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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Struggles Within~

First of all, I am gonna try to keep this brief, but I feel a revelation coming it may be a long winded one.

I have been terribly ill since Wednesday and in bed since Thursday. My 22 yr old daughter went to the emergency room on Tuesday, so I went with her and she shared the wealth. Please pray for me and the rest of my household. We have to be in Chicago on Friday for Martail's graduation.

OK. Now on to the meat.

Being laid up in and out of reality, gives one time to ponder many things. I tend be one of those who prays constantly...not those get-down-on-my-knees kinda prayers, but I do talk to our Heavenly Father often. For years those were prayers of heart felt crying out to Him. Help me, help me. help me. I even nicknamed myself "David" during this time. Then there were the thankful years( I enjoyed Next came the "I need you to help me and I thank you for whatever it is you are doing through all of this" prayers. Then the years of "thank you for all that you have carried me through cos it made me who I am today" prayers.

Off and on through the years there was lots of just talking, too. Just letting him know how I felt about stuff or when I was scared, or confused. I learned to love His sence of humor! Who else, but our God would command us to pray for our enemies while assuring us that if we leave justice to Him He will heap coals of fire on their heads? Now, I must confess, there are a few times that I have thoroughly enjoyed that mental image. One of the things I love about Him is that even though He already knows if I am happy, mad, sad, confused, elated, or tired. He just wants me to tell him about it! And He listens! His patient listening is so healing to my ragged soul. He also knows that I sometimes swear like a sailor, think mean things, say spiteful words, and foget just exactly Who is in charge. AND, He loves me anyway!

In those early years of the 'help me' prayers there were months where the only thankful prayer I could utter was, "God, I thank you that I will never ever have to live this day over again. Amen!" I truly believe those little prayers paved the way to the thankful years.

Being a young mother of 4 children with a husband who had an active addiction is sheer hell. There were times when death seemed the only reprieve...and in my insanity, it didn't matter if it was my death or my husbands. God is so faithful.

I had issues of my own that I brought into my adulthood. I had been raped. There was not one single man in my childhood-with the exception of my Grandpa-who had done right by me. My father was alcoholic and my mom was crazy behind him and his addiction. As we so often do in the turmoil of childhood, I made myself a promise that I would NEVER be like my mom. I hated her and I blamed her for all of hell of our childhoods.

Thankfully, with age comes wisdom, and I began to see where I needed to forgive the people in my life who had harmed me and even forgive myself for putting myself in places where I could be harmed. God gave me the most amazing revelation concerning forgiveness. 'Forgiving someone is not condoning what they did." Well, now that sure puts a different spin on things, does it not?

I got busy about the business of forgiveness. (say that out loud 3 times!) My spirit was released from the cage that had held it captive all of my life. Not only was I loved differently, I loved differently. Life was good! I could forgive folks left and right and it even got to be enjoyable. Here again is an example of Our Heavenly Father's sence of humor. We are not told to forgive others for their sake, we are told to do it for OUR sakes...lest the roots of bitterness take hold in our soul. Often times, forgiving some one is a very private thing. No one knows but you and your Lord. I have a perfect example of how telling someone that I had forgiven them would not have been a good idea. Some times people don't even realize that they hurt us.

There is something about human nature that causes us to miss so much of what God is saying...oh! that's it! His thoughts are not our Isaiah 55:8
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.

I should have seen that one coming:). Any way, I find that when God tells me to do something that ugly little rebellious teenager inside of me screams, "NO!" The the older child in me says..."Now, lets consider this..." Finally my inner-adult says, "Enough of this nonsence." and does as my Father said. Such a waste of precious energy. May I become blindly obedient to my Lord.

Now...all of this has lead to this: here I am, despite all of the things I have gone through before pretty much back at square one. At 47, I am an angry, bitter, old woman. This is not who My Loving Father intended for me to be, not is it who I wish to be. Paul understood how I feel...what I know I should do I do not and that which I do not wish to do I do...I know thats a very liberal translation. But this struggle is wearing me thin.

At the very basis of it all is my health. I battle physical pain almost daily and this takes such a toll on my mind, and spirit. I grow weary often. Many days I have to nap just so I can make it through the day. And this pisses me off. How can I balance acceptance of how things are without giving up hope that it will get better? How do I graciously endure such hell? How do I continue to endure it at all? I am back to constantly crying out to God, "Help me!" How do I become okay with the fact that some days I can not put on my own shoes and sox let alone go to the grocery store and pick up a 10 pound bag of sugar? How do I quiet the fears of 'if its this bad at 47, how will it be it 57, 67, 77?' How do I stop the quilt I feel when I see the fear and hurt in my childrens faces as I become less and less 'able'?

All of this leads to mind gets as weary as my body and I despair all the way to my spirit. Then terror sets in. I pray and I pray and I pray. I know my God is faithful and He has promised to not forsake me. I know when I can't sence Him walking along side me, He is, in fact, carrying me.

Sometimes, it is just harder to hang on than it is at others. Will you hang on for me when I can't?


Sharon said...

Wow girl you have had a walk with God haven't you?
He is faithful. He is loving. And we know that the plans He has for us are for good and not for evil.
I am reminded of Corrie Ten Boom while I read your post. I don't know if you know about her but she wrote her story in a book called The Hiding Place. It was also made into a movie by Billy Graham.
She had a rough life. En prisoned by the Germans she lost her Father and her sister while there. Then God brought her out by a miracle and she was filled with such hate. Her sister had always told her--love them Corrie don't hate them. God taught her how to do this and He used her massively.
In the later years of her life her health declined. She has a stroke which left her bed ridden. She could not speak but she still loved hearing the word of the Lord being read to her. She was this way for 7 years before the Lord took her home.
Of course there is so much to her story and her walk with God.
It sounds like you have had a rough road. It is hard to learn to be content in the states we are in--especially when it involves our bodies being in such pain. But like you said Paul understood. So there must be an answer in Gods word.
I would encourage you to start a thankful journal. He loves you. There are little love signs surrounding us everyday. Let Him fill your heart with praise. It will bring your heart before the throne--away from the things of this world that battle to bring you down.
There are no pat answers. But our God is a God of hope. I pray this week that He gives you a little view of the glory that is waiting for us.
I just finished reading a book called 90 Minutes in Heaven. It is a great book for people who are living lives of physical pain.It might also encourage your heart.
Wish I could give you a big hug--you are not alone.

Greatfullivin said...

Hi Phyliss, I am back again today. I am thinking of you. What an honest post today ,and very well written. I have added you to my prayer list, which is what brought me back here today, God just keeps bringing you back to my mind. I read Sharon's comment and could not agree with her more. The story of Corrie Ten Boom is inspiring. Also I would like to invite you to come and take part at my site. It is called the Gratitude Journal. We are women around your age who post what we are Thankful for each day. I am a huge believer in the law of attraction. What ever you give your attention to..gets BIGGER. I have discovered by paying attention to things I am grateful for my whole attitude has changed...I now look for the best of every situation. I think you would enjoy it. Anyway, I would love for you to give it a try, You are NOT alone! (((Hugs)))