Monday, May 26, 2008

The storm...

How do I describe what has happened over this past week?

Last Sunday to this Sunday has been a night and day difference.

God has done something major in my heart since then. As I am watching the first thunderstorm of the summer coming in right now, it seems fitting to liken it to a thunderstorm.

Last week I felt all foggy, lethargic, and unable to focus. Much like it is before a storm, the stillness in the air, the humidity, the impending disaster…

Then the storm hit over last weekend. I felt assaulted on all sides, unable to think, unable to claim my thoughts captive. I couldn’t even pray and ask God for help. I felt like the storm had taken down all my lines of communication.

When I went to church last Sunday, the storm was at it’s worst. When the service was done a good friend could see my distress, though I was really trying to hide it, and took me somewhere quiet to talk. After talking with me she wasn’t convinced that if she let me go home that I would be safe.

I was in so much pain that I was frustrated at the time. Because all I wanted to do was leave. All I wanted to do was end the pain, yet I am grateful to her for listening to God’s Spirit speaking to her heart.

After an hour of prayer with the leaders of my small group, and some consultation with my counselor, I gave in to their encouragement to be assessed by the emergency department at our local hospital. My friend drove me there, and stayed with me through the whole process. In between doctors and nurses going in and out, she sat by my side, held my hand, held me and cried with me, prayed with me, read scripture to me through tears.

The end result was admission to the hospital, the same place I was back in October.

When I woke in the morning, after only about 4 and a half hours of sleep, I couldn’t believe that I was back there again. I felt alone, drained, tired, and despairing. I couldn’t read the bible, couldn’t pray… as I have mentioned in my previous post. All I wanted to do was stay curled in that bed and cry.

But. God. He started working. I don’t even know how, but he started working a song into my head… that I couldn’t get out all day. I could only remember the chorus.

“All of you is more than enough for all of me,
For every purpose and every need;
You satisfy me with Your love,
And all I have in You is more than enough.”
(Chris Tomlin - “Enough”)

I heard the song only 2-3 times prior to entering the hospital. So, I know now, looking back, that God planted that song in my head.

Through that day, through the other people there, God spoke. I received use of my laptop, so I was able to send out emails for prayer support. Being able to write, feeling the joy that filled my heart as I did so, gave me a confirmation that I need to write somehow. I felt like God was telling me that I needed to share my pain, struggles and victories with others. To give others the hope that I am starting to see now.

By the end of the night, I was able to pray, read scripture… the restoration of that was an incredible freeing of my heart!

The next morning I was left in charge of deciding if I was going to discharge myself, and go to my counselor appointment. Though it was tough, I made the choice to leave. It was good to be able to see Tricia, and have her help me work through some things so that I could come out of her office more stable than I went in.

After that, it was like the clean, cool air that sweeps in at the tail end of the storms. Slowly through the rest of the week, that cool breath of air, the breath of the Spirit sweeping through my head and heart, cleared my mind, heart, and soul.

Friday, I went back to my counselor’s office, and through meeting with her again another theme came up. Not only has God used that song “Enough” in my life through the week, but God has used many sources to speak to my heart about forgiveness.

He used my quiet time earlier in the week. He used Kimberly at “A Planting of the Lord” speaking about forgiveness in her post. He used Joyat “Ponderings” by having her send me an email about forgiveness. He used my counselor, Tricia by having her give me a hand out on forgiveness.

Hmmm, forgiveness.

“Really God? FORGIVENESS???”

“Yes, forgiveness,” said God.

Somewhere, somehow through this storm this week, God has softened my heart. He made me realize that I needed to forgive. He showed me that even though I could feel the emotions of pain at the hurt inflicted, I still could forgive… let go of the cold emotions and the bitterness that has bound me, and this other person for so long.

What freedom it brings to have forgiven, and to have verbalized that forgiveness to the other person! Again, it doesn’t mean that I might not grieve over things, or that I might not experience the feelings of pain again, but at least I won’t be holding on to the bitterness. Not anymore. And if the enemy tries to bring it up again, I can look at Friday and say, “No, I forgave and I will not be drawn into bitterness again.”

And this Sunday, I was able to stand up in church, and sing, leading the congregation in praising God that He is truly more than enough for all of me… I was able to freely stand, and freely worship, in a way I haven’t been able to in a long time.

The storm came, the storm blew through… and God, my Rock, my Fortress, my Deliverer, lifted me out of the slimy pit and set my feet upon the rock.

May I continue to cling to Him and trust in His deliverance, His faithfulness, His trustworthiness, His love… I choose to trust that He is always with me, and will always work things for good in my life… even the bad stuff. I have to trust that He will bring me through this.

I am not out yet. But I am finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it is getting brighter.

Other struggles stand in my way,
but if God can get me through this far,
He can get me the rest of the way.

No comments: