Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Most people say that when you hit the 6-week mark after a loss, you hit your low point. Well, six weeks came and went for me, and I was doing just fine...until the 8-week mark. After a really wonderful week, last Sunday was my lowest low-point yet. I wanted to quit...throw in the towel. I felt like everything was falling apart, and I just wanted to dare God to take one more thing away from me. I felt so defeated, that I figured it probably wouldn't have mattered.

By 5pm, I couldn't stand it any longer, and I decided it would be better to get out of the house. I slipped my running shoes on and went out to the trail for a run. Just as I walked out of the garage, it started to rain...and not just any rain...thunder-and-lightning, black-sky, sideways-rainfall kind of storm. 'Of course it's pouring,' I thought to myself... 'Anything else, Lord?' I was so furious. And so done.

In case you've never gone running when you've hit rock bottom, believe me, it's really challenging, and probably not the best idea...the further I ran, the harder I was screaming/sobbing, making it exceptionally difficult to breathe. Mud was splashing up my legs. And everytime the thunder rolled overhead, it felt like the entire sky was going to shake loose and come crashing down. But I ran...hard...partly because I was so mad, and partly because I didn't want to stay in one spot for long for fear of being struck by lightning. The storm must have been right over me, because the thunder just roared...the kind that you can feel hit you in the chest. My muscles ached, the rain pounding on my face stung...I was so fet up, that I finally yelled at God, " Why don't you use even a little bit of this power to fix something in my life! You can make the entire sky shake with thunder and lightning, but you can't stop everything I want from being ripped out of my hands?! Do you see what's going on here? Make something in my life good enough to keep going! You've got to do something!" I've never felt so desperate. I hope I never will again.

Immediately, (I don't think I had even finished my shouting match at God!) a verse in Isaiah pierced my mind...a verse that a close friend had shown me just days before. God says to His people...and at that moment, directly to me, "I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands."

Oh, man.

Those words kept circulating over and over in my mind. I had to stop running. "I will not forget you...I will not forget you..." My anger melted to utter brokenness. How could God forget me? The scars left on the palms of Jesus, the King of Kings, from the nails that were so brutally pounded into His hands were reminder enough! He knew suffering...He knew pain. God knew what it was like to lose His Son. And at that moment, I knew more than I ever have before that if I had been the only one on this earth, He still would have done it! He suffered for me. He remembers me. The psalms say that God "bottles my tears"...not one of them escapes His knowing. My hurt matters to Him. He gets it. And maybe if my hands were raised open to Him instead of clenched so tightly around all the things that I want, it wouldn't hurt so bad when God chooses to take them away!

It didn't make me stop crying...my heart was still broken...maybe even more so. I still wished God hadn't chosen to take my baby boy home to be with Him. I still wanted the details of my life to fall into place and make sense, even for a second. But I understood, as I stood there soaking wet on the trail, that God isn't oblivious to my pain. He gets it...as a matter of fact, He gets it all. He sees the big picture. He understands the full purpose when I don't have a clue. And all of this...this life, even, is so temporary. Why is it so hard to trust that...to trust Him? Why is it that, in my oh-so-finite mind, I allow my perception of my problems to become bigger than my perception of my God?

But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed." Isaiah 53:5

"And we pray this in order that you might live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." Colossians 1:10-14

"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is My word that goes out from My mouth: It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:9-11

"Remind me why You woke me up,
and why You wake me every morn."
- Bethany Dillon, (Imagination)

1 comment:

  1. Courtney- I am in tears imagining what you must be feeling. Thanks for your honesty; it is so powerful to see God still working through horrible circumstances. It is so hard to understand why God does the things He does...you have reminded me though that it is healing to be brutally honest with God; He can handle it and He will not forsake us. Thanks also for the verses; they were powerful for me to read.

    We continue to pray-- love you guys,

    Kelli and Mark