09 March 2011

Let Hope Rise

It's been a difficult week... well, couple of weeks. The days just blur together lately. Last week we got a phone call from Matthew's dad saying he had some sad news. Matthew's aunt passed away suddenly. She suffered from a lot of the same illnesses I do so this news hit me very hard. She was a fighter and so full of life and joy that it was contagious to everyone around her and even she couldn't beat this so can I?

This has been the question rolling around in the back of my head this week. My head that is almost always hurting from a migraine or causing me trouble from anxiety or lack of concentration or overwhelming sadness and despair. Today is another one of those days... days that I just want to throw the covers back over my head and pray that the day will end soon. Another migraine and an overwhelming sadness that I feel in my joints.

I know in my heart that God desires healing in my life and that through Him I am more than a conqueror, but on days like today I just don't have the strength to keep fighting. I just have to whisper through the pain "Jesus, you know. ... you know all the pain in my heart and the weakness of my body. Only you know what my heart needs and how my body can be healed. Only you know how to bring life to these old bones. Your will be done."

So today, when you ask me how I am doing, and I tell you I am just here... just trying to get through this day, you know it is just one of those days and you can pray with me... pray for God to break through the fog ... to break through the pain and bring a peace and rest to my soul and body that will allow a deep and persistent healing.

I'm just tired... tired of dealing with doctors and insurance companies and debt collectors. Tired of explaining the same list of symptoms over and over again. Tired of having my last spark of hope crushed on the rocks like shattering glass. Tired of saying "yes, my head hurts today". Tired of being sad. Tired of trying to be happy. Tired of trying to make it all work out. Tired of asking for help. Tired of wondering what a day without pain would be like. Tired of being tired. Tired of being so anxious that I can't call my friends when I need to talk. Tired of being too overwhelmed to go to church. Tired of making excuses for not calling my sister in laws because I don't want to hear their children in the background. Tired of watching my husband work through his own exhaustion to provide for us and take care of me. Tired of asking for healing and feeling worse the next day. Tired of trying. Tired of fighting. Tired of living without life.

I am so ready for a change. Ready for healing. Ready for hope. Ready for life. Ready for joy. Ready for peace. Ready for friendships and smiles and sunny days. Ready for living without fear or worry or pain. Ready to be with family and enjoy being around people again.

Today I started to read a new book. "Extraordinary Faith" by Sheila Walsh. This amazing author and songwriter also struggled with some of my illnesses. She talks about faith being more about God than about us. "the song of faith is one that tells all that is true within the context of the greatness of God." She brings me to the great songwriter, David, and the familiar psalms are like a healing balm to my wounded soul. "My soul is in anguish, How long, O Lord, How long? Turn O lord, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love... I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears.... away from me, all you who do evil, for the Lord has heard my weeping. The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer." (Psalm 6:3-9)

Sheila also reminds us that God "is always good, but His goodness manifests itself in many different ways."

On Sunday morning as I struggled to bring God praise, the words kept turning over and over in my heart "He is still good." I remembered his faithfulness to me over the years, and the stories of His faithfulness over the centuries and out of the depths of my broken, wounded soul, I praised Him because of His goodness and faithfulness. And His faithfulness again displayed itself through his gift of this song by Hillsong called "With Everything" (click on the title of this post to hear it). The lyrics say "Let hope rise and darkness tremble in your holy light that every eye would see Jesus our God: great and mighty to be praised." Amen.

How easy it is for me to forget that the battle I fight every day is not a physical one, though it manifests itself there. No. This battle is from the evil one and though he may distract me for a moment, I will keep fighting this fight with the strength of the Lord who lives in me. And I cling to the truth with my mustard seed faith that where there is light, there can be no darkness at all. "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalm 27)

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me." (Psalm 23)

How do I fight this fight? Through praise. Through trust. In His strength. The song continues:
"With everything, with everything, we will shout for Your glory! With everything, with everything, we will shout forth Your praise!"

"Let hope rise and darkness tremble in Your holy light. That every eye would see Jesus our God great and mighty to be praised!"

So, dear friend, who has sat with me in the pit as Job's friends sat with him; will you stand with me now and praise our Father in Heaven? Will you hold up my arms when they are too weak to hold up any longer? Let us praise Him together!