I had a night that spiraled into the dark abyss of doubt and anger and anguish and despair. I hate when I go there…
It may have been the exhaustion from a season of non-stop giving and doing. Although this spring brought so many wonderful and inspiring activities and moments full of gratitude and blessings…it may have depleted me of my arsenal of coping skills, and therefore left me withered and weak. I crashed into the wall of defeat.
And I blamed God.
My daughter had (what I believe) a reaction to the chlorine of the pool as her asthma started to erupt little by little through our first week of summer. I kept hanging on to the hope that our nine years of endless doctor appointments and treatments and procedures and surgeries had finally given way to answered prayer. But with each coughing episode, I tightened and squirmed, fighting uncertainty.
“I thought she was healing, Lord. I thought she was healing.”
With our last insight discovered in her medical journey, I truly believed we found the missing piece to the puzzle of all her ailments. With the solution in hand and medicines delivered each day, diet changed and life altered once again to meet the needs of my child…she was supposed to be better. Not perfect. But better. My relief of moving past a life filled with angst and desperation, was both liberating and exciting.
Hope ceased that night. And God was to blame. I listened to my daughter gasp and cough violently through the dark long hours and I sobbed while screaming at God.
“Why Lord? After all we have done and all I have sacrificed! I believed in Your Guidance and Your Power! I believed. Where are you???”
My words turned into an ugly tyrant of giving up my hope and faith in all that God is. It was a long, dark, night of letting go…
Ever gone there?
And I can. I am human. Aren’t we all just that? I would like to think that my faith could carry me over every mountain and through every valley, but I know better. I am a woman of deep and enduring faith, and yet there are moments in my life when I give up. I am not proud of those moments, nor do I feel shame because I know God is full of grace and will be in each moment with me. There are times I fly so high on His Love and Grace that I think I will never touch ground. And there are moments when the ground isn’t low enough for my sorrow and rage.
When my faith fails, He prevails.
That’s the beauty of a loving Heavenly Father. I can throw a fit about how life isn’t going nearly as I planned and I can sob like a baby proclaiming that I am done with Him!
Yet, He’s still there.
I woke up the next morning, weak and disheveled. I went through the motions of teaching Sunday School and being a part of an end of year ceremony with the beautiful American Heritage Girl Leaders and girls. I would like to say I was redeemed and I thanked God for the transformation. Yet, I wasn’t. I was still void of faith and hope.
After three nights of my daughter’s asthma slowly falling off the giant cliff we dangled on that awful night, she made it through this past night with not a whimper or a cough. Crisis over. In less time than usual…
If Jesus called me to walk on the rough waters today, I am not sure I would make it across. Oh how this confession burdens my heart. I haven’t quite mastered the art of true and impenetrable faith during storms and struggle. During my night of high seas, I fell in. I pushed Him away and chose to dive into the water and let go of His Hand as I waded in the darkness.
The water was cold and unforgiving.
He watched me from His boat. Maybe He wept. But He still kept His Hand reaching out to me… and I refused to take it. I had given up. Crumbled into a thousand pieces of hate and rage. I’ve been there before, under various circumstances. It’s the worst place to be. It takes a lot to get me there, but if life tosses and turns me around enough, I can slip right back into the water.
The next storm will come and I pray I don’t let go again.
It’s just so much easier to hold on.