Originally posted at http://www.erinelizabethaustin.com/blog/stuck-in-a-pit
The truth is I don’t know what it is like to be sick. I am 30 years old and have been in good health most of my life. I am a distance runner that regularly puts more mileage on their shoes in a week than on their car. I don’t take any medications, I don’t have any specialists, I don’t undergo surgeries or procedures, and I don’t have a medical history. So why am I even talking to you? What on earth can we possibly have in common?
I have been down in the pit, you know the one. Down so deep, I couldn’t be reached, reasoned with, or comforted. The pit is empty and hopeless, full of only fear and uncertainty. There is only lateral movement allowed in the pit, never up and never forward. You are stuck there in this dark limbo until you choose to climb out. When I hit the bottom of that pit, in true Kathy Sebright fashion, I crossed my arms and refused to let anyone help me out. To call me stubborn is a laughable understatement. It is true ten thousand times over. Why shouldn’t I just stay in the pit?
People started to gather at the top of the pit, staring down at me. I heard their voices high above me and saw rope after rope thrown down until it was an overwhelming tangled mess. They wanted to help. I dug my feet in deeper. I saw some give up and walk away, their lifeline they once offered to me now at a pile by my feet. Some came and went at odd times, showing up only so they could see the disaster up close and personal. Still others belittled my pain, spoke of how much worse they had it, talked about me, and condemned me both for my lack of faith or faith in the first place. “Where’s her God now?” they wanted to know. When days turned to weeks and weeks to months, there were only a small group of people left. I saw the concern etched on their tired faces as their tears sometimes fell into the pit. I still refused to grab the rope. God put me here. God can get me out. He knows what to do. Heal my child. Make him better. Take it all away. That was the only way I would be ok again.
I was at war with God, in a hostage situation even, trying to force him to meet my demands or else. I spent months in this stalemate, the refusal to budge, the refusal to see this as anything else but underserved punishment, and blinded by the eyes of a frightened mother. I raged at God. Do something. Anything. Don’t just sit there.
There are no words for what it is like to watch your child suffer. I have searched the depths of my soul for a way to paint this picture to those that have never been in our shoes, but I can only come up with an example. More times than I can count or that I would even like to admit, I have begged God to let me trade places with my 2 year old son, until I am crying and screaming reduced to a pile of a person on the floor. I have begged God to strike me down dead this very minute, in the middle of this prayer, in order to spare my son. I will die right here, right now if he will only heal my little boy’s brain. Take away the malformation, the lesion, the hemorrhage, the pain, the seizures, and the uncertainty. No more surgeries, scans, medications, therapies, or alarms in the middle of the night. Dear God, just take it all away. Sounds desperate, doesn’t it? That’s because it is.
The pit consumes you, engulfs you, and changes you, whether you want it to or not. You can never be the same person again once you climb out and that’s not all bad. The day I grabbed the rope and decided it was time to trust God with my son is the day that everything started to change. It was like turning on a light in the middle of the night. At first it hurt to look at, but then it was brilliant and beautiful and I don’t know how I ever saw anything without the light.
If you are in the pit right now, I want to personally throw a rope down to you. Do not despair. You are not alone. You are not forgotten about. God is still holding that rope down to you, even if others are not. Start climbing. He will not leave you there. Trust him. The rope is full of promises for a better tomorrow, a hopeful future, and peace that passes all understanding but only if you take it. You must surrender control. Throw your arms into the air, grab hold of that rope, and let God pull you up.
Today is an ever fleeting moment, gone before we even realize it has slipped through our fingers. I have learned to trust God with whatever will be of my sweet son Emmett. Thy will be done. Emmett is His first, mine second. It was the only way I could be ok again. You can be too. Keep climbing. Live in the light.
Job 33:28: God has delivered me from going down to the pit and I shall live to enjoy the light of life. (NIV)