Can you remember the last time you felt the rug get pulled out from under you? Not in the way that simply shocks your senses, but the kind that knocks the air out of you, the kind that demands tears and leaves you looking for the closest window to escape the suffocation of your own emotions. Can you imagine that moment? That chapter of life? Do you remember where you were when you felt it all fall apart? When you experienced your greatest measure of loss, what felt like your grandest moment of rejection or abandonment, or when you tasted real, life altering heart break? Do you remember the ways your insides turned as you felt the suffering swallow you?
The tiles were cold on my cheek, sticky from the tears that were escaping me without my permission, as if to remind me once again that the control was not my own. I remember the way the air thickened as the shower ran, and my body refused to move from it’s place of mourning. I was pregnant, but unaware, leaving one painful season for another, much more tender this time around. Raw, in fact. I laid on the clammy floor, watching the vent fail at it’s one job as the condensation took over the walls, and my body declined to respond to my brain. I remember the days and weeks and months that followed that initial day of sorrow. The way I fell more than I stood, the way I cried more than I laughed, the ways I wrestled with my grief and felt the most alone I have ever felt. I remember praying for his presence, I remember how tangible the pain was, and how just when I felt my hope run dry, he showed himself to me.
A year passed. A beautiful baby girl made her way into this world and brought light into our home in a way that only new life can do. And with her presence, he revealed his own to me more and more. It was in the first year of her life that I found my footing again, that on a random weekday morning while vacuuming a dirty floor he gave me our love song, broke me in the most stunning way, and forever changed my perspective on healing. He displayed to me my capacity to endure, and called me stay the course. That first year brought loads of clarity, and the following 3 years brought a fiery healing – painful in it’s pursuit and redemptive at it’s core.
Isn’t it strange how we forget though? I mean, we never actually FORGET, but we stop remembering. We leave the valley, we set up house on the mountain top, and we quit remembering how the hollow lit us on fire and made us worthy for the peak. We adjust to the comforts that the summit brings – as if it’s the goal, and we disregard that the valleys were always promised. Even now, in this very moment, as I sit here and type this out, as I rest, perched while the gorge threatens to suck me in, I find myself asking God “What.the.heck?” Why? Because I stopped remembering. My forgetfulness is not limited to the call of discomfort, but it stretches to the guarantee of his faithfulness and the reality of his sovereignty. And because I know that I am not alone in this failure of flesh, I have to ask…what are we doing?
“When you take it all in and settle down, pleased and content, make sure you don’t forget how you got there — God brought you out of slavery.” – Deuteronomy 6:12 MSG
Friends, our God is good. His goodness never lacks, not in the glory, and especially not in the fire. We cannot afford to forget that truth, because if we do than we neglect the very calling on our lives. The valleys are going to come, they will, and sometimes they will come with a pressure that pushes our buttons, and causes us to question our own value. Other times they will come with a pain that melts away our every hope, that consumes our souls, and risks us questioning God’s integrity. They are demanding, and bitter, and often, they are dangerous if we do not remember his faithfulness. What do you have at stake if you forget just how very good he is?
My risks are high, when my lows get low, my flesh craves a sort of contentment that only narcotics bring. The sort that will take you under faster that it will ever lift you up. It holds you tight, while murdering your very last dream, and robbing you of all the things that matter to you. The kind that the enemy works overtime to convince me, and every addict, that we desperately need. The reality is, I will never totally lose this part of who I am, but I will always fight against it. ALWAYS. So whatever you risk, whatever you dispute against, don’t give up. Do not allow your lowest places to dictate your most impactful reactions. Be still, wait on him, don’t panic, because he is so so very good. Give him all of your pain – he doesn’t waste an ounce of it, I promise you. And your sin, oh friends, he will save you from it. Hold on tight, he is working through the storm.