I haven’t written in this space for over three months. I’m ashamed to tell you why, but maybe some of you need to hear it in light of your own struggles.
I have been having affair that threatened to not just estrange me, but to destroy me. It has left me wounded, scarred, and hurting. I still grieve, I still lament, and I’m still hurting. But now I hurt with hope.
After years of trouble with my feet, and numerous surgeries, in early October my left foot had to be amputated. I vividly still remember staring at my stump right after surgery with tears in my eyes in utter disbelief.
I have cried more in the past three months than I had in my entire life up until this point. I was devastated, and quite honestly, it threatened to devastate my relationship with God. Faith is easy in the good times. Faith is hard when God calls you to walk through the fire.
At night I would lay in my bed in the physical rehab center and question everything I believed. If God is so loving and caring, why did he ignore my prayers and pleas to save my foot? I felt like God had an unlisted phone number and had blocked my texts.
That’s when it began. I had an affair with Fear. At night, when I was all alone, Fear would slip into my room and whisper in my ear.
Fear tried to convince me to leave God, after all, what had He done for me lately? Did He still love me? I found myself listening to Fear’s lies and allowed Fear to deceive me and seduce me. At one-point Fear convinced me that my ministry life was over, I couldn’t do it anymore like I had before.
Utter garbage. But the problem is that we believe whatever the voices we listen to speak into our hearts and minds. I was listening to the wrong voice. I raged against God and I dared to doubt God. I convinced myself God had done this to hurt me.
In the past 18 months I’ve lost my kidneys, went on dialysis, and now I’ve lost my foot. I’ve coded twice from respiratory arrest and ended up on a ventilator. I’ve fought depression, despair, and maybe a little post traumatic stress as well if I’m being honest. But the problem wasn’t in my body. After all, my body is just a shell for my spirit. And yes it’s got some cracks. My problem was in my mind because that’s where I allowed Fear to live.
Nineteen years ago, I had the same feelings, the same doubts, and the same affair with Fear. That was when we learned of our son’s profound special needs. I doubted God then too. And right now you may be going through the same thing, or your own pain and suffering in your life from something else threatens to destroy you and your relationship with God. As I learned then, God’s grace is bigger than my doubts.
I have learned so much in the past three months. Much more than I can unpack in one blog piece. I plan to unpack it in more detail in coming blog pieces and I hope you’ll join me in the journey. This is war and the Enemy is real. But God is real too. And He has showed up in my life in incredible ways as He and I walk through this together,
The Enemy can take my foot, but he can’t take away my calling. That was given to me by God and nothing can take it away. God doesn’t put us through anything he doesn’t plan to use. God’s grace is bigger than my doubts, my fears, and my struggles.
I still hurt. But now I hurt with hope. I have been entrusted with pain and suffering. I want to get where I consider it an honor to be entrusted with it by God to use for advancing His kingdom and bringing Him glory. I’m not there yet. But I’m much further along in that journey now. If crushing me allows be to exude the aroma of Christ, then it is indeed an honor to serve the King in that matter.
I’m still grieving. And I’m still vulnerable under my own power. I will have to rely on God’s power over my own. As I recently heard, “Fear is having faith in the enemy.” This is war. Losing my foot to amputation just makes me a casualty of war. I’m still going to stand my post.
It’s over Fear. I’m going back to my first love; the One I love because He first loved me.