Tuesday, September 27, 2011


 "Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not."  
~ Lamentations 3:22


"What did you say, Honey?"  My husband's voice could not have sounded more gentle.  Its soothing kindness humbled me.  His tender, compassionate soul captivated mine, yet, searching my fog-ridden mind for an answer was too tiring.  Response was so distant.  Too far to reach.  Words alive seconds before lay dead.

Yet, these dead words and others in my life are not dead so silent.  Their powerful influence screams with life.

They are an unyielding, haunting, scrambled voice, an unwelcomed echo that takes no notice of my desire that they be raised.

I plead.  I shout.  The dormant bundles do not hear.  They do not listen.

Doctors tell me it is "brain fog," an inability to recall words or details, a fuzzy sort of feeling in the head.  Concentration can be elusive.  And the frustration of it all is hard to reconcile in a body exasperated with pain, exhaustion, and muscle stiffness.

I look for mercy.  I hope for reprieve from the other annoyances of  reflux, dizziness, depression, tinnitus, and hair loss.

Yet, fibromyalgia has chosen to make its presence known in my life.  It must be heard.  It must be felt.

Fibromyalgia is like a choking vine.  It wraps and wraps, trying to mask the person whose life has become its ground and wall.  Its job is to suffocate, to criple, to put down.

As I write these words, my "voice" struggles through a mighty jungle.  I am impassioned.  Like one who longs to find her secret garden behind sticky thorns, sappy branches and clinging vines, I work to cut down and pull out barriers to imagination.

My strength is inefficient.  My work is lacking.  My persistence is waning. 

I gasp for air, as one being buried in woody mire.  The echoes of confinement raise to mock my insufficiency.  These echoes are clear, understood words.  They work to banish hope, to kill desire, to destroy belief.

These words mean war.

I fight for faith, reach for grace, grasp for knowledge of One Who can smother the brutal echoes, Who can with one word crumble walls and cut vines, Who has strength to bear life and lift from mire, Who has hope to restore loss, Who has grace to soothe pain.  One,...

Who waits for my stillness.

When faced with chronic pain, stillness is not the natural way for most, including me.  We want to move.  We want to search and find our own way.  We go to doctors and physical therapy.  We take medication.  We scan the web and look for help.  We go on special diets.  We visit the health food store.  We fight to have our life the way we know it should be.  The way it used to be.

Such has been my fleshly fight.

And, in the midst of this fleshly fight, I have come face to face with a greater enemy.  It is a bigger opponent than pain.

It is a war of  a weary soul.  My soul yearns for rest within.  It cries with the need to be still, the need to find deeper grace, the need to know greater personal reality with God, the need to live Paul's words that tell me to be "content in whatever situation I am in" (Philippians 4:11).

Friends, I seek healing, but I also seek something, Someone, greater than healing.

An understanding of the phrases, "Seek the Giver, not the gift; seek the Healer, not the healing," are my reality.  And,...

it is precious reality. 

Perhaps that sounds foreign to you.  But before you judge me, listen to my heart.

I am living with pain allowed by a God so loving, so compassionate, so tender, so I would seek the beauty of sufficient grace.  Grace that pours like a river into the life of one who is only and always not enough on her own.  Grace that is only found through surrender that calls loudly for more and more of me.

Grace that is not found in the pew of my church.  Grace that is not found in a perfectly well body.  Grace that is not found in pristine appearance.  Grace that is not found in serving.  Grace that is not found in a perfect life.

I seek that grace that is found on the battlefield of my insufficiency and His sufficient place.    

I weep.  I rejoice.  I huddle in pain.  I rise in praise.  I hurl in rebellion.  I crumble in surrender.  

I taste depression, yet dance with joy because He is faithful.  And, He is my God, Who loves me with everlasting love! 

Friends, the Father's grace does not compare with human best.  All the times and seasons of our lives are in His nail-scarred hands.  I cannot weigh God's goodness on human scales.  With every prayer breathed, I ask Him to be my all in all.  I pray to let go of my human need to understand, and to let go of any fleshly idea that I have a right to understand.

I work to surrender.  To flesh-out my faith.  I confess my not enough, and glory in Christ's everything in everything. 

Reality stings and sets free, for awesome victory follows surrender! 

I hope you hear my heart leaping, as my fingers press my keyboard with promise!  I pray you are rejoicing with me as you hear the Vinedresser cutting through a mighty jungle in my life! 

I'm alive, and my soul will ever live to give glory to the One and only God and Jesus Christ, my redeemer.   

As I close, I am thinking now of so many who suffer much, much more than I do.  This day, so many live with devastating words, and so many hearts break and are breaking because of pain that speaks terminal hopelessness.  Please pray for these lives and the lives of their loved ones.  Please cry out to God for those who face cancer and other severe illnesses and traumatic injuries.  Ask God for healing and hope. 

Because of His Grace, Through His Love,