God Sees Me
My Mama had severe chest pain and was struggling to breathe a few weeks ago. So on that particular Thursday morning I found myself driving her to the ER playing Psalm 46 by Shane & Shane on repeat. I was determined to handle the unexpected crisis with faith, strength, and positivity. At least it needed to appear that way regardless of my internal dialogue. My inner self was all over the place as she was suffering and we were waiting: “God has numbered our days, so is this it? Is this my Mom’s day?” “Lord please rescue my Mama, but should I say if you’re going to bring more glory to yourself through her death then ‘your will be done?’ I guess. Except I really am not cool with that...but it’s not about me.” “She’ll be fine. She’ll be fine. God will heal her. But what if He doesn't? I can barely speak honest words out loud without crying. Ugh. Don’t be morbid. Read a bible verse. Yeah, read some scriptures.” “Fix your thoughts on things above, Maddie. Nah, I'll just distract myself. Yes, read a book. No, I should google bronchoscopy and find a YouTube video to explain to the kids what’s going on and call it homeschool science class tomorrow because…oh yeah I homeschool three kids. This is great! What a great chance to teach the kids something new. Who am I kidding? This is a lot.” Sometimes I prayed. Sometimes I was prisoner to my runaway thoughts. I am SO grateful to say that after 12 days in the hospital, she recovered from pulmonary embolisms, pneumonia, and a collapsed lung. Throughout the process of procedures and treatment I was confronted with my actual self. I mourned the faith I wish I had - and the way I wish I felt - compared to my actual experience. I’ve written about that gap, it’s a - “Grand Canyon-sized gap” - between my false self and my true self in a previous blog. Why was I even thinking about myself and that wretched gap anyway? It was wearing me out. The fifth day of Mom being in the hospital, I prayed briefly with my friend Chris Toriscelli on the phone. I had only prayed with one other person since all this started and had honestly isolated myself because I didn’t want to cry, and I wasn’t sure what to pray out loud. At the end of our prayer time she said, “Maddie when you were praying, I felt like God wanted me to let you know He fills in the gap.” I hadn’t said anything to her about the gap or prayed about it that morning. So the fact that God compelled her to say that was very personal and timely. He is the God who sees me. The seventh day she was in the hospital, I woke up frazzled because I was super behind on my bible reading plan in my Bible App. Lame, I know, but it was the first thing on my mind. When I opened the app, I couldn’t get the plan to load and the only thing it would show was Psalm 121: “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; He will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.” Yeah, I was still 7 days behind on my plan, but that’s exactly what I needed to hear from God about His promises that day. He is the God who sees me. My mom’s sudden, severe illness and recovery just happened, so I am still on the front end of processing and knowing what to say about it all. Everybody will have to face losing someone close unless they are the person who dies first before all their loved ones. There is no way to sugar coat that truth. Also, there’s no perfect way to handle a sudden crisis or loss. We were not created to grieve. Sin entered the world when the fall happened and it brought suffering and death. Boo. That’s bad news. BUT: “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 The gospel is simple. Thank you, Jesus, for making a way. God, thank you for seeing me. Please use my honest thoughts. Lord remind your people that you are with them and see them even when they don’t know what to say or do during a trial. In the name of Christ Jesus, Amen.