Two things. Really, that’s it this week.
Honestly, these are two really simple thoughts. But, are some of the hardest to keep in mind when the stuff hits the fan. I’m just keeping it real. I guess it would be more comfortable to think that pastor’s wives or Christ followers don’t struggle with this. This one did…..
It is interesting the beliefs you hold on to and never doubt. Their validity stays in tact until the very essence of them are tested. I think we have all been there. If not, I’m pretty sure it will come. Here they are:
God never leaves you.
God never stops loving you.
There are two types of people.
There is the one who comes through a difficult challenge, gets the t-shirt and decides to use the experience to make a difference.
The other is the one who comes through the same challenge, jaded and disillusioned, bitter and angry.
Same situations, different outcomes. I don’t know. Life throws some pretty nasty curves. And sometimes we might believe we don’t really deserve them. I certainly admit to that one.
I sat on the counselor’s couch. I can still see the picture in my head. Sometimes, in a particularly quiet moment, I still feel the intensity of the emotion of that moment. Such a lost and hopeless darkness…..the darkest feeling I had really felt up to that moment. I thought, “So this is how it feels to not have Jesus.”
For me, I didn’t just have the trauma of my child being sexually abused; for several years I had dealt with deep professional struggles, as well. I had seen things and experienced things that, piled onto the abuse revelation, were causing a very real dark night of the soul. I was beginning to believe God was nowhere to be found and his love felt far, far away.
Many of the beliefs I held so easily before seemed to no longer work for me or my life. I wasn’t sure why He left. It was such a scary place to be and I remember thinking “this is what aloneness feels like.” I was deciding whether to stay in the boat with Jesus, if you will, or get out.
Long story short, if you were wondering what my decision was (LOL), I stayed in the boat with Jesus. In reality, I heard a sermon about staying in the boat with Jesus. My husband preached a fabulous one that day! But, I had to have some schooling in order to truly understand and develop a deeper knowledge of who Christ was. He revealed both his amazing presence and great love for me. See, he hadn’t really left and he hadn’t stopped loving me. The clouds were just so dark I couldn’t see the light. I couldn’t see his hand. I could, however, hear his heartbeat for me. I had to remember something I had learned years prior….another great sermon from my Honey.
Here it is, “When you can’t see his hand, trust his heart.” Right there. Nailed it.
I began to hear his heartbeat through the people he surrounded me with. I could hear his heartbeat through prayers that were prayed for us by people near and far. I could hear his heartbeat and trust his hand more and more when I began to truly believe what he had taught me in the light.
This week’s blog is pretty simple. Psalm 23 says he is our shepherd. When we go through Death Valley he stays right next to us. Here’s my thought. I wouldn’t take my child, leave her in the darkest woods, tell her to find her way out and leave her to do just that. No, I would stay right next to her and walk out together. She would probably get scared by the sounds and the wind. It would probably be quite overwhelming. But, I would reach out and hold tightly to her hand. So, if his beauty and love chases after us every day, that means even in the darkest places he is busy loving us and keeping us.
But, if we learn these things in the light, we can rely on them in the dark.
Matt Redman wrote a song “Never Once”. It is a declaration of God’s faithfulness in the hard places in life. I heard it on my drive to church this morning and knew this was to be my blog post for the week. My assignment for you this week, if you will, is to listen to the song.
I can heartily sing this and know it is my declaration this week. How about you?