Tuesday, February 9, 2016

To The One Who Is Stuck In A Storm

To the one who is stuck in a storm:

Girrrrrrrllllll…… I feel ya. 2015 was an entire year of loss, pain, anger, hardship, and despair. Sometimes it has felt more like a nightmare than like reality. I found myself standing in a storm I didn't expect. The worst part of the storm is over, but here I stand, searching for shelter in a place that has been wiped out. I'm wading through the flood, I'm exhausted from what I've already endured, and my fatigue is taking a toll. My legs feel like they're about to buckle under me, and I'm searching for solid ground. I don't understand how I got here. I don't understand why this happened to me. I don't understand how I got caught in this storm I didn't expect, and I surely didn't ask for.

Did you get caught in your own storm? Did you see yours coming? Or are you bewildered, searching for shelter, just like me? Are you wondering: "If God is capable of miracles, healing and quieting storms, then where's my miracle? Where's my healing? Why aren't You stopping my storm, Lord?" If that's you, take my hand, dear one. Let's make a plan for how we're going to make it out of this mayhem together. 

When I haven't been working or out with friends, I've been in bed for over a year. I've spent far too much time in yesterday's pajamas {OK maybe I wore those pajamas for more than 2 days}, with a dirty-hot-mess-of-a-bun on my head, with no motivation to do anything unless I really had to. I lost my mojo. I lost my purpose in life, and I've even believed that I have no purpose. I've spent over a year saying to myself "God has plans for OTHER PEOPLE…BETTER PEOPLE…. but not for me." I've had a lot of time to think. Too much time, even. I wouldn't call what I've been doing thinking, I'd call it dwelling. I've been LIVING in these self-destructive thoughts that came from the storm raging on around me. If you relate, where do we go from here?

….to the one fighting to survive in a storm….
….to the one who suffered unspeakable loss….
….to the one facing a devastating diagnosis….
….to the one who has a shattered heart….
….to the one who has "family" who acts nothing like a family….
….to the one whose trust was broken….
….to the one who loved and lost….
….to the one who feels like no one cares….
….to the one who wants to run away screaming….
….to the one who feels like they wasted their time/energy/emotion….
….to the one who had the rug pulled out from under them….
….to the one who's been abandoned….
….to the one sitting in shambles seeing everyone else's life go great….
….to the one with a worrisome bank balance….
….to the one staring at yet another negative pregnancy test….
….to the one who had had yet another miscarriage….
….to the one who is pregnant and terrified….
….to the one has to sit at yet another singles table at yet another wedding….
….to the one crying in a courtroom hallway as their marriage is ending….
….to the one who feels like she has no good choices….
….to the one who has been told she's not good enough….
….to the one who has to walk away from what you were so sure your purpose was….
….to the one with a tearstained face….
….to the one who just can't move on….
….to the one who once had support, but the letters and phone calls have stopped and your pain has been forgotten….
….to the one waving the white flag….
….to the one desperately searching for God's voice, only to find radio static….

This is your life. It feels like you're stuck in the middle of the inevitable. You feel powerless. You feel trapped. You feel like there's no safe haven anywhere you turn. There's no way out of the storm. You just can't move. Sometimes you even have to remind yourself to keep breathing. Your world is crashing down, and you just want to crawl under the covers and stay there forever. You're stuck, and being stuck sucks. I hear you, dear one, I hear you.

I don't know why this is happening to me. I don't know why this is happening to you. I don't know what's happening in your storm, and I don't know what's coming. I truly wish I had a specific solution for your storm. I don't. But I do know this: the devil is telling you "if God really loved you like He says He does, why would He let this happen to you? He definitely doesn't care about you." I also know this: THESE. ARE. LIES! He's got you right where he wants you. He's got you thinking "I think God lost my address." or "I prayed and He didn't answer", or worse, "He said no. He told me all it takes to move a mountain is faith. I tried having faith, and nothing happened." Don't believe these lies like I did. Don't love the miracle you're craving {that may never come} more than you're loving the One who already created a miracle: YOU!

You've gotta get up, baby girl. I know it's easier to lay in the pain than it is to get up and get moving. Staying close to the pain can make you feel closer to what you lost. Walking away from the pain feels like what happened didn't matter. But oh, how it mattered. I get it. Staying alone in pain can feel safer than trusting others with your pain. Pain feels certain in your circumstances, and hope feels scary. Staying in the same spot in the storm feels more safe than moving through it. But please hear me: you've got to get up and move though the storm if you want to get out of it. 

Jesus gets this. He gets this so much more than we give Him credit for. He gets this better than anyone. Read more about this here and here {for realz--don't miss reading those}. He knows what it is to be betrayed with a kiss by someone who once said he loved Him. He knows what it is to feel like the people who should be praying for Him are asleep at the switch. He knows what it is to be abandoned in His hour of need. He knows what it is to be terrified. He knows what it is to see death coming. He was in such agony anticipating His storm, He was sweating blood begging God for another way. And at the end of it, he said "Rise, let us be going…." He knew the only way out of a storm is to get up. Dear one, He gritted His teeth, rose to His feet, and got tortured and murdered…. FOR YOU! There's just no way He doesn't care about you. There's just no way He doesn't have a plan for you. Rise, dear one. Rise.

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