back at me in a million different pieces. That is my 10.
And no matter what pain I feel in the physical, it can’t match that 10.
When you have a have a chronic illness, something you have to accept is surrendering control of your body. When your body is fighting against you, you don’t have the reins over it. Test results, surgery outcomes, how my body will respond to a medication, how my body will feel the next day, even if my body will allow me to make it to the grocery store, those things aren’t under my governance. For someone who valued control a lot, and who longs for a slice of independence, this has been so trying.
What has been even more challenging is giving God control when all I have needed to do is completely surrender all to Him.
It’s in weeks of pleading, “speak to me, Jesus”…where He has revealed Himself and spoke with a song in the night.
“You are not a victim, Grace. You are a victor. I have pulled you out of darkness and brought you into the light. You can choose to control the pain or you can give it all to Me…Every shred, insecurity, hurt, fear, doubt, failure, anxiety, sadness, grief, loss, and sorrow.
I redeemed you. I saved you. You can hold on and be a victim of all that you are suffering from. Or you can relinquish every teeny, tiny speck to me, and we can walk into victory through Jesus Christ.
You can stand still and let the waters drown you, as they have done for far too long, or you can press in to Me with every hurt you have ever felt, and we can press on to glory in Jesus name.”
I was reminded recently that our Father is the God of the breakthrough.
A breakthrough is defined as an act of moving through or beyond an obstacle.
Often the obstacles we face in this lifetime don’t go away. Jesus is in the business of the breakthrough though. He picks us up, when our hearts are ready, and helps us move beyond the affliction. Through the power of the cross, we can break through walls, we can break through pain, we can break through suffering, we can break through sadness and sorrow.
It is always in His best interest to bring new life about and show us how to have genuine joy through Jesus when the circumstances do not change. When the sickness is not healed. When the hurt is still there. He is the only One who has proven over and over again that He can redeem, restore, and love unconditionally no matter what we encounter.
He can take something old and make it new. He can take something ugly and make it beautiful. He can break chains and make us free. He can take something broken and make it whole. He can take something dirty and make it clean. He can take something confusing and make it clear as day. He can take sorrow and make joy. He can bring life from death. He can bring victory from defeat.
He has done these acts for all of time. And He WILL do it again. And again. And again.
We just have to allow Him to and have faith that He can do this as He has so beautifully done before.
I heard one of my favorite artists, Kari Jobe, say this…”We don’t have God all figured out.” This is so true. We can’t even begin to understand Him. He is too extraordinary, too big, too grand, too indescribable for our minds to conceive.
God’s ways are are not for us to fully grasp on this planet.
We may not see or understand everything that He is doing, but that doesn’t mean He won’t lead us into the promised land, into triumph.
As I was journaling last night, this was my prayer.
If you feel like you are holding on to your pain like I have done for far too long, pray this with me. Run to the God of the breakthrough.
When I am lost, show me the way. When I am broken, put me back together. When I am weary, be my strength. When I have no voice, be my song Jesus. When I can’t move forward, carry me, move my feet with Your courage. When I don’t know the way, guide me with the way of the cross. When I lose heart, show me Your faithfulness. When I ask why, remind me that You have never failed me yet. When I lose hope, bring me to Your word. When I feel alone, be my Father. When I want to quit, to give in during the dark of night, remind me that you have a purpose and a plan for my life, and you know me more intricately than anyone has ever known me and will ever know me.
When I feel unworthy, unloved, show me Your unfailing love.
With much love,
“The thoughts in His mind, always higher than mine.
He’ll reveal all to come.
Take courage my heart. Stay steadfast my soul.
He’s in the waiting. He’s in the waiting.
Hold on to your hope, as your triumph unfolds. He’s never failing.
And You who holds the stars, who call them each by name, will surely keep your promise to me that I will rise in Your victory.
So take courage my heart. Stay steadfast my soul.
He’s in the waiting. He’s in the waiting.
Hold on to your hope, as your triumph unfolds. He’s never failing.”