Honestly, I hoped to be writing a positive post of encouragement, but that’s not where I’m at right now. I thought surely after over a year I would be in a more stable place. I feel more unstable in some ways than I did last year. I have experienced a lot of physical pain in my life from a variety of surgeries and health issues. I have never quite experienced the internal pain I am battling now.
I’m still not sleeping well because Lu wakes up often through the night and when she’s not awake, I battle, sometimes for hours, to turn my mind off. I’m in counseling. My tank is not only empty but cracked and leaking. I’m so depleted that even when there are good moments, they feel like drops in a bucket that can’t hold anything anymore. Because I feel so weary from big things, I have nothing left to deal with the normal life stresses of kids being sick, meal planning, and holiday chaos. I feel a combination of exhaustion, depression, anxiety, and discouragement.
It use to bother me how isolated I was, but now I mostly avoid people because I don’t know what to say. I almost want someone to give me a hard time that Chale is still in pajamas at 4pm or that Lu’s head is getting bigger and she’s barely making any sounds yet because I just want to get angry at someone. I’m struggling right now to understand and cling to the hope I believe in.
At Luelle’s appointment a few weeks ago, we were told by her neurosurgeon that her ventricles continue to swell and she will likely need brain surgery soon. We have tried twice to get the sedated MRI that she needs but have had to cancel both times because she keeps getting sick. We feel like the clock is ticking and it’s on us to get her healthy so we can move forward with the treatment she needs.
I was overwhelmed the other day about everything and asking the Lord what to do. He told me I just need to wait. I asked Him how on earth do I trust and find peace in the waiting. His response was “There’s nothing else to do.” I was strangely at peace as I realized God is in control and has directed the steps before us. All we really can do is trust Him as we wait.
Recently I read John 11, the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.
“So the sisters (Mary and Martha) sent to him (Jesus), saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was…
Then Jesus told them (the disciples) plainly, “Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him…
Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world…”
Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled… Jesus wept.
Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” The man who had died came out…”
(John 11:3-6, 14-15, 21-27, 32-33, 35-37, 39-44 ESV)
Lazarus died and Jesus could have intervened beforehand but intentionally did not. Mary and Martha were understandably upset and confused by Jesus. What strikes me in this passage is Jesus’ expression of emotion and His interactions with Mary and Martha. Both women individually approach Him and say the exact same thing, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” To Martha he speaks truth and encourages her to believe. Jesus saw Mary’s tears and anguish. He spoke no words but simply wept with her.
It’s incredibly important to believe that God is all powerful AND that He loves us unconditionally. If we simply believe He is all powerful but doesn’t love us perfectly, I picture Him far off with His arms crossed emotionless zapping power here and there as He chooses.
Jesus knew He was about to bring Lazarus back from the dead but He still weeps. His ways are perfect, always for our good, and in the end we will see His complete healing and redemption. I think He weeps because He knows the pain we feel in the meantime and His heart aches with us as we wait.
Jesus loves us so deeply and personally. He can handle our overwhelming doubts and our angry tears. Sometimes we go to Him and He gives words of encouragement, challenge, and reminders of His unchanging character. Sometimes we go to Him and His spirit is greatly troubled and He sits with us in our pain and tears. Jesus weeping with us doesn’t make the truth less powerful but more tangible.
I keep feeling like there must be a simple answer to all I’m struggling with. I try in vain to figure out what I’m missing and to force myself to be okay.
After reading through this passage all I could say through my tears was, “Weep with me, Lord.”
I can only imagine how confusing and frustrating it was when Lazarus was dying and Jesus said “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Jesus didn’t come right away and Lazarus did die. But that wasn’t the end.
I’m not musical at all but I really enjoy classical music. I remember learning in my random elective music class about dissonance. Dissonance in music is a “simultaneous combination of tones conventionally accepted as being in a state of unrest and needing completion.” It’s like a story unfinished or a meal that lacks salt. They are incomplete. Sometimes I need to remember that what we are experiencing now is unfinished. It’s like a song that in part doesn’t make sense but when finished will be beautiful.
Lord, weep with me as I wait and trust You in the dissonance, the unfinished work You promise to complete. I don’t understand but as Martha I want to respond with “Yes, Lord, I believe you are the Christ and I want to see your glory.”
“Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I…” (Psalm 61:1-2 ESV)
“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:18-19 ESV)
My goal is God Himself, not joy, nor peace,
Nor even blessing, but Himself, my God;
It’s His to lead me there, not mine, but His—
“At any cost, dear Lord, by any road!”
So faith bounds forward to its goal in God,
And love can trust her Lord to lead her there;
Upheld by Him, my soul is following hard
Till the Lord has fulfilled my deepest prayer.
No matter if the way is sometimes dark,
No matter though the cost is often great,
He knows the way for me to reach the mark,
The road that leads to Him is sure and straight.
One thing is sure, I cannot tell Him no; One thing I do, I press towards my Lord; Giving God my glory here, as I go,
Knowing in heaven waits my Great Reward.