Last week I wrote about feeling distanced from God — like He didn’t really care anymore what was happening to me and my family. Hurting, and not understanding why I was feeling the way I was, I poured my heart into my blog — nothing new for me. Some burdens I will never express to anyone but God, but I did share about my struggles to cope with a rapidly-advancing disease, problems with possible eviction, and some of our financial struggles. After I wrote the blog piece things kept spiraling downward. I felt as though I had to find the answers and fix everything for my family. The more I tried, the more hopeless I saw each situation.
I began to feel desperate at first, then eventually I began to give up. I had no solutions and the waves of adversity were crashing one upon the other, never even giving me a chance to hold my head above water long enough to catch my breath. I knew I was drowning, but I didn’t care to fight — I was exhausted.
Sunday we planned to go to church as usual, but the morning didn’t run smoothly and when I left the house late, I was angry and crying. My car broke down on the way. I thought, “Why don’t You even want me at church, LORD?” then realized immediately that it wasn’t God trying to keep us from church. The Enemy was up to something and he did NOT want me at the service. Artie couldn’t do anything about the problem, so we limped along to church and all the way there I cried because now there was another expense — the car I thought would be reliable had suddenly proven me wrong.
I was hurting — physically and emotionally — and still upset and angry when I finally sat down in the sanctuary. I couldn’t stop crying so I left. A sweet and godly woman who knew what was happening found me and encouraged me to go back into the service because I needed to hear what was going to be preached. I certainly did. The message was about why believers experience bad times and the reasons we become separated from God. Yup, I cried through the whole service as my sweet Atticus held me.
Afterwards an attorney at the church approached us and we talked to him about my DISH. He told me how to file for disability and said to call him. It actually gave a bit of hope where there was none.
Then the same woman who sent me back into the service said she was having a realtor from the church call me to help us find a new place to live. Wow. More hope.
Our pastor sat with Atticus, Artie, and me and read some very befitting scripture from Psalm 42. Verses 3-5 spoke to me particularly, from the New American Standard Bible:
3 My tears have been my food day and night,
While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
4 These things I remember and I pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go along with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God,
With the voice of joy and thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival.
5 Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why have you become disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him
For the help of His presence.
Wow. It moved me to hear those verses describing how I felt — my tears had been my food! And I needed to be praising Him. I had forgotten to praise and give thanks as I allowed the burdens to pile up — they obscured Him from my view and I was no longer fixed on Him. Immediately, as the pastor continued to encourage us with Scripture and instances from his own past, I silently began to praise Him and pray. I told Him that I still believe He is allowing everything for my ultimate good and that I trusted Him. Then I told Him I was done fighting against the struggles and I asked my Savior to precede me in battle. It was a humongous weight that lifted knowing I was getting right with my LORD — I had missed Him desperately.
Pastor Randy reminded us before we parted company that God could turn anything around in 24 hours and to wait on Him. Atticus told our boys that even though things were very difficult right now, they needed to watch because God was going to step in and turn things around and all the glory would go to Him — they would see our God correct things that we cannot possibly fix in our own right.
We left the church and I wondered if I would make the hour drive home in my car. Artie drove with me and the rest of the kids went with Atticus. Just as I had pulled onto the road a man started running after me waving his arms and whistling. I stopped and he told me if I pulled over he would try to temporarily fix my car so I could get home safely. Atticus said that Artie’s face registered the fact that here was God, beginning to turn it around — doing for us what we could not do ourselves. This wonderful stranger got down on the frozen ground — in the snow — wearing a short sleeved t-shirt — and crawled under my car to fix it. When he had finished, I thanked him for his help and told him no stranger had ever done something like that to help me before. He smiled and said, “Well, now one has.” As he turned to walk away, I saw a tattoo on his neck that read Imagine that….Yes, imagine that!
Early Sunday evening the realtor called. It was another conversation that gave hope. She helped Atticus and me to understand how to handle the horrible, unfair situation with the landlord. Yesterday, I was able to speak assertively and stand up for myself because I knew my rights. The landlord backed off immediately. Another burden gone by the grace of God.
God never left. I did. I gave up and gave in and I think Satan was dancing as I kept surrendering to the overwhelming hopelessness. God always knows what He’s doing — and He sent just the right people to help with the problems we were facing. As soon as I surrendered, He went before me — before my family — and fought the battle on our behalf. He loves me and always has. I’m glad to be back on track with my Daddy because it is misery to be apart from Him — nothing is right and nothing has value.
I know we are still looking at difficult times, but I know God is going to be near and will see us through.
Today I’m praising Him still, and I will continue in it because He’s an amazing God and He alone is Worthy.