Saturday, April 30, 2011

That Which Is Not Understandable

It's late. I should be going to bed. But I am heart broken and need to find a voice for my pain. Writing is my outlet, my way of expressing emotions I can not verbally describe, this piece will be raw, it will be blunt, it will be hard to write and hard to read. It might be random, but it is real. My faith is strong, my love and trust of Christ unwavering. I do not question God, I do not dare presume to understand Him, and that is where my pain inlies. In a longing to understand that which is not understandable.

It is midnight here. I am lying in bed, relaxed, eating my left over Pizza Hut which was purchased with our extra food money from April. I'm leaning against my favorite pillow, covered in a warm comforter, sitting next to a healthy man whom I love and respect deeply, with the confidence of having two beautiful children in the other room snoozing without a care in the world.

In Alabama there are hundreds of people stressed about what tomorrow holds and how to survive without.

In the Indian village our sponsor child lives in there are countless children who eat fewer calories in a month than I just inhalled in five minutes.

Hundreds of people have now been left homeless just from natural disasters that have occurred within the last 4 months (forgive me for my guess if it is inaccurate).

There are husbands who were not curred. Husbands currently in a hospital fighting cancer with all they have.

There are mothers with babies so sick they are afraid to leave their side, even for ten minutes of sleep. Fathers who work 3 jobs just to pay medical bills while doctors lackadaisically search for answers. Babies (of all ages) who did not live long enough.

"Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." Matthew 7:7

I believe it was September 2004 (05?) I was walking out to the grounds of our church where the Campfire Revival was getting ready to begin. I found myself in step with a beautiful young lady I'd never seen before. I smiled and tried to make small talk (something I am notoriously bad at, I have a horrible time meeting and welcoming new people to church). I asked her how she was and she said she was nervous. Odd. I offered a quizzical smile may have inquired again, however it played out she said "I'm singing tonight and I have to do it without music" I encouraged her, and then prayed for her.

She sang "Amazing Grace" I think that was the first time I heard every single word. How sweet the sound. I can still remember how it felt to hear her sing. I longed to have another conversation with her, I found out her name was Olivia, I was shocked when I discovered she was only 17. I looked for her a few times over the next few weeks and our paths never crossed again. In October or November she slipped into what I can only describe as a Medical Mystery (after suffering what the doctor deemed as flu like symptoms she slipped into a coma). Many others know the details better than I, but I know the heart, the emotion, and the hope that her family has displayed at church (in hospitals, homes, and at school/work) for the last 6 or 7 years now.

I have prayed for Olivia a hundred times. I have wept for the pain and suffering her family has had to endure, I wanted to cry when I went to her little brothers graduation party (something she should have been able to have later that year). I have rejoiced with them for each piece of good news the doctors have reported, and waited in confidence for the Lord to do something magnificent. For her to wake up good as new, and have an amazing testimony to share with the world. I am, we are Olivia is still waiting. I am still trusting.

Meanwhile we have seen many prayers answered. Among the miracles, there are the smaller things. We prayed for a bed, the Lord provided. We prayed for a couch, the Lord provided. We prayed for a table, we were given a table. Prayed for green lights when late for an appointment, for a good deal on a second car,  for a job with better insurance, better vacation time.

I'm not questioning God, but it's hard to connect the dots. Certainly we could have continued life with a full size mattress, survived with 3 instead of 4 couches, continued using the older table (or ate dinner on one of our 3 couches), arrived late, paid more for the car, sacrificed lower bills and vacation time. I know it doesn't work that way. I cannot trade my comfortable bed for Olivia's health.

But I wish I could exchange those 6 answered prayers for Olivia's that are still awaiting answers.

My husband had cancer. What we expected to be the hardest most trying time of our marriage is an amazing story of faith, testimony of God's love and grace, and holds some of our happiest memories. Only now am I realizing what a needle in a haystack that really is. A once in a million circumstance. Our friends are now walking in what we escaped. {sob} this is where it gets so raw, so real, I cannot see through my tears.

I know their pain, even though it is one step removed. Entirely different and yet the same. I hate that there is nothing I can do. I can pray, seek, and knock, as others did for us. I ache for their children who are old enough to understand, but young enough to loose out on invaluable opportunities, memories, if their dad is not miraculously healed. That is hard to write, because I don't want it to be true. I don't want them to know I understand that truth, and yet I don't want them to think they are alone in their concerns.

{sob} oh how my heart aches, and my spirit yearns for Heaven, it's beauty, it's comfort and it's health.

I wish I could trade those 6 answered prayers for Tony's which are still awaiting answers.

Remarkably, I haven't even yet touched on the situation that brought this post to life. Chasing Zebra's (under my "Precious Prayers" in the right toolbar) wrote a gut wrenching post about the questions surrounding her infants health issues. Lack of treatment options, lack of answers. Lack of strength.

I wish I could trade those 6 answered prayers for Addison's which are still awaiting answers. 

"For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." Matthew 7:8

Here I am Lord. Asking, seeking, knocking! Praying for Olivia, Tony, Addison, Alabama, Japan, Felicia. Who am I Lord? That I should be so blessed, in this world cursed with pain. Help me Lord to remember these prayers deep in my spirit all throughout my days. Do not let these concerns lift from my heart until Your work has been complete. PUSHing. "Praying Until Something Happens" (Stolen from Karen Kingsbury's character Cole Blake). 

When I was looking up these verses in my bible, the commentary actually provided me with the comfort I needed to help me endure this state of trying to understand that which is not understandable. It says:
Jesus tells us to persist in pursuing God. People often give up after a few halfhearted efforts and conclude that God cannot be found. But knowing God takes faith, focus and follow-through, and Jesus assures us that we will be rewarded. Don't give up in your effort to seek God. Continue to ask him for more knowledge, patience, wisdom, love and understanding. He will give them to you. (NIV Life Application Study Bible).

Thank you Lord for these words which have soothed my aching heart and encouraged my weak spirit.

Thank you to my readers for allowing me this outlet. This was a hard post to write, it's hard to give voice to personal struggles. It is my hope that by sharing my pain and prayers I am able to touch others who may also be struggling with feelings of guilt for their blessings especially with all the hurting and destruction going on today. I appreciate each and every one of you. Please feel free to leave your comments or prayer requests below, and if you have a particularly sensitive or personal comment please feel free to use the "Anonymous" option.

Love in Christ

1 comment:

  1. Very well written tia! I love you so much! and I totally get the desire to understand God's Will, Timing, and Plan. <3


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