“We want Christ to hurry and calm the storm. He wants us to find Him in the midst of it first.” -Beth Moore
Has anyone ever told you that God will never give you more than you can handle? Whenever I hear someone utter this phrase I just want to give them a nice pat on the head…with a hammer. I think we all have these un-handleable parts at some point, the parts we don’t post about, maybe the parts we try to hide from. It’s easier to make our lives seem easy. But I’m learning that it’s often that God allows for great ministry through great struggles. So I’m sharing one of mine.
If you know me well you know that I haven’t been well. I’ve been sick for a long time. Not the sniffle sniffle cough cough kind of sick. The kind of sick where I can’t remember the last time I slept through the night, where I can’t remember the last time I drove more than 10 minutes without shaking or not being able to breathe, the kind where in any public place or in any group of people I have to retreat elsewhere because the stimulation is just completely overwhelming, the kind of sick that limits you to more than just your bed, the kind that limits you from life itself. If you know me well you also know that I attempt to live the absolute healthiest/cleanest lifestyle possible. Name it, I’ve tried it. And while there have been short stints that have been better than others, for over a year now I’ve been surviving at best. And then about 18 days ago my body stopped being able to handle it. What already felt like an unbearable situation turned into what seemed like endless dizziness, shaking, vomiting, and complete paranoia, on top of hands and face and arms and legs that cracked open and oozed and bled. I’ve experienced many spells of not being able to breathe before but this one night I really couldn’t breathe. I’ve never known anything more terrifying.
It always fascinated me what it would be like to ride in an ambulance. Well let me tell ya, it’s nothing worth fantasizing about. The only thing I really remember about the terrible blur was hearing the same phrase over and over again, “Breathe in the flowers, blow out the candles” from about 27 people. After taken to the hospital, I was soon stabilized and drugged up out the wazoo and eventually sent home later that day saying that it was just bad anxiety. It didn’t feel like anxiety. It felt like death. And I ended up back the next morning. Except this time something different happened.
It was a Saturday, a day that my dad doesn’t normally go into his office. But he needed to move one of his cars there that morning with my sister. Actually I’m convinced that it was God who needed him to move one of his cars there that morning. Literally the minute my mom and I were checking in again to the hospital she got a phone call from my sister who didn’t even know where we were. My mom had tears in her eyes as she relayed to me that a man had come into my dad’s office. He said that God had led him to come there, that he prays for people, that he prays for healing for people. And this man that none of us had ever met or seen before came right then and there from over 30 minutes away to the hospital to see me.
Alvin Wayne Moser, someone who wouldn’t get a second glance from the world’s perspective. He actually cried when he saw me, saying he hated seeing me the way I was. He shared his testimony and God’s calling on his life and how He just had such a love for people and ministry. I could feel it before he said it. Then he and my family all held hands around me and prayed right there in my hospital room. This is the part where I’d like to say that I was instantly cured and got up jumping for joy. But as per usual, God had different plans, better plans, plans for a slower but fuller and complete healing (I truly believe).
I’ve spent every day and night since then releasing more than I can even explain to you. Is it possible for the body to detox memories? Memories you didn’t even realize your body had been harboring? This time a year ago I was living in the midst of major disfunction and chaos and at the time didn’t even know it–but my body did. My mind remained in denial while the hidden destruction wreaked havoc on my body. And while the last few months have allowed for an awakening, it’s been nothing compared to the healing I’ve found in just these recent days. As crazy as it sounds it truly has felt like my mind is rewriting the past, allowing me to find the clarity I so desperately needed. All the lies I was living in are coming into the light. Maybe this resonates with you and maybe it doesn’t. Perhaps someday I’ll explain more in detail.
The struggle isn’t over. I still have yet to be well enough to get out of the house since the hospital. But I’m getting to experience a true renewing of my mind and a closeness with the Lord I didn’t have before. I listened to this snippet on the Abide app yesterday about how a Christian should view struggles and difficulty–with great joy. It’s not in our humanness to think this way. But it’s only when we suffer that we can have a better understanding of how the Lord suffered for us. What’s amazing is that he didn’t just suffer for us but he also suffers with us (“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” -Ps. 68:19). You might feel like you’re going through hell, like despair consumes you, like you’ll never know what it feels like to be in the light again. I’ve been there. God may allow you to go through more than you can handle. But I’m telling you you’re not alone and that there is always hope.
Have you ever thought about when God sends a rainbow? In the midst of the storm. And where do you look to find it? In the darkest part of the sky. It may feel as though you have more than you can handle. But God has not let you alone, my friend. I was reminded of that the day He sent Alvin Wayne. One of the last things he told me before he left the hospital was this verse, “Sorrow may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning. -Ps. 30:5” Joy is coming. It’s coming for me and it’s coming for you. It’s not a matter of if but a matter of when–of this I’m sure.
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” -2 Cor. 4:8,9
“Then the Lord your God will restore everything you’ve lost.” -Deut. 30:3
“The pain that you’ve been feeling, can’t compare to the joy that’s coming.” -Rom. 8:18