I know that sometimes you feel like you are failing at everything. I know you feel the burden upon your shoulders to keep the entire household in some semblance of order as the world spins out of control. I’ve seen you awake at 2am, crying while everyone else is asleep. I’ve seen you pacing the hallways in the hospital praying the same prayer over and over. I’ve seen you stand vigil at a bedside sure that your world would cease to exist if this tiny fragile body went away. I’ve felt the same desperation to trade places with your child or loved one wanting more than anything in this world to spare them the pain. I’ve seen you struggle with your faith and heard you curse God’s name. I’ve seen the pressure surround you from all angles with a world that goes on around you while your life seems to crumble in front of your eyes. I’ve heard you screaming desperate pleas for healing and for peace. I’ve seen you hold the tears back when those around you deliver biting remarks and dismiss the pain that you are in. I’ve seen your body break down, your heart break open, and an endless stream of pain. I have witnessed your undoing on the very deepest level. I understand the pain, anger, and helplessness because I have been undone as well. Sometimes I have wondered, would there ever be a way out?
Just a few months ago, my 3 year old son went in for another skull surgery. We waited and waited anxiously for him to wake up, wondering and worrying about what would happen. It took about 8 hours for him to fully wake up. The first words out of his mouth nearly broke my heart. In a pitifully weak and scratchy voice with a throat that probably still hurt from the breathing tube came the quiet squeak “I got hurt” amongst the steady beeping in the background. Then he started to cry blood red tears, which can be normal for this type of surgery but still unnerving to see. Talk about being undone. I choked back my own sobs as I tried to be as brave as possible for him. And for a minute, in an absolute pained panic, I wanted to take it all back and make a different decision to not have the surgery. My son needed this surgery no doubt about it, three neurosurgeons agreed. The closer it got, the more I both wanted and didn’t want him to have this surgery. I know it was what was best for him and that it was going to help him, it was going to give his brain the protection it needed, and aid him in going farther in this life. But on the other hand, I have watched him suffer so much and so greatly already. I didn’t want to sign him up for any more pain and suffering. I wanted to protect him. I knew this had to happen no matter how badly I wanted to spare him the pain because there was no way to get the end result of this major surgery without going through it first.
I have questioned God time after time during the worst of it, demanding a way out, begging for my son’s health, and wanting so badly to understand this and somehow make sense of it all. The answer was devastating silence because in time I realized, it’s not for me to understand. But I think I understand a little more now than I did before. I can almost see God seeing us suffer. It must hurt Him as it hurts us. He doesn’t want us to have to go through this. He doesn’t want us to be in pain. He wants to protect us. But He also knows what is going to help us and what is going to aid us in going farther in this life even if we don’t understand it. There is no other way for us to get to where He wants us to go without going through this first. The end result is what He wants and there is no way to shortcut it. The only way out is through. So we must keep going and keep trusting, even when it’s hard. I pray that you find the strength and courage you need to go through the storm you are facing regardless of what that storm looks like. God wants to go through this with you until you are out. Trust Him. Keep the end in mind. And go.
Job 29:3 By his light I walked through darkness