My sweet 38 year old daughter was struck with a ruptured appendix 2 weeks ago. From the point she went into emergency I was with her. It was so frightening. The ER doctor sent her home on pain pills without ruling out appendicitis. It ruptured and became an extreme emergency. Everything in my life stopped and took a back seat while we sat long hours in the ER and surgery; and I prayed nonstop as she writhed in pain…and after surgery as the road to healing began in the hospital and as she went home. She needed me. It was a scary and unnerving thing to watch my child in so much pain. My life was just was put on hold. Everything took a back seat. Now that she is on the mend I now feel scattered and am having trouble getting back into things that were part of my everyday life, from writing to coaching and even exercise.
But, suddenly I realized I have grown spiritually, in finding God in the midst of the suffering. There comes a recognizable depth of character when you come out of the fire of suffering, and when you are still in it you find Him in places you’d never thought you’d be.
My dear friend Linda has been told her brain tumor is back. Her life will now be on hold while she has it removed….again. Since her last surgery, while recovering, she has obtained her Masters in Psychology, been maintaining her own practice in psychotherapy, is writing a book, and is doing a host of wonderful things God has called her to do. Now, her life will be interrupted again, indefinitely, to undergo another surgery on her brain with the outcome uncertain in earthly terms. But not to God. He knows. We are all believing for God’s divine hand to reach down and heal her swiftly and easily this time with no side effects. Linda would share with you how her suffering has put her in touch with a Savior that never leaves her. Even while her life is on hold. You can read Linda’s whole story of traveling this perilous road on her web site at: http://lindalochridge.com/brainsurgery/
I just read Michelle Cushatt’s blog this morning. She is an author, experienced keynote speaker and emcee. I love her writings and sweet spirit of thankfulness. Now after years of fighting cancer and walking in God’s healing power she has just learned the cancer is back…and her life will now go on hold for extended medical treatment once again to rid her of the invasion on her body. She is fearless and undefeatable. You can read Michelle’s story here http://michelecushatt.com/red-sea-moments/
All around me I see people going through sudden and great trials…some have been hit very suddenly and their life has taken an abrupt turn and they just feel like the wind was knocked out of them.
As I contemplated these things and wondered what God has to say in the midst of sudden trials and sudden fear I think I found truth.
The truth is, God sometimes allows us to be placed in situations (sometimes difficult, even painful ones) where we can glorify Him; where His presence and power are displayed with clarity, and where fellowship with Him is the sweetest spot we could find ourselves in.
God wants us to experience His gift of total reliance on Him…of letting go of our own pride and self sufficiency….our own power….and show us that in our own weaknesses He is made strong….to bless us by giving the gift of relying solely on Him.
In our trials we find His presence. You see, God’s blessings and healing and perseverance come with His presence. No matter what trials we face. It is His presence, His Spirit that ushers in His strength, encouragement and power…..it is what develops His character in us so that we reflect Him in all that we do.
The worst part about not being OK when a sudden change comes to our lives is that once you are there, you tend to temporarily lose your vision.
But as Michelle explained in her blog, when you run up against the Red Sea, you feel blindsided. There is no place to turn but to ask for His mercy and grace and a miracle.
You sometimes become profoundly nearsighted.
You can lose the ability to see any further than that horrible not-being-okay feeling right in front of you; to believe that outside of all of it, just beyond the fear and the sadness and the failure, there’s another place. That is where He is.
At that moment of darkness, it’s nearly impossible to see what you are capable of enduring….if you can withstand it all just a bit more, if you can weather the winds and storms and the wounds and the worry, you’ll end-up stepping into that place of peace, softly and securely, and you’ll feel the weightless lift of hope again.
You will gain new insight into the unchanging Jesus, while your world is turned upside down. You will see into places that never occurred to you while all was well and they’ll all seem like wonderful love letters directly from the Lover of your soul; words of truth spoken directly to your heart, telling you that life is given by Him and He has your name written right into His nail scarred hands.
But in the meantime, before you get there, I want to tell you one more important thing about where you are right now:
It’s OK to feel. He knows you are human. Tell Him your fears and worry and everything that swirls around inside of you. Talk to HIM!!
He already knows anyway. Acknowledge that. Bring Him into your journey and let Him walk with you there.
It’s alright to admit your feelings to yourself, and to say it to someone else, too. In fact, doing so isn’t admitting defeat at all. It isn’t giving-up. It’s simply consenting, to fully feeling the reality of the despair and the pain of the moment.
So that you can move on.
As you do, just remember that you won’t feel like that forever.
One day, you’ll feel well enough to share your journey with someone else who is not so well, and you’ll perpetuate the hope that He gives to you in your own suffering.
So today, friend, for what it’s worth and for what you’re worth (which is immeasurable), know this:
As dark as it seems, as difficult as it is, as much as it hurts…He knows right where you are and He has a plan that you sometimes just can’t see. Hold onto Him very tightly in these times.
It may seem like it but it won’t last forever. You may have to make changes…but He said, actually promised, that He would not ever leave you nor forsake you.
Take Him with you whatever comes. He only wants His very best for you and will go to battle for you as you hold on for dear life.