Monday, June 5, 2017

Eye of the storm...

There is a famous story in the Bible {Matthew 14:22} where Jesus is walking on water. Peter was in a boat in the middle of a terrible storm, witnessing this miraculous sight. Peter says to Jesus, "If it is you Lord, ask me to come to you on the water". Jesus does as Peter asks, he puts his hands out and asks Peter to come to him. Peter steps out of the boat and begins to walk on water toward Jesus. When Peter took his eyes off Jesus and focused on the storm surrounding him, he began to sink into the sea.

I have had many people come to me and tell me that they admire my strength through our recent tribulations. I heard it so often, as a mater of fact, I started believing that "yeah, I'm pretty good at this", "I got this", "I am such a strong women", "I", "I", "I". Of course I had my moments where I would break down and lose my barrings. After all, I have a baby inside my belly, who kicks and moves and reminds me of the miracle of life every moment. However, also reminds me that he has anencephaly, he won't survive outside the womb, he may not make it through delivery, or if he does only for moments afterwards. So again, I had reason to lose my barrings, but overall, I was pretty good.

You may be wondering why I'm using past tense...

Because I had a week of very crushing realizations. I was no longer good. I was no longer strong. I no longer had this.

I literally wept for a week straight. That whole week straight the sky was grey, and rain poured out from every angle...non-stop! I wore black (top to bottom) I slept and slept and slept. When I wasn't working, I was sleeping or weeping. Everywhere my children requested to go would be postponed "maybe tomorrow". I thought day after day that tomorrow would be better. Tomorrow would come, and I found that the same feelings and sadness followed me through the night. My body hurt. I couldn't go far without having to rest. I was in a dark, cold, unfriendly place that I didn't recognize. Everyone that I spoke to seemed to be in a bad place as well. There was so much misery and suffering and what seemed like no way out.

One morning on my way into a school that I was teaching at, the sun came out and shined brightly on my face. It was so warm and bright and gentle. It literally felt like a kiss from God. I remember stopping and looking into the sky. I held both of my arms out and took in a deep breath. It was over. I could feel it. Not sure what happened at that moment, but I just knew that I was being called from the storm. I was like Peter in the boat. I didn't see Jesus walking on water, but I can't explain what I experienced. It was beautiful and hopeful and loving.

That was just a little over a week ago, and since then I have been in such a peaceful place. I am keeping my eye on Jesus. I have learned that this strength is not something I did, or have, or can conjure; it's Jesus. There are times when I'm feeling great, but doubt starts setting in, I can feel myself sinking into the sea. I know that as long as I have my sights on Jesus, I will continue walking on the water, and the storm cannot touch me. I am safe.

God is good all the time!

"You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn. Your love surrounds me in the eye of the storm."
-Ryan Stevenson

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