Monday, October 13, 2014

Rough Times

I started this blog post a few days ago, but couldn't figure out how to put what I wanted to say into words on "paper." If you read my last post, you know I had been having a rough couple of weeks with multiple ER visits. That all came to a climax last Saturday and I was admitted to the hospital for most of last week. The post I started was going to be about my experience in this hospital...but I couldn't seem to get it right.

Every time I started writing I couldn't find the right words to express my thoughts or feelings related to my experiences in the hospital. It was not a pleasant experience, and I was discharged with little to no resolution to the problems that sent me in to the ER in the first place. But I am HOME and incredibly grateful for that. But like I said, the more I tried to write a post about being in the hospital, I couldn't come up with the words to express what I wanted to say. It's been a few days, and I feel like the reason I wasn't able to write anything earlier was because there is something more important I want to blog about. 

While I was in the hospital, my mom and I listened to a sermon by Mike Meyers from Reston Bible Church called Black Water. He spoke about his experience working as a diver in pitch black water with only the voice of his tender in his ear guiding him. He used that as a parallel to our lives with the really tough times and suffering we experience being our "black water" and us having to rely on God as our tender to guide us through when we can't see.

Increasingly over the past few months, my health issues have been black water for me and my family. I like to think of myself as a positive person, but lately seeing the good in the midst of the trials has been a challenge. I do believe that I will be healed because God promises that, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it will be in this life. I have a hope for eternity which is good, but when the black water closes in here, sometimes the darkness feels overwhelming. And sometimes, while I'm surrounded by the black water, I just can't seem to hear the tender's voice...

So what? I can't hear God, and you know what, sometimes when I'm feeling especially overwhelmed, I don't even know how or what to pray. Do I pray for healing knowing God has already promised it? Will my asking change His mind for when He will take away my health issues? Should I even be praying for healing? Maybe God is using my struggles to make a different for eternity in the lives of people I come in contact with...if that's the case, I don't want to miss out on how God is going to use or what do I pray for??? 

Sometimes all I can do is close my eyes to keep the tears from escaping and say "Please, God" even though I don't feel like I'm getting any response at all. Please what? I don't know, but hopefully God does.

So what's my point with all this? I feel like I don't hear the tender and I'm wandering lost and alone in the black water. But, I'm not alone and even though it might feel like an eternity, God IS STILL THERE, HE IS STILL GOOD, AND HE STILL LOVES ME. That's all I have to hold on to, and you know what?? DAYENU! At Passover every year, we have a Seder. One part is going through and saying Dayenu after each small blessing and deliverance God gave to the Israelites as they were leaving Egypt. Dayenu means "it should have been enough." So we are declaring that God doesn't owe us anything, and every small victory/deliverance He gives us beyond salvation is an incredible blessing. If I am never healed, Dayenu, because God has already given me more than I could ever deserve.

That being said, I was in a really rough spot just a few days ago. Physically I was still feeling the effects of being in the hospital, but mentally and spiritually I was really struggling. I was on the phone with my mom for a while and at one point I told her that I knew I had physical issues that need to be met, but at that moment, I desperately just needed some encouragement. I had no idea what type of encouragement or how it should look, but all I knew was that I felt like I was in a downward spiral and needed someone to reach out and grab my hand to get me out.

And God is so good in spite of my mess. Nothing changed in my life, I still felt like I couldn't pray, didn't know how to approach God or what to say, but later that day, God gave me the encouragement I needed. I was running a few errands and ended up switching the order I was going to do them in at the last minute. I was purchasing some gift cards from a local restaurant for some friends of ours and while I was waiting, my pastor and his wife walked in to have lunch. It was those few moments while I was talking with them that I felt like I heard the static of the tender’s connection in my ear. My circumstances didn’t change, I didn’t all of a sudden see the light breaking through the black water, I wasn’t miraculously delivered, but I did get reminder of the hope that He is there and I’m not alone. It wasn’t much, I might not have actually heard the tender’s voice in the black water, but the static of that connection reminded me that He is there and is keeping His eye on me even if I can’t see anything.

So that’s where I’m at now. Physically things are still pretty rough, and I’m at my wits end. I have another appointment with my GI in Pittsburgh in a week and a half, and I’m just trying to get there. I’ve been trying a couple new medications one of which I have to call him about because I’m getting some side effects that I cannot function with. The other one I’m not sure is working…so we are waiting for this next appointment to get here and hopefully we will be able to get some resolution at that point.

To finish off this blog post, here is a funny facebook post I saw the other day that I thought was fitting:

“On particularly rough days when I’m sure I can’t possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100%, and that’s pretty good.”

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