To know God the way that I now know Him; to encounter Him in the ways that I must, has required such surrender and such patience that only this could have drawn me here.
Only this kind of quiet. Only this kind of love. Only this kind of intent. Only this kind of pursuit of something other than myself. Only this kind of intimacy. Only this kind of joy.
Only this kind of pain and desperation. Only this kind of hungry fear. Only this kind of simplicity. The kind that you can devour and it's succulence draws you in for more.
Only this kind of searching, this kind of hunt, this kind of drive will drag you to the edge of that cross that is far more rugged than you dreamed it would be. Bloodied knees and elbows from crawling with absolute surrender are the only visible acknowledgement that this journey has led you to the place of ultimate, all consumable release.
In the lonely and in the alone I have come out more alive. I have clung to this Jesus that made Himself known to me in a way that most will never get to know. I hate that. I wish all knew Him this way but without the suffering. Without the sadness.
But the place that we meet now mimics the taunting cries of my soul. The place where we now meet is the place where He and I began a love affair that is drenched in joy, shredded from the cloths of bitter sadness.
This God that I know pours strength into me.
When I envision it I see my soul, which is surely wrapped in yellow whimsical flowers and articulate lettering, held wide open and the lightest of clear liquid being poured in. The flowers of my spirit begin winding one around the other as if to multiply in endurance and separate with capability. This beautiful image of my God using His own potion to transform my soul leaves me longing for more and more.
And then more.
This weekend as I attended Stevie's funeral and I listened to Val speak so eloquently about our loving God, I sat in awe. She is strong but she credits the maker. She is brave but she honors Him. She endures loss, betrayal, confusion and grief with such a purity that you know only He can give.
He breathes life into us when death is among us and the peace that accompanies leaves no room for doubt.
It's just like our God.
The intricacy of our King is so relevant to my every moment, especially now.
I met with the hospice nurse yesterday. We discussed what kind of home care would best suit Mabel. And even in that I felt the knowing that He is guiding me. I know He has equipped me and I allowed Him to unravel me so that I could make the best choices for our daughter.
Inside of me a releasing happened in the time when I accepted that this is what God has for us.
I fought it due to my prior thinking. I wrestled with God and argued that there must be a better way. I searched for a deeper cause and tried to unearth the reasoning.
But then one day, not so long ago, I allowed the river of acceptance to flow through me and God arrived, clothed differently than I knew Him to be before.
Val was right all along.
Her wisdom is unmatched but I know truly that it is her adoration and dependence on God that carries her. That strengthens her. That binds up around her and supports her.
He sustains her life when death could have swallowed it up.
And He's going to do the same for me.
He's doing it now.
He's sustaining me and revealing Himself to me.
He is here and I am experiencing Him in the most uncommon of ways.
There is victory in knowing God and knowing Him well.
There is wisdom, growth, change, maturity, fervency and truth.
It doesn't look the same to me now, as it once did, and for many that may seem like a fine line to cross.
But lucky for many, they will never have to walk that tight rope of despair that I have had to walk and so the chance of them crossing that safe line is slim.
Slim to none actually.
I pray that God would swallow me up in His grace so that I am graceful.
I pray that He would massage into me a message of hope so that I can share it when the time comes.
I pray that inside of me he would mend and churn a story worth telling; and I'll tell it to a thousand hearts.
I pray that the life the He has given me to live would be used in living and not in dying to those things that are inadequate and full of senseless meaning.
I pray to be used among those who have been misguided and that this true, unspotted, pure love would be handled with exactly the right detail as to not taint His story in any way.
I want to be clear.
I depend on Him, He is near, and I fall short in my explaining of what that means often.
It doesn't mean that there is no fear. That when she's choking and throwing up her own saliva I am not terrified that in an instant I will be making choices that involve life or end in death. It doesn't mean that when I am sitting across from a hospice nurse for our 2 year old baby that I am not utterly conflicted and deeply saddened. I am. Desperate even...
It doesn't mean that there aren't weak moments or soaked pillows at the end of an exhausting and overtaking day. It doesn't mean that I am all consumed and can never feel another emotion other than total shock, total despair, total guttural pain over this very unfair and completely horrid disease.
But what it does mean?
It means that He meets me here. Even in the fists meeting the floor and the mascara staining the sleeves of every shirt I own.
It means that He intimately seeks me-in the bathtub, on a walk, during a song, in my sleep.
It means that He chose me.
I believe He did because He knew her and created her and placed her in my womb.
It means that every other notion or belief that I had before now was challenged, scathed and deepened. It will never look the same and I would NEVER want it to.
For so very long I slumbered in this.
And then I awoke.
I rose from the slumber to a morning that included more than just sunshine. The dawn of that figurative day was nothing like I envisioned it but everything I needed it to be. I longed for the clouds to disappear. I begged the sun to wipe them away and never let me see them again. And then as the rain followed I wanted it to wash me away with the sadness that met me here. But the rain stayed. And the clouds stayed. And the sun shined through it all. Every day the sun was brightly tucked behind the bits and pieces of clouds, rain, dark and dreary. Before I knew it, they were all a welcomed sight; it just took time.
Soon I could see into the clouds and loved them for what they brought to my life when mixed with that beautiful, bright sunshine that never ever left my day.
Acceptance. It freed me.
And He met me there that fine morning.
I will never be the same.