To be fair though, you must know that in my running, I was running TO something, not just away from it. Truly, that does make a huge difference in the end.
All in all, it was a fairly good month. I had almost 10 straight “good days” where not one single migraine knocked me on my butt. My daily body pains weren’t their usually grumpy self. I wasn’t full of energy, or my silly old self really, but it was enough to catch my kid’s attention and my 11 year old began asking me each morning with beaming eyes, “Is it # (such and so) today?!” It sorta crushed my spirit the day she didn’t have to ask. I lay there all early morning unmoving, praying away the pain, willing myself to get up before her, knowing it wasn’t going to happen. I can’t tell you what it did to me when they all left for church without me. I just couldn’t manage to mask it up.
I lay there with two words bouncing around the smallish space of my skull. I got angry. The two words “Chiari Malformation” were never in my personal dictionary before this time last year, and the closest to “Chiari” I ever came was Chai, which frankly I think is an evil joke. (Chai is my most favorite indulgence at any coffee house I’m near and is a delishious spiced tea, NOT a brain to big for a skull’s size and space to hold.)
Why didn’t God make my skull bigger? He could have, I spose. He is afterall, God. For whatever reason, He chose not to change the way I was to be made up. I got mad. REAL mad.
You need to understand that I dont really believe that God chooses to inflict pain on people. I believe in a God who embodies love, grace, and is so smitten with us that he sent HIS son to die in OUR place, so we’d NOT have to suffer for the wrongs we’ve done.
He created us because He wanted to have relationships… not to play ant bully with a magnifying glass on a sidewalk full of anthills.
God is always loving, even in the face of the most unbelievable sorrows or tragedy. I know with all my heart that He cries with us and grieves with us. He gives us ways to work through the trials and obstacles, opens windows where doors are shut, builds bridges, and yeah, sometimes even allows us to show His amazing glory through these trials lived out in front of others. He never allows more than we can bear, though, and promises it again and again in His word… will always bring help, healing in His ways, and comfort to those who fully rest in His embrace. Yes, even in the midst of the worst imaginable tragedies. Don’t get me on my soap box…
It doesn’t have to make sense in all ways, but God sees what we cant. In some ways it’s like a child who cant see why he cant run across to the ball in the street, but a parent can see the on coming car and jerks them back the the curb and doesn’t explain the pain to the arm right away. In time, the answers may come… a car may rush by and it’s obvious… or not. That’s what we see so often, or what it seems like to us in life… But that’s where faith comes in and we just have to believe that God always has our best interest at heart. He sees and knows more, and loves us enough to jerk us back without a word to why… In our human-ness, we just wont always be able to fully understand.
Well okay, Christi. You ran away… you started this little tirade… Where are you going with all this?
I got bogged down in my personal wallowing. I was tired. I was hurting. And frankly, I was mad! I don’t WANT to be a walking testimony. I don’t WANT to live in pain, constantly, and show how God can choose to do things DIFFERENT than MY way.
I had someone recently say her faith was renewed by seeing me still believe and trust that God has a plan, a good one… even though so much of life is challenging right now. I can tell you THAT took me back a step or two. Grudgingly, I had to concede that I don’t always know the best way for God to do His work, but it’s not always fun to be the answer someone else is looking for as a message in their life.
My life verse has been, and always will be: 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV
So that’s what I did. I needed to live out verse number 12, not just believe in verse number 11. “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me…. and I will listen to you.” Those are the words that I “RAN” to… but I only ran to them after I did a LOT of running away. But God cant listen to me, nor answer, if I don’t first call to him and talk to him. That’s all prayer is. It’s talking towards God’s ear.
I’m not proud, but I left my family without hardly a word. I grabbed my keys, purse, and left. With tears streaming down my face, I got angry, fuming mad… because I was tired of the way life was, and where it seemed to be headed. I wasn’t really thinking, I was just feeling. I rode it like a wave, right out of my house. I drove to a parking lot and let it all out. I raged, I cried, I bawled till I was a snotty mess and I got it out of my system.
Sometimes I think we are too adult in life. Really. My kid’s dont seem to have any trouble getting their mad out. Then they seem to move forward… Somewhere in life I sorta decided I was too grown up and it was too “bad” to get mad at God. Here’s a secret I’ve learned a long time ago, (cause this isn’t my first “mad at God” session). He can take it. He can handle anything you can dish out… The key is you gotta do one thing when you’re done… you gotta run TO Him, when you’re done running “away”.
I never had any intention of telling anyone any of this… Honestly I was embarrassed about the whole blasted thing. But God finds ways to do what He wants to regardless of what we plan. This one “got out” on me before I hardly left the house. THAT get’s to stay MY story… but the rest, well it’s the “behind the mask” part that, for whatever reason, God’s decided He wants someone to know. So here it is… I blogged it just for YOU.
Whoever you are that needed to hear this… I’m praying over you now. God loves you and He’s ready to hear your heart. Go run away. Just be sure when you’re done, you turn around and see that He followed you to wherever you ran and He’s waiting for you with arms open and tears for your pain. May He bless you even as I write these words.
In His embrace, even when I run away,