It has been 15 years. 15 years of searching, striving, reaching, trying, clinging (to hope), pursuing (and perfecting faith); and failing (miserably along the way). Who do I think I am anyway?
Failing is inevitable when no one seems to know what is going on. Therefore, believing can be difficult when left up to ones self to accomplish it. Believing can take us out of our comfort zone and propel us to where the magic happens. More often than not, this is easier said then done; especially when your kid is having seizures everyday and nothing seems to stop them. How is it I continue to believe?
This wouldn't be one of my writings if it didn't include one of the amazing songs that feels like it was written for me. Laura Story's "I can just be me" fits nicely.
I've been doing all that I can
To hold it all together, piece by piece
I've been feeling like a failure
Trying to be braver
Than I could ever be
It's just not me
So be my Healer, be my Comfort Be my Peace
‘Cause I can be broken
I can be needy, Lord, I need You now to be, be my God
So I can just be me
I've been living like an orphan
Trying to belong here
But it's just not my home
I've been holding on so tightly
To all the things that I think
That satisfy my soul
But I'm letting go
So be my Father, my mighty Warrior
Be my King
‘Cause I can be scattered, frail and shattered
Lord, I need You now to be
Be my God so I can just be me
‘Cause I was lost
In this dark world
‘Till I was finally found in You
So now I'm needy, desperately pleading
Oh Lord, be all to me
So be my Savior, be my lifeline
Won't You be my everything?
‘Cause I'm so tired
Of trying to be someone
I was never meant to be
Be my God, please be my God
Be my God so I can just be me
This song resonates deep within. I identify with its entirety. For so many years I have felt so alone in my belief that she could recover - feeling kind of like an "orphan" trying to belong in this wilderness place I have been living. I now know that the work the Mighty Warrior has completed in me over the last several years makes me able to finally achieve the meaning of my name, which happens to be Warrior. I would think that a warrior at heart is able to believe in a worthy battle, with impossible odds - don't you? All I know is that He makes me want to be brave. You need to be brave when immersed in the dark world of mental/neurological illness. It's dark. It's confusing. It's a mystery, it doesn't make sense and even the "professionals" do not have a handle on it. It literally sucks the belief right out of you.
1. accept (something) as true; feel sure of the truth of. To be convinced by, trust, have confidence in the truth, existence, reliability or value of something, consider honest, consider truthful, to have religious faith
2. hold (something) as an opinion; think or suppose.
Believe, or........better yet believing.
I've been thinking a lot about the word believe. In order for the epileptic boy in scripture to be healed, believing was not optional for the boy's father. True believing........deep down.......absence of mistrust....hiding in there behind the fear, kind of believing. The kind that is sought after by those who suffer deeply, those who try to believe the concept that true hope is born in suffering. I needed to remind myself of that boy, and his father, for whom has taught me:
"Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not." "O unbelieving generation, " Jesus replied. "How long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me." So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked the boy's father, "How long has he been like this? From childhood, he answered. It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us. "If you can?" and Jesus. Everything is possible for him who believes." Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil spirit. "You deaf and mute spirit," he said, "I command you, come out of him and never enter him again." The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, "He's dead." Bus Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up. After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, "Why couldn't we drive it out?" He replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting." Mark 17-29
My little one, Olivia's sister was fascinated this summer with Helen Keller. She read her books, watched the movie and did a bit of research on the Internet. She was spellbound to the point that she and her bestie, Summer, began to role play the characters of Helen and Anne Sullivan (Helen's teacher). As I watched them march around in our backyard, I instantly realized that Lauren was playing the part of Helen. She was stomping away, refusing to be held, refusing any help or direction that Summer (Anne Sullivan) was offering. Lauren acted out the fear, uncertainty and unbelief that one would expect from a little girl who was both blind and deaf. Complete darkness. As I watched this adorable free show, I soon felt as if God was bending my ear to whisper that I am much like Helen - only spiritually. The last three years had led me to a spiritually darkened place of confusion and uncertainty. Because Olivia's health had quickly deteriorated, I was blind-sided and began entertaining the fear again. He went on to show me how I was refusing to grasp what He wanted me to hear because my ability to ask Him to help me believe was slowly slipping away.
I have read and reread the Charles Spurgeon sermon 'The Secret of Failure' over and over. It speaks life into my questioning heart and keeps me focused on that very powerful word ------- believe. Mr. Spurgeon says, "There was faith, even though it was mixed with unbelief. It was a faith that made him pray, as I have already told you, and the Lord Jesus Christ found out where the faith was. He had, as it were, broken the great black lump of dead coal that looked to be nothing but unbelief, and there was the living light of faith burning in the very center of it."
God has had me in the wilderness lately, even with my strong desire to "believe". Living it.......enduring it, learning from it and about it. The Beth Moore Deuteronomy study is timely and deeply educational for my wilderness encamped soul. This study details the Israelite's as they are poised on the east bank of the Jordan River, preparing to finally leave the faithless generation in their wilderness graves, and courageously fight for and possess their Promise Land. The ever-faithful Moses reviews their parent’s failures and gives them courage to fight for the land that God swore to give to their fathers. It calls them to remember who God is and what He has done for them. The mistakes made by their parents should not be repeated. I can imagine how anxious and expectant they felt and the thrill they must have had bubbling out of them at the prospect of finally leaving the wilderness of unbelief for their promise land. "And He brought us out from there, that He might bring us in and give us the land that He swore to give to our Fathers." Deuteronomy 6:23
Have you ever thought about Joshua and his time in the wilderness with all the unbelievers? He was one of two of the spy's, sent to scope out this so called "promise land" that actually believed they could defeat their enemies and take hold of it. He believed; yet he was left to wander in the wilderness for 40 years, right along side the unbelievers. I often wonder if he had any "human moments", like maybe deep down he was angry, even bitter at the rest of his contemporaries for their inability to trust and believe God. Have you ever wondered why we, like Joshua, seem to get pulled into other people's wildernesses? To believe, yet not receive.
God called Joshua to believe and he continued to, even when he was left in the wilderness. It is within these scriptures that I ultimately find the strength to believe --- even though it has been 15 years. The father of the epileptic boy encourages my heart. He teaches me as I fiercely cry out "I believe"; but humbles me in the next breath as my heart is sent after the One that can banish the unbelief that hides in the corners of my suffering. It took me years to figure this gem of a lesson out, but then again I was watching this everyday. And many times they didn't stop:
Always thankful for His guidance, and even more thankful for His love and protection over Olivia as we have navigated this painful journey.
"He brought us out from there that He might bring us in and give us the land that He swore to give our fathers." Deuteronomy 6:23