And in the messy, hard, tears, & fears, God has met me and continues to do so in ways I’ve never known.
It’s been a hard one for many of you, this year has. Many of my dear friends have experienced loss and hopelessness this year like never before. We’ve been pressed but NOT crushed, persecuted NOT abandoned; struck down but NOT destroyed ( 2 Corinthians 4.) Many difficult moments have seemed to never give way and the light at the end of the tunnel has been hard to see at times.
But in the midst, God hasn’t forgotten me, nor has he YOU. He has met me this year in ways that affirmed my doubting heart and filled my peaceless mind. As He does, He met me today in my brokenness and reminded me of His love for my aching fearful heart.
This morning I got on the road to head home for an evening, after spending the last week in Birmingham with my sweet daddy who is very very sick. When you get a call saying your dad is in ICU and very unstable you don’t think about packing. You hop in the car and speed the whole way to get there never giving a thought to what you threw in your bag. Needless to say, your attire might not be the most fabulous so when your dad gets stable, you take a break and head to do some laundry, spend the night in your own bed, and rest before heading back to the hospital to spend Christmas with his hurting body.
As I got in the car and pulled onto the interstate, the sky fell out. I couldn’t see the car in front of me, and literally was crying outloud to God:
“Show me you love me, God!”
“Show me you haven’t forgotten my daddy!”
“Show me you care, because this year hasn’t felt much like it!”
"Show me I am Yours and you care for me, because I don't really feel like you do!"
"Show me I can trust you!"
I began listing in my mind all the ways I feel that God has failed me this year. Because of my brokenness I am not always able to see His sweetness in this broken world and many times fixate on the problems instead of the one who sees and hears and never leaves. Though HE truly hasn't failed me once, my list was long and hard and tears began to flow and I begged Him to show me he hasn't forgotten the girl who has loved Him since she was a frizzy haired middle schooler. I needed to know today, and maybe you do to, that He sees ME, hears ME, answers ME, and cares for ME.
The weather got to a point where I had to pull off at an exit and wait for a bit. I knew I was upset, couldn't see, and needed to calm down and wait while the weather passed. After a little while passed and the weather had calmed down just a bit I got back on the interstate and turned off the Christmas music that was playing on every station on the radio- I didn't want to hear about a holly jolly Christmas when my year had honestly stunk and my dad would be spending Christmas in a hospital bed.
I decided I didn't want to drive in silence either, knowing my own thoughts weren't the best thing to be listening to in the moment, so I turned on a playlist of some worship music I love and kept driving through the crazy pouring rain asking Him again:
"Do you even love me?"
"Do you love my daddy?"
"This year has been terrible."
And then He met me as He always days when I allow myself to ask the hardest questions of my heart and be the realest and rawest with the one who knows me best. I looked up from turning on the music and I was passing a giant cross on the side of the interstate. The rain literally stopped pouring and the dreariness of the moment before was gone. Healer, by Kari Jobe came on first on the playlist and I knew sweet Jesus had met me in that place.
He met me when I doubted His goodness. He met me when the storm raged all around me. He calmed my heart and reminded me he calms the storm in every moment. He sang to me that " He holds my every moment, calms my raging seas, walks with me through fire, heals all my disease..." Would you believe it if I told you EVERY song the rest of the way home mimicked His goodness to me? Every single one, spoke to me of the love Jesus has for ME!
Me, the one who was doubting He cared.
Me, the one who often doesn't believe He can heal.
Me, the one who is broken from a hard year of this hard world.
He met me today and quieted my soul with His love. I pray that this Christmas He does the same for you. He does not cause pain without allowing something new to be born ( Isaiah 66:9.)
He is faithful when we are faithless.
He is gracious when we are grieving.
He is healing for our hurting.
He is our strength and portion forever.
Merry Christmas sweet sweet friends! Thank you for journeying through this crazy, difficult, messy, incredible year with me. I pray you see Jesus in the hard and sweet moments of the next few days and His sweetest blessings to your longing hearts in the new year.
He has not forgotten YOU!