I was blessed by the presence of my mother this weekend [and my brother, sister-in-law and niece]. Knowing that I was starting to work through all my feelings she brought me a couple father-related items. One was a letter from one of my father’s friends, seemingly when he was first diagnosed or during a bad spell. I waited, of course, until I was alone in my apartment to read it.
It’s a nice letter, and for the most part don’t have any particular feelings toward it. I am glad that my father had such great friends and such a wonderful support team. Friends that could acknowledge when they needed to bear his burdens, or when they needed help carrying their own. Not knowing much about my father on my own accord, it’s nice to know through letters of this sort that he was well cared for by his support team.
There were two statements that stuck out to me [and I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing these, but out of context, they’re pretty generic]:
I’d give anything right now to take on your pain, discomfort, fears and suffering and carry the load.
Two things about this one:
- I know that my mother would love to take on the pain, discomfort, fears and suffering that I feel from losing my father. I want to make recognition of this as I move forward. I know she’s always got my back.
- I know Jesus has always been there helping me bear this burden. He has died for every sin that has come from my desires for or search for something to fill that gap left by my desire for my dad’s presence. I have failed over and over again and Jesus still loves me and died for me. My father didn’t chose to die, but my Jesus did and he did so for me – for all my mistakes, fears, failures and selfishness. I don’t know where I’d be without his mercy, grace and love.
You’ve got everyone pulling for you, yet you’re alone.
Not necessarily having anything to do with my father, but something else I’ve been dealing with lately is terrible fear and anxiety. Of all the pains in life, these are some of my least favorite. They make me feel empty in a scary way. Many times after time spent with loved ones I’ll find myself alone in my apartment. From high to low… From time surrounded by friends or family who encourage and love on me to a loneliness that made the previous seem like a dream. You’ve got everyone pulling for you, yet you’re alone.
I have this recent struggle where I cannot hear about terrible murder stories or even watch crime TV shows without having a dark fear creep within me. It’s terribly hard to shake off, and the only cures seem to be bringing the issue to light by sharing it with someone(s), spending time in prayer and in the Word, and by avoiding triggers. So even though desperately want to watch shows like Gotham [Ryan Atwood – come on!] or Blue Bloods, or simply listen to news stories that friends share about accidental yet terrible murders, I can’t – because they open a door for this fear and dark anxiety to creep in. I’ve hardly ever been the person that’s thought “That would never happen to me,” and more so cling to the “What if I was in that situation,” or as of more recently, “What if I did something so stupid that ended the life of someone I cared about?” I couldn’t live with myself. “Would I ever lose control of myself in a way that would bring harm to another? Would God let that happen? What is in my control and what is in His?” I also can’t live with these thoughts.
So in hopes of breathing fresh air, letting go and getting myself out of this fog, I went on a walk this evening. I prayed to God, wondering what was wrong with me. Am I damaged? Do I need more help (should I be locked up)? What do I do? I focused on breathing and asking God to make right my heart and mind, and to send away anything that is not of him. I tried not to focus on the fact that once again I was feeling lonely after my family left, and was wishing that my mom and I had had more time to visit.
The thing about fear that is worse than loneliness is it forces you into a box of constantly whispering lies. It’s like being claustrophobic in a shrinking box, surrounded by people whispering about your downfalls. Last night, while journalling through my anxiety, I heard God whisper, “Just go tell your mom. It’ll be okay.” And my fears kept whispering, “Let her sleep. Don’t bring anyone into your mess. What would your excuse be? Do you really want to share this with someone else? This is totally not normal. There is something wrong with you.” Luckily, God won and I bucked up, pretended like I needed to fill my water bottle and drowned out the darkness with light as my shared my burden with my mother. She saved me from the fear attack with her calm presence and we had a slumber party in my room 🙂 God is good.
Since hearing this song a few weeks ago at 608, it’s helped me through many a rough moments. Repeatedly singing the truths, YOU ARE GOOD, GOOD OH. YOU ARE GOOD, GOOD, OH. YOU ARE GOOD, GOOD, OH. YOU ARE GOOD, GOOD, OH. and YOU’RE NEVER GONNA LET, YOU’RE NEVER GONNA LET ME DOWN. YOU’RE NEVER GONNA LET, YOU’RE NEVER GONNA LET ME DOWN. YOU’RE NEVER GONNA LET, YOU’RE NEVER GONNA LET ME DOWN. YOU’RE NEVER GONNA LET, YOU’RE NEVER GONNA LET ME DOWN. King of My Heart
Towards the end of the walk is a hill that I usually add on (for fun). I desperately didn’t want to walk up it tonight, but I felt God gently, yet firmly, urging me to walk up the hill. Towards the top of the hill, I saw someone walking down. Grumble, grumble, God, now I have to keep walking… (Because I very much dislike following close behind someone else – RahRah quirk…) As I got closer and kindly said hello, I had to do a double-take realizing it was someone I knew! God is good. It was a fellow CAP alum, I probably haven’t seen in years – and it’s always so refreshing to catch up with CAP family. God knew exactly what I needed, and even though I grumbled along the way, he still faithfully rewarded me. I then had the sudden rush of energy to conquer a few more hills that evening. God is good, good, oh.
I saw a home while walking my extra hills and nearly passing it by, I had to stop, turn around and take it in. Because though it looks like it is nearly falling apart in places, it’s beautiful and has so much potential. I actually felt quite drawn to it and the image it presents in my life. It’s how I feel. I’m definitely broken and falling apart in places, but I know God has great plans for renovation. I am his fixer-upper, we all are 🙂
. . .
I know that God is ever present in my life and that He is good and will never let me down. Nonetheless, there is a constant struggle in the spiritual realm and I know that I will need help and prayers as satan tries to throw fear and anxiety my way. So I welcome anyone willing to send up a prayer or two for me. It’s not easy admitting a struggle, but it’s such spiritual one that I know that I can’t do this alone. Please pray for me, so we can combat this darkness together.
Dear Lord. Thank you for your faithfulness tonight. You are always so good to me. I pray Lord you will bless abundantly all who take time to read this, and those who send up kind thoughts and prayers. I pray that those prayers will not only surround me in my situation, but would extend to everyone else dealing with fear, anxiety and darkness. This is not a fun place to keep returning to Lord, so teach us defense against the dark arts, so when this returns, we will know how to defeat it. You have the victory Lord! You have defeated the darkness for us! Shine your light through us, so we may share your light with others. Thank you for all you do, and for loving us deep and wide. Amen.
P.S. I just got this text from my mom… GOD IS GOOD, GOOD, OH
Rest peacefully – God has you covered!