But Take Heart, John 16:33

It’s been awhile since I shared my heart. It is no longer filled with anger. I’m no longer bound by hatred. The intensity of my emotions seem to have softened and the storm challenging my peace exists in smaller proportion since the initial devastation.

I can look back now and see that God gave me something I actually could not handle. (alone that is). Alone, I am nothing. In him, there is strength and refuge. HE managed the storm and provided a small but sturdy raft while I lay devastated, shook to the core, lifeless.

oh the raft.

Time and time again JESUS waded the waves and slowed the growth of the dark clouds and all on my behalf . And I see it clearly now. (Even though I did not then) Christ is moving for US. He is making a way when there is no way. When the earth crumbles beneath our feet and hope is a foreign concept….when anger billows through the blood and our ears are deaf to his word….HE is PATIENT for our return, He is DEVELOPING our inner strength and according to HIS PURPOSE, The Lord is refining us. OUR PAIN, OUR RUIN . . . will ALL be used for his GLORY.

LET GOD BE GOD.

When I fought the demons of guilt, I took on my brothers decision as if it were my own. I reread every word between us searching for the missing piece. I felt SURE I missed something. He was telling me the whole time, in his own way, and I just didn’t give him the words he needed. HE CRIED OUT. HE NEEDED ME. This world was too heavy a load. I should have lifted his burden.

when I battled planted seeds of abandonment, I questioned how a GOOD God would allow this to happen. I wanted to KNOW WHERE WERE YOU GOD!? How did you not intervene…Why did you allow your child to break so horribly? Where is the Glory?? A child is now without her father… a family dwells in ruin and ashes. Friends are broken…You can do anything Lord, but you played a silent role. WHY!?

When the days of anger tore apart my peace, wedged itself between my marriage, became a road block at work, with friends, in my writing. . When I couldn’t see the sky without rage crushing over my spirit because I COULD NOT scream any louder. And I didn’t feel heard anyways. I physically felt the strain in my vocal cords. I decorated my home with holes through the walls from furniture thrown. I shattered glass to see it break.

And when my body went limp from complete exhaustion, still Jesus was there. I remember sitting at a red light while it changed 3 times unable to move my foot from the break peddle. I watched car after car drive past at a 4 way stop, and I never moved. I saw people move their mouths though I never heard a word. I drank bottles of wine and felt nothing. I cried myself to sleep wondering the purpose of life.

This world is heavy isn’t it? I know my pain isn’t isolated. Every human on this earth will walk through their own fire. During this journey- through the guilt, abandonment, anger and exhaustion… (the entire time I questioned GOD)…. I did not pray, but I wrote as if I were pleading with my soul to continue hope. to BELIEVE in His truth. Because, Please also hear this: instinctively I ALWAYS felt sure of MORE.

THE GRIEF FOG JUST CHALLENGED MY ABILITY TO SEE.

Because of that buried truth inside my heart, I searched. I searched for answers like I never have. I needed a hope of seeing my brother again. but this time WHOLE. HAPPY. FULFILLED. ETERNAL. And that’s exactly what I believe heaven is. This need was more present, more REAL than any physical need I had.

During the first year, when the fog was so heavy I began to doubt, I found spiritual support in a variety of places. He pursued me through my Uncle Mike. He pursued me through my rock of a husband, my nana and my sweet, sweet friends. He sent me unexpected laughter, prayer and truth. He sent me WISDOM and GRACE. My husband and my uncle poured so much scripture into my vessel that I began to feel the warmth of the sun. Did you just read that? I mean it. IN A LITERAL SENSE… I was driving home one day, my arm was growing warm, and I FELT it. It dawned on me…The sun provided warmth I had forgotten about. I looked out through my window…and the sky was BLUE! The clouds were WHITE. It was as if I had just opened my eyes for the first time. IT WAS MAGNIFICENT. When did God paint the sky?

And so i guess I’m saying, There was no single moment. But a thousand moments. Moments like I just described where I look back and say, OH. That was YOU. Those verses from my Uncle, That was YOU. Those nights of screams and anger where Lance never left my side, That was YOU. When I told my husband I didn’t know Christ anymore, and he returned everyday with prayers and examples of God UNTIL he could see the change for himself…YOU. And it was YOU who made me feel the sun and SEE the sky. In all of the darkness, You never left. And it is for this very reason why John 16:33 is my fight song.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you WILL have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

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