Truth.

Hi Friends. It’s been quite the couple of months. Our Christmas celebration was absolutely incredible, but I had to recover. To be completely honest, it’s been hard as new things have begun to pop up in my mind of plans we will need to consider for Titus in the future. And, as much as I’d love to say I’m always kind and loving, my selfishness and defensiveness have gotten the best of me because it hurts to let my guard down when it means I might not ever get it back up. Ever get to that moment where your brain just goes on overload and then quits working all together? Pretty sure I’ve been there emotionally and spiritually. And then yesterday morning, God met me, like He does… as I sit to listen knowing full well my ears are plugged and I doubt I’ll hear a thing. And instead of speaking to me through my ears, He speaks straight to my heart. So I needed to share…

I know truth. It’s in my head and usually in my heart, but how steadfast is it? Does truth flee as soon as my anger flares? My physical needs aren’t met? My fears come alive?

I’m led to Matthew chapter 3- the temptation of Jesus. He was alone, hungry- like 40 days and 40 nights fasting kind of hungry, just in the beginning of His ministry, and along comes Satan tempting him in vulnerable places. I’ve read this passage of scripture so many times. I am always in awe of Jesus and His ability to say just the right thing back. This time though, God allowed me to see something new. Truth. The steadfastness of Jesus’ replies- He zoned in on the lies so fast and answered back with resounding truth.

I have so many days of being worn down. Might be the result of a sleepless night, too many doctors appointments in a week, not eating right, arguments with my husband. Or sometimes all I can say is that I’m spiritually exhausted. I’m run down. Satan has been beating me down little by little and there are days when the truth minimizes and my selfishness maximizes. Truth becomes the unfocused background in my picture of life and rather than turning my lens to see truth clearest, I focus on self. On my needs that aren’t being met. And then I start getting angry. About life, about the disease, about all that has come upon our family. But rather than turn to God to be filled with truth, with hope, with peace, I turn to my bitterness to be filled with depression, anger, and joy sucked away. The way I go about my day begins to feel lifeless. All I can muster the energy to do is watch the clock tick by. My God given gifts are frozen in time, something locked away that I can’t fathom accessing… too much energy, way too much. My boys get a shell of me. Going through the motions- detached because, well honestly, right now, to truly attach and feel takes more energy than I have and it’s too hard. What has become of this joyful spirit in me? Where are you now, God? WHERE ARE YOU NOW? I’ve yelled this so many times.

Always,

Always,

Always, my heart is wrapped in a quiet presence. I break. I’ve been standing “strong” for so long, but really that version of me is a hardened empty shell that symbolizes strength in the world’s eyes, but not in My God’s. My God is okay with emotion. My brokenness welcomes Him, it does not deny Him.

And his response to me?

“What do I ask you to put on each day, daughter?” Of course. I turn quickly to a scripture that has impacted my life over and over again. Ephesians 6:10-18. The first part of that scripture? “Put on the belt of truth…” I whisper. I feel the gentle reminder that I have forgotten to put mine on.

Truth: I am loved. Still. Always. Even in my ugly selfishness. Even in my drowning depression. Even when my smile doesn’t meet my eyes. Even when I check out of life and check onto Facebook. Even when I say hurtful things to my husband simply out of my own insecurity. I am loved! I let that take root in me. When I remind myself that I am loved in those moments, lies cannot weave around my heart.

Truth: He is faithful! I can look back in my life, even to yesterday, and tell you how He provided exactly what I needed to get through. How He continues to do as He said and has given me new perspective, a heart that feels deeply for others hurting, a love for my family that goes beyond love we are capable of on our own. He amplifies all that is good! I see my son do a silly dance in my own eyes and yes, it’s funny and sweet and I love it. But when I see through His love in me, my joy in that moment is bigger, more satisfying. And yes, there are usually tears (and I’m far too guilty of holding them back more times than not… I wonder where we’d be if we allowed ourselves to fully feel). But they are from amplified emotions because I see God in it all. He reminds me that He is here. He never left. He is good. He is redemptive. These are all promises that He faithfully keeps.

Truth: This world is not all there is! We fight a very real physical battle against Batten Disease in our life. It’s easy to focus on the disease, the constant care, the fact that my boys are not getting better. When I forget the truth that we are here temporarily, I get so caught up in the fear of death, of loss, convincing myself that if I’m not fighting for my child to survive in this world, I’m not surviving either. But what we experience here on this earth is not a temporary spiritual experience. It is a temporary physical experience because there is more! So much more for my Titus! For me! For you! And that is truth! Our reward for fighting the spiritual battle here is not death… It’s the crown of life! Life with no pain, no sickness, no depression, no anxiety. No Satan- you cannot have your way with me here. My son- he will gain when he leaves this world. That fear you are using to grip my heart even now, in this moment as I write, telling me I won’t survive his loss, I won’t have anything left, I’ll be an empty shell… well, you’ve tried that already. And, as tears begin to fall again, I’m telling you to back off and get out, in Jesus’ name! He has continued to prove that what you think ought to break me down has in fact done the opposite.

“Dear brothers and sisters, when trouble comes your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:2-4

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My little bundle of joy in the face of many hardships

Truth: I am not living these hard days to survive in this world. What reward is there in that? There will always be hardships. Always be struggles. I live in this world to discover more about my Father, His love and to love others as a result. And life we will gain! All of us!

When there is absence of truth in my life, I’m at the mercy of whatever my circumstances and emotions feed me. There is no strong foundation to filter them through. I am up, I am down. I have no control- no, in fact- they control me. No more. Hold on to truth! I am loved! He is faithful! There is more than this broken world! So, today, let my belt of truth glisten strong! Let my experiences today be seen through the truth of love, faithfulness, victory! I pray truth for your life as well, friends.

Thanks for listening…

Bekah

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My desperate prayer

Many reach out to me with encouragement, affirmations. They mean a lot, but perhaps they mean too much to me. It’s easy to start thinking I’m responsible for the good happening around me. And that’s dangerous. People who need to be seen become invisible by my elevated shadow. I start making decisions out of my own knowledge and forget to seek God’s wisdom. The truth is, God is in all of this. He is working. And often, I get in the way.

True vulnerability here… I’m quick to grow annoyed by those closest to me, I have a biting sarcasm, I can do a good door slam, and demonstrate a lot more grace to those I don’t know than those who closely surround me on a daily basis. Yes, I am a thick headed knuckle brain. We’ve all heard that stat about 50% of marriages ending in divorce. Well that percentage jumps up to between 80-90% for families with kids with special needs. I would do you all a disservice if I write in vulnerable truth and honesty on this blog but refuse to address how this effects my marriage. This morning I sit with my Lord after multiple nights of little to no sleep (although last night was a good one! ), one too many arguments with my husband, and weariness on my soul that is caked on like a bitter, thick oil. No matter how hard I scrape away at it, there is still a film left that I can’t get rid of on my own. My heart cries out to my daddy, my Abba, my Lord:

Protect me! Protect me from my pride, ignorance, my fear. I want to be filled with You – so much that we are one in soul. When You stir, I feel You. When You say move, I do so with abandon of any reserve I may have. Speak through me, but don’t let my fleshy self-centeredness get in the way, thinking I’m “all that”. I need You – to my core. We all do! I cannot survive without You! Protect my husband and I’s hearts from anger, anxiety and fear. Take away rage and sarcasm. Give us strength we need each day to deal with the stresses of life – these stresses that are way too much for us to handle on our own. Give us wise council. Give us love. Cut through the hard and angry. Please, Lord, change us! You are powerful in this story –  don’t let us defile it by uncontrollable anger and falling into deep brokeness being swallowed up and blinded by it, saying hurtful things, but rather in our brokeness, bring victory! Bring love! Bring goodness! Undeniable, heart jolting, can’t-help-but-feel-it-and-smile kind of goodness! Give us fresh breath even in a stale room. Help us filter through pain and confusion and see Your glory and goodness. Allow us to undeniably feel what it means to be full of Your Spirit. Unstoppable momentum! Thank you for Your patience. We are not quick studies, we humans. We are stubborn, lazy, complacent. Rise up in Danny and I. Don’t leave us here. Take us to new heights of love and loyalty. Change our hearts. We are broken before you, working hard to make all look ok. We are not ok. We are not grace-filled. We are not first responders of love. Lord, I ache in repentance. Know my heart. Know my limits. And take me beyond those limits making it clear there is no other way to get there except through You, and knowing You are available to ALL!  Today, when Satan pounds hard on our hearts and brings weariness that wants to unleash into anger and bitterness, break out Spirit of God! Be so strong that anger fizzles out. That sarcasm can’t make it past my tongue. That love gets to win today. Tear down these walls.  After all, we know You make beautiful things out of us!”

And to my husband, as we just passed 10 years of marriage together, I love you. We are a team, journeying through what was truly the unimaginable to us just a few short months ago. I know you feel the heavy weight of the burden your family has to carry. And you feel the responsibility to stay strong, keep it together. This year, I pray for God to give you a safe place to fall apart and be built back up in love. For your strength to be sourced from a never ending source of hope and thankfulness. That you will see your value in this story, the need we have for you, my husband, and daddy to our boys. I pray you will be “seen” by me and others, but most importantly, seen by our Creator. I pray you will feel His unconditional love and that it would be enough. Hun, I pray for true, undeniable, bubbling over the top joy for you.

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My amazing Hubby taking on one of his greatest fears to gift me a day of adventure for our 10 year anniversary!
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Absolutely enjoying my time flying free through the air!
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The first time we’ve gotten away together for an extended amount of time. We had so much fun!
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And this is why we must take care of each other in love and grace… because of these two precious boys!

Thanks for listening…

Bekah