I had a night that spiraled into the dark abyss of doubt and anger and anguish and despair. I hate when I go there…
It may have been the exhaustion from a season of non-stop giving and doing. Although this spring brought so many wonderful and inspiring activities and moments full of gratitude and blessings…it may have depleted me of my arsenal of coping skills, and therefore left me withered and weak. I crashed into the wall of defeat.
And I blamed God.
My daughter had (what I believe) a reaction to the chlorine of the pool as her asthma started to erupt little by little through our first week of summer. I kept hanging on to the hope that our nine years of endless doctor appointments and treatments and procedures and surgeries had finally given way to answered prayer. But with each coughing episode, I tightened and squirmed, fighting uncertainty.
“I thought she was healing, Lord. I thought she was healing.”
With our last insight discovered in her medical journey, I truly believed we found the missing piece to the puzzle of all her ailments. With the solution in hand and medicines delivered each day, diet changed and life altered once again to meet the needs of my child…she was supposed to be better. Not perfect. But better. My relief of moving past a life filled with angst and desperation, was both liberating and exciting.
Hope ceased that night. And God was to blame. I listened to my daughter gasp and cough violently through the dark long hours and I sobbed while screaming at God.
“Why Lord? After all we have done and all I have sacrificed! I believed in Your Guidance and Your Power! I believed. Where are you???”
My words turned into an ugly tyrant of giving up my hope and faith in all that God is. It was a long, dark, night of letting go…
Ever gone there?
And I can. I am human. Aren’t we all just that? I would like to think that my faith could carry me over every mountain and through every valley, but I know better. I am a woman of deep and enduring faith, and yet there are moments in my life when I give up. I am not proud of those moments, nor do I feel shame because I know God is full of grace and will be in each moment with me. There are times I fly so high on His Love and Grace that I think I will never touch ground. And there are moments when the ground isn’t low enough for my sorrow and rage.
When my faith fails, He prevails.
That’s the beauty of a loving Heavenly Father. I can throw a fit about how life isn’t going nearly as I planned and I can sob like a baby proclaiming that I am done with Him!
Yet, He’s still there.
I woke up the next morning, weak and disheveled. I went through the motions of teaching Sunday School and being a part of an end of year ceremony with the beautiful American Heritage Girl Leaders and girls. I would like to say I was redeemed and I thanked God for the transformation. Yet, I wasn’t. I was still void of faith and hope.
After three nights of my daughter’s asthma slowly falling off the giant cliff we dangled on that awful night, she made it through this past night with not a whimper or a cough. Crisis over. In less time than usual…
If Jesus called me to walk on the rough waters today, I am not sure I would make it across. Oh how this confession burdens my heart. I haven’t quite mastered the art of true and impenetrable faith during storms and struggle. During my night of high seas, I fell in. I pushed Him away and chose to dive into the water and let go of His Hand as I waded in the darkness.
The water was cold and unforgiving.
He watched me from His boat. Maybe He wept. But He still kept His Hand reaching out to me… and I refused to take it. I had given up. Crumbled into a thousand pieces of hate and rage. I’ve been there before, under various circumstances. It’s the worst place to be. It takes a lot to get me there, but if life tosses and turns me around enough, I can slip right back into the water.
The next storm will come and I pray I don’t let go again.
It’s just so much easier to hold on.
Yes, my friend…I too have been there. But you know that. I went there again earlier this week. I do not struggle with health issues, but with a son confused and flaling in his behavior. I raged and yelled, questioned and swung angry fits toward heaven. I am so grateful that He knows me and sits patiently by, waiting for me to be done.
I love you friend, and I will be home soon.
OH Melissa. I could just picture you in that moment. I wish I could be with you! I know your struggles with it. And I soooooo understand your fists toward Heaven!!! I am so so sorry you had to go “there” on vacation… COME HOME!!!!!
Chris — been “there” done that! Wish I didn’t have to say that, but I do! Thanks for sharing with your brutally honest style that I love! I so love to read your blog!
OH Marcia- it is so encouraging to know I am not alone in this!!! Your encouraging words give me the energy to keep posting on my blog. THANK YOU for sharing honestly and always reading and supporting me!!!!!
I love that Chris is so “brutally honest” in a lot of posts just like these. You said it well Marcia!
Feeling the love, Jen! Feeling the love… THANK YOU!!!!!
I came across a verse that touched my heart, one I’ll try and remember for next time I go to “there”:
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. -Galations 6:9 NIV
We are human, and we do throw in the towel sometimes (especially us moms!). However, everytime we turn our back on God I feel we’re turing our face towards Satan… and that visual helps me turn back around again.
I LOVE that verse!!!! And I am going to memorize it!! THANK YOU so much Jen! And great point about turning our backs on God and walking right into Satan’s hands… That will help me too! Wonderful insight. So glad you posted these!!!!
I love this post. Hang in there Chrissy.
Thanks honey. Love you…
Wow, powerful stuff Chris….may those moments always end up drawing us closer and more faithful to Him so that the next dark moments of doubt and despair are further and farther between. I loved that image of Satan luring us and we have to make that choice to turn the other way. Our despair lingers and clenches its fists around us until that choice is made. I believe God uses our weakest places, moments, and vulnerabilities as an opportunity to draw us near, open our eyes, and refresh our perspective that we need Him. We NEED Him. Not just to survive the dark hours, but to embrace our life to its fullest potential. This fresh perspective reminds us that this journey is really about glorifying Him, an often recurring revelation which inevitably pulls us out of our ‘self’, which is that sweet place we must try to remain each hour…only then can we do all that we were created to do…Amen to letting the Holy Spirit take hold of our hearts!
I think you need to be my guest blogger and post an article for me about faith. Your words are amazing, encouraging, and always inspiring! Texting you now!!!! lol
At a young age I have viewed my thoughs and realized I have been their deffinetly in a medical stand point but more often in anger at what did I do to have such pain and have lost my strength but managed to smile through it and fake being “o.k.”. Then I stumbled across what now is my favorite verse and gets me through everything and is “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” which truly I now understand why I always was angry on the inside but happy on the outside. Being that I didn’t put my trust in Christ and always wanted to do everything my way and my way was to stay angry at what had happened and not be truly happy at what Christ had in store for me. So yes I may have let go again but it was all for the right reason. Maybe you’ll be able to find your way, and remember age is no difference.
Oh, that was beautiful sweetie! I think we all fall into the “letting go” ditch during some struggles, but thank God He’s there when we get back up! And actually when we are in the ditch also…
That’s a great verse! I am so glad God has blessed you with His loving spirit- it shows my dear!
Beautiful words, Chris. I’ve been there. I think I have a strong a faith right until god throws me a curve ball. Thankfully his Grace is sufficient! Even for our lack of faith.
Thanks so much Adrienne. It was a tough time for me… blow after blow after blow… no hope at all. Thank God He sees us through those UNfaithful times!!
I get this, truly, and thank you for sharing it with me, you sweet, sweet, lovely friend.
The thing is, all the while I am fighting it tooth and nail, I know I am losing the battle. His Will is bigger than anything I can combat. And nothing about its rightness or ‘perfectness’ for my life makes it any more palatable or less of a place of agony.
Praying “Thy will be done” doesn’t mean I have to go quietly.
But I CAN keep Doing Good in the meantime. That’s a ‘thing’.
However, if I were stupid, I would pray for less faith so that I can haul off and be properly angry at God and reject Him out of hand for the shittiness we’ve been dealt. But I can’t quit Him (even when I would rather) and I know that my grappling and screaming and kicking over WHYYY this part of His will is right for me, even as I know that it is inevitable and inexorable, is something I know He can handle.
Oh Lizzi- you have such a gift with words. How you can so eloquently describe the fight and the agony from deep within, always astounds me. Bless your aching heart.
So here’s the thing- you can combat it all you want, but BUT in doing so- are you wasting your energy/efforts/emotions/investment and is it taking it’s toll on the actual miracle that ‘could’ take place?
You are fighting the ‘inevitable’- says YOU. Perhaps- maybe? God is shaking His Head saying “MY child, would you just stop wrestling with Me so I can get ‘in there’ and do My Work???”
You have the choice to still have hope, amidst the pain and the conflicts and the hardships-. What if they are preventing you (and Joe) from FROM His Will?
Gosh- I wish I could explain this better. It’s agonizing to not be able to!!
No, I get it. I’m blinded by the fear of holding those hopes and having them shattered again. I’ve gone full-on into preparing for the worst by assuming it will be so.
But so, SO many things seem to say ‘no’. Repeatedly. If they had been positive things in encouraging answer to a prayer, they would *definitely* have been taken as ‘signs of God speaking’. Yet somehow because they say the opposite of what we want, they’re not communication from Him? I’m thinking they are…
Now I’ve stopped being eloquent. *sigh*
I know… I know. I hate that it all seems to be leading to hopelessness. BUT what I do know for certain, is that God knows more than we know, always. And although we can’t see anything beyond what is surrounding and sometimes suffocating us, we must trust that there is more to it than what we see. We sometimes have to hold on to that- the unending hope that there is more than what we are surviving, we just don’t know it… yet.
Don’t count on you and Joe- count on something beyond yourselves. Go beyond you, if you can. *No eloquence here either, cause it’s messy and murky at best* HIS eyes see perfectly, what we can’t see for ourselves.
Feel like I’m stamping down on those waves, wishing they’d break and I could fall through into the sea.
But. Somewhere in the back of this tangled, crappy, knotty tapestry, woven through with pain and tears, there are threads of gold and silver. And somehow, whenever it happens, I’ll get to look at the front and see how beautiful it all was…
All I can offer is brokenness. Which is all He needs.
It will all be alright in the end…