Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Not Alone

standing in the icy sea
suffocating waves washing over me
I can't breathe, too much pain
drenching, pounding, pouring rain
and as I stand here screaming "why"
does anyone even hear my cry?
so alone I seem to be
my head goes under
and I can't see

the urge to fight has somehow gone
there seems to be no way to carry on

give up, give up, I think but instead
I feel someone lifting up my head
and swimming me toward the shore
though I don't want to be there any more
on dry land He lays me down
and with tenderness He says:
"I won't let you drown;
don't you know I'm always here?
I'm the One who will rescue you
My grace covers all you do.
When there is no one else at all
I'm the one who'll break your fall."
shame washes over me for my despair
my doubt, my fear, thinking no one there
human I am, and human I fall
thank you God for the grace that covers all

Father, thank you for getting me through another difficult day.  I would ask you to reach down and
comfort and give courage to those who are going through painful times of their own....including me.

Psalm 130:1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord; O Lord, hear my voice.  Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.                                  
Psalm 25:20 Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.

His Strength is Sufficient


It's been a long time, but it's time to get back at it! I'd thought about giving this up, but you can only share so much on Twitter (which I have also sorely neglected) and I have so much more I'd like to share.

I'm passionate about several things: my faith, my country, and my family. Here is where I share my faith, and the challenges we face here and around the world. Today I'm going to keep it close to home.

I've been tweeting here and there about a critically ill family member. Her name is Sue, and she is the mother of my ex-boyfriend of nine years. When I became ill and no longer able to work 8-12 hours shifts as a Registered Nurse, she gave me the opportunity to work in the family business (her husband and son fix commercial cooking equipment) doing the accounts receivables, while she does payables. It's a great position for me because I am able to be gone when my illness flares, as it often does. I usually spend my afternoons there.

What's all this got to do with faith?

She's an amazing Christian, my best friend other than my own mother, and we may lose her. As of last night, she is deteriorating again. I heard a quote yesterday that really hit home.

When it is the darkest, it is then that our light shines the brightest. (unknown)

I'd love to just curl up in bed and cry; and I have a few times, but it is the strength of our God that keeps me going, jumping in and doing all the things that must be done to keep things running smoothly. I don't think that I could do it without His help. Now, to get over there is thirty minutes each way. Several years ago, I turned my radio to a Christian station and wow! I have one hour built into my day for prayer and worship. This time alone with Him each day makes a tremendous difference.

There's a couple of verses that are sustaining me right now.

Philippians 4:13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Not some things, not just the easy things, but all things. Not through my own strength, but through His.
No matter the circumstance, He is there. He is with us when we call on Him. And the comfort He provides is a tangible comfort that I can feel in my heart. Another good verse from Philippians is:

Philippians 4:4-8 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things.

Some might find it difficult to rejoice in the face of such tragedy. To lose this woman of God will be a tremendous personal loss not just for me, but for their whole family. How do we rejoice? In this situation, I can rejoice knowing and trusting that the God who created the universe has a perfect plan. He will take each of us home in due time. I can rejoice that if she goes home, she will be forever in His presence. And I know from past experience that there is no wound that He can't or won't heal.

This beautiful song by Casting Crowns has given me so much encouragement.  I hope that it will touch you, too, with whatever you may be going through:    Praise You in the Storm