In the midst of searching for confirmation in diagnosis, we have had more tests than usual in the past few weeks. I say we, but yesterday, as I was walking the girls to one of the more miserable experiences thus far (more on that later), it hit me that it was really the girls who were going through it all. Yes, as their mother, I grieve watching them go through painful, sometimes bizarre, procedures; but they are the ones ultimately suffering in that moment. It had my blood pressure high and tears stinging my eyes as I watched the nurses hold Bailey Grace down, attempting to get her to swallow what tasted like poison in her mouth in order to get some simple x-rays. I, too, holding her down and reassuring her it was “okay” and it was “almost over”. But, was it okay? And, really, if I’m honest, it’s not almost over. This is the life that she didn’t sign up for but has been given. A weak moment in my flesh led me to checking out of the situation and having a heart to heart with God yet again. At those times, I tend to be comforted praying through God’s perspective versus my own understanding, but there, there in that cold, sterile radiology room, it wasn’t making sense. I pictured God, watching His Son bleed, vomit, sweat, and ultimately die. How? He could have made it end in an instance. But, He didn’t. He chose to let it continue until the final moment that He, in His wisdom, knew it was in fact, “finished”.
The difference in that moment in time where Jesus shed His blood and our current circumstances are starkly different, but the pain felt as a mom is real and at times I have to wonder what in the world we are doing. Our girls would be content playing on their mat and simply being loved on. Instead, instead, they are spending days in therapy, attempting to get their little bodies to do something that they just flat out don’t want to do. Instead of playdates and long walks, they are getting up at the crack of dawn, empty-bellied, and being held down against their own will for yet another medical procedure that will tell us yet another detail of what is “just not right”. These words are authentic and the emotions are too and God, how did You just watch Your Son suffer without going all Jerry Springer on everyone and stopping the madness?
He knows. He is the beginning, the middle, and the end. The Alpha and the Omega. His wisdom gives Him the ability to see not only the moment but the bigger picture. As Jesus was dying on the cross, He knew the exact moment in which the sacrifice had achieved its purpose. Not an ounce of Him would ever dish out pointless suffering; and the millisecond that it was time, He pushed “stop”. All the suffering He allows is not because He loves suffering itself. All the suffering He permits is serving eternal purpose, and His perspective gives Him the supernatural ability to know all the “how’s” and all the “why’s”. It was true at the cross and it is true in our lives. The truth is, I, in my humanity, just don’t “get” it. I don’t get why I’m having to watch our daughters go through this pain, day in day out. I don’t understand why you are walking through the hards that you are walking through. But, when you know what you know what you know, those details just don’t matter. I know Him, and that is enough. I know the millisecond He wants the therapy to stop, the procedures to end, He will let us know. I believe that it is all serving some kind of purpose, and I trust the One who wrote that purpose out. Even when I don’t understand. Even when my feelings don’t line up. Even when it hurts this momma’s heart and I feel like I am bleeding from the inside out.
“O My Strength, I will watch for You, for You, O God, are my fortress. My God in His steadfast love will meet me; God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.”- Psalm 59:9-10
Friends, He is our Strength. We are watching and waiting for Him in all things. He is our Fortress. His love is deep and wide and full and overflowing. It is never ending and beloved, He promises to meet us in all things. In the easy and the hard. In the procedures, the hurting, the blood, sweat, and tears; the dying. He meets us and He uses that same strength He used to form the foundation of the earth to hold us together when we feel like all is falling apart. This, whatever this is, is not going to last a second longer or shorter needed to fulfill His purposes according to His perspective based on the eternal wisdom of Love Himself. He can be trusted. And, our enemies are not flesh and blood. (Ephesians 6:12). No. The enemy is not the doctor, not the technician, not the messenger of the news. It’s not the one who broke your heart or the one who broke your spirits. The enemy is much less tangible but all the more real and he has already been overcome. And, in a little while, these faint memories of affliction will be banished forever where there will be no more tears, no more pain, no more imperfection. It will have all served eternal purpose and it will all be worth it.
So, where does that leave us now? Now, in the moments where we can’t catch our breath and we can’t understand why and it just plain hurts. Friends, it sets us at His feet. It sets us at the throne of the One with all the wisdom and knowledge that the world just can’t contain. It puts us in the arms of the Savior who fathoms the pain to its very core and who has overcome it all, no matter what our emotions tell us today. We keep going in faith, knowing that one day, the veil will be taken away and the only thing we will be able to do is fall to our knees, lift up our hands, and cry out praises of thanks. Friends, it was finished. It was finished. It was finished. Let’s not wait until that truth is tangible to step out in faith and praise Him today. Let’s praise Him for all He has overcome. In those moments where current reality is harder than you ever imagined it could be, praise Him that He has overcome it. In those seconds where the hurt is suffocating, praise Him that He took it all upon Himself at the cross. Praise Him, praise Him, praise Him.
“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”- Jude 1:24-25