When Lightning Strikes in the Same Spot Twice.
Oracle on Edom:
They call to me from Seir,
"Watchman, how much longer in the night?
Watchman, how much longer in the night?"
The watchman replies,
"Morning has come and again night.
If you will ask, ask: come back again"
Before I began writing today, I laid my hands on my Bible and said a simple prayer. It went something like this:
"Okay, G. I am here. I'm going to open this Bible on the count of 3 and I'm going to ask that you just show me what you want me to know.
Jesus, take the wheel...
3, 2, 1...."
Well, shit. I read Isaiah 21:11 and thought there must have been some mistake because this passage struck me as depressing and that couldn't possibly be what God wanted to say to me right now. Basically, I read this and what I understood was this "night" I am currently experiencing is going to last a good while. But, don't fret, just keep coming back and asking me when it's going to be over and maybe eventually, I'll be able to give you the answer you want? Am I reading this right? Am I interpreting this correctly, Big G? Because you're not giving me very much HOPE here.
Anyways, I decided to google because there's always that chance that I have no clue if I'm reading this correctly.
Nope, I was right.
In the same moment, my cousin sent me a text. She was telling me about her friend who is currently struggling spiritually and is having a hard time and couldn't find anyone to "go there" with her- to walk into the darkness with her.
She said, "Everyone wants to talk Resurrection. Nobody wants to talk Crucifixion".
And, there was my sign.
It's time for someone to talk about the amount of pain that can be involved when we each realize how HARD it is to carry our own crosses.
After our baby girl passed, one thing I struggled with above ANYTHING else was allowing myself to be mad at God. It felt disrespectful. It felt like if I allowed myself to go there, I would be totally slapping him across the face for everything he HAS given me.
This time, after our second loss... the same week my Grandfather passed... it's safe to say I've told Big G that I'm more than a little pissed with Him. How could He possibly think I could handle the loss of another child? Not only that, but my Pap in the same week? HOW IS THAT HUMANE?! What kind of a God does that to someone He loves?
As soon as I let myself go there, the feelings of guilt creep in. I know the blessings I have. I know I should be grateful.
But, here's what I have learned in the midst of what feels like "eternal night" at this point in my life:
1. It is 110% possible to be pissed and grateful at the same time. They can co-exist. It's also possible to feel those emotions simultaneously.
After Mass this past Sunday, our Pastor came up to Dave and placed his hands on his shoulders. He said to him, "You're mad aren't you? Do me a favor. When nobody else is in the church, go into the chapel and yell at Jesus. When you're done yelling at him, walk to the Our Lady of Guadalupe chapel and tell Mary you are frustrated with her Son. Those are good prayers. It's okay to be frustrated, but make sure you tell Him about it".
Our eyes welled with tears, but our hearts filled with gratitude. We are loved by a God who created us human. He created us with emotions. He will love us through our anger. It's okay and acceptable to tell off the Big Guy when you need to. He can handle it.
Is there something on your heart that you need to allow yourself to feel frustrated about? What areas of gratitude can you recall to help ease your heart of the anger?
2. Faith doesn't require forward motion.
Most days, I find myself standing still. Sometimes, I'm standing still and stomping my feet, but I just can't seem to get myself MOVING again like I once could. And then I remember....
"The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still."
If God needs you to stop, He will force you to stand still. Lean in.
Are you busying yourself with activities to try to take your mind off of your "cross"? How can you make more time to be still in this journey?
3. And lastly... just like Isaiah 21: 11 says...
The nights are going to feel long. Daylight feels like it may never touch my face again. The suffering will weigh down your bones and you will have no clue how you might ever be able to stand up again.
Jesus fell three times when He was carrying his own cross.
He had to ask a friend to help him carry it.
In His final hour of Crucifixion, even Jesus was frustrated and called out.... "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?"
God might not tell you immediately when you will see daylight again.
But, He will never require you to stop asking when it will come.
Come back again and ask.