Standing Strong: A Lesson for My Hurting Heart


So strong
Standing up
Holding them
Walking on
Catching up
Pressing forward
No messing up
Making decisions
Walking them through
Answering questions
Giving the cue
Rising up
Grabbing bootstraps
Guiding them
Swapping hats
Stepping forward
Taking hold
Looking up
It’s getting old
Sitting down
Becoming weak
Hold me                          
Can’t walk now
Stepping back
Too weak now
I’m sensing slack
Can’t decide
In need of a hand
Facing questions
Where’s my cue?
Lying down
Letting go
Holding my hands up
Just to show….
I can’t be the strong one
I can’t fight through this on my own
I’ve never been alone
But yet I have
You may ask and I might tell
But you don’t know
There it is again…you don’t know
I guess that’s why the Lord gives us verses like Hebrews 4:14-15, “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.”  I know he’s talking about temptation towards sin, but you know, there’s nothing more comforting than knowing that the Lord hurt this much.  There’s something amazingly comforting to know that the Lord has ached this much, cried ‘til the tears could no longer come (He cried blood and tears!), and known hurt like I have.
I don’t say this to disregard the comfort you have been to me these past few weeks but for a few reasons: it was due time to shed some tears and also to focuson the comfort the Lord has been during this time.
Last Saturday, at DisneyLand (an amazingly fun day for which I am indebted to an anonymous sister for the $60 admissions cost), we stopped from our roller coaster marathon for only a moment; and I was faced with one of the hardest scenes I’ve ever come across.
Before me, sat a gorgeous young woman in her early- to mid-twenties.  But this woman sat in a wheelchair with her hands curled in and her mouth open and her eyes unresponsive the hustle and bustle of people around her.  Her family spoon fed her.
The heartbreak I have never felt for a family like that now ripped at my throat and tore at my own sore and bleeding heart.  A deep breath and change of subject.  Let’s head off to Space Mountain, where my mind can be distracted.  It doesn’t work, and as we fly through the darkness past the fake stars and shooting comets, my heart cries one thing,
“God, I want my sister back!!!! 
“I want her back; I don’t want that!!!  I want to be able to communicate with her and have her respond, to smell more than the hospital at night, to kiss more than closed eyes or eyes that don’t look back at me though they open and display their outstanding beauty.  God, I don’t think I can do this!  I want her back!  I know You’re doing a great work, but I can’t do this anymore!  I can’t sit and wait and not know the next time my little sister will let out her rippling laughor return my hug or rest her forehead against mine.  I don’t think I can do this!!!”
The tears fall even now as I look at the cry of my heart there and feel it echoed even still.  My heart breaks at my missing her and my body aches to feel her touch, to hear her voice, to see her smile.  Yet, the words that came to me that afternoon at Disney, that moment as I rode in the dark on my favorite ride, comfort me still.
There, riding so fast in the absolute pitch black, being tossed every which way by a machine on a track, whipping around corners and plugging up and down in absolute blindness, the Lord spoke to my heart that I needed that kind of faith.  Here I was, on a machine, having faith that this electronically powered machine would be safe enough so that I entrusted it with my whole life, sitting—no, enjoying this crazy ride – with absolutely no sight!  Why could I do this?  I had done it before, and I knew that the one who had designed it had done a good job.  In the same way, I need to be able to walk on, in complete darkness, resting in the faith that the One to whom I am entrusting my life is not inhibited by the darkness and my lack of understanding and foresight.   How can I do that?  I can because He has proven Himself faithful so many times before (not that He needs to prove Himself, but He has been gracious to) and because I know that He is the perfect Designer.
As I come to a close, let me finish with a Psalm that speaks to my heart, the same Psalm and the first words Mandy heard during her birth:
Psalm 46
God is our refuge and strength,A very present help in trouble.Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should changeAnd though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;Though its waters roar and foam,Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.
 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,The holy dwelling places of the Most High.God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;God will help her when morning dawns.The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered;He raised His voice, the earth melted.The LORD of hosts is with us;The God of Jacob is our stronghold.
 Come, behold the works of the LORD,Who has wrought desolations in the earth.He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;He burns the chariots with fire.“Cease striving and know that I am God;I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”The LORD of hosts is with us;The God of Jacob is our stronghold.

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