charlie's song

Telling People About Jesus

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The other day we were driving home from school and Emma said to me, “Mom, you remember your job of telling people about Jesus…how come you never do that any more?”  Six-year-olds.  You’ve got to love their brutal honesty.

On one hand, she was right.  After a horrific year of grieving the loss of three babies and dealing with constant sickness and chronic pain…my life definitely looks different than when I first set out with visions of grandeur to reach the world for Christ.

I don’t tell a lot of people about Jesus, because I don’t see a lot of people in my average day.  With three little ones to care for, a broken heart, and a very broken body, it’s literally a fight just to survive.

And on the other hand…I am.  It’s broken, and complicated, and messy, but my life is still about telling people about Jesus…I just don’t think I care all that much anymore if I convince them of anything.  Because if this last year has convinced me of anything…it’s that God does the convincing.  He convinces us through His relentless and irrisistible grace. He convinces us through the sovereign stories He is weaving through each one of our lives.  He convinces us through His writing, and right now I’m mostly just trying to survive the story being written by Him through each long day.

But for today, between dropping Emma off at school, visiting the DMV (Oh man, pray for me…), and getting my blood drawn for the millionth time…I’m going to tell some people about Jesus.  And you’re those people today.

This has been…the absolute darkest year of my life.  After loss upon loss upon loss of almost every single thing that was once precious to me, our life has come to feel very, very Job-like. We have lost three of our children, and with each one of them…lost our dreams for their lives.  We have lost my health, and with that, our dreams for our life.  And we have lost our innocence, and so very much of the joy that once defined our lives.  I look back on pictures from the years before Charlie died, and I was just so happy.  I didn’t even really know how happy, but it was happy. Back then sorrow was the occasional island. Now, sorrow’s the sea.

And on the worst of days, I have often wondered if I was going to lose my faith.  A few months after Charlie died, we got three bills in one week all denying coverage of first Charlie’s birth, and then Sophie’s.  It was like finding out that you suddenly owed $20,000 in medical bills all in one day.  They sent us an apology letter three weeks later…but it was a long three weeks.

And though the stressful money crisis was an insult to deep injury, what I felt the most hurt by was that it seemed like we were being protected from nothing.  Like there were absolutely no limits to the ways in which we would have to suffer.

I distinctly remember weeping in Reid’s arms, and then suddenly turning to him and asking, “What will you DO if I no longer believe in Jesus at the end of all this suffering?”  And without a moment’s hesitation he said to me, “Then I will love you.  And I will walk with you.  And I will pray for you, and treasure you as my wife.”  

Christians don’t like to talk about it, but just as gold is actually a weaker metal…faith is a fragile thing.  And there have been so many times over the last year when I’ve felt very tempted to walk away.

But there is one thing about the Christian life that is really, really hard to escape…

Christ.

What are you going to DO…when He alone has the words that give life?  What are you going to DO when the One you have decided to follow, has suffered beyond your suffering? What are you going to DO when the One you follow has endured horrific suffering…simply because of His tenderness towards your plight, as broken, suffering humanity. Someone who willingly suffered because of you and for you…is Someone who is hard to walk away from on even your worst of days.

I would wake up so many mornings and think, “God, I don’t think I’m going to walk with you today.” And then…I’d go through the whole day walking with Him anyways.  Or better put…watching Him walk with me.  And that would be the day.  Eat.  Sleep.  Wake.  Repeat. Barely hanging on to faith, day after weary day.

I’m using past tense language here, but I had one of these days just the other day.

I have no idea what this week will hold.  We could find out this Thursday at our doctor’s appointment that every single one of us have horrifically high mold toxicity.  We could find out on Thursday that my condition is so serious that I’ll eventually have to live in a separate place from my family.  We could find out on some distant Thursday down the road that I have cancer or vital organ damage.  These are all very real and terrifying possibilities and each one actually happened to some of the the people who wrote me this week.

There are so many scary Thursdays left in all our lives.  But I know that that famous little Footprints poem about the guy, and the sand, and the beach…isn’t just an attempt to be cute or quaint.

Jesus walks with you and me…through every single Thursday.

The week after Charlie died we dragged ourselves to a Grief Recovery Group.  I remember almost nothing about the meeting, I was so totally and completely still reeling in pain.  But I do remember that someone mentioned the Footprints poem to me.  And I remember thinking that night as I sat there numb with pain, is the best thing about the poem is that the guy gets kind of angry.  That he feels forgotten and forsaken by God.  That he cries out with tears of pain, “Where were you?!”  That he struggles with his story.  I liked that about the poem…because it made it believable.

Because that’s what it feels like to go through catastrophic suffering.  You don’t feel carried. You don’t feel like you’re on a beautiful walk on a breathtaking beach.  You feel like you’re drowning. You look down at the sand, see one set of footprints, and feel completely convinced that God, wherever He is, is a million miles away.  That’s the natural progression of extended pain.

I know this…because Jesus felt the exact same way.  He actually cried out on the sand of His suffering, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”

He knows what it feels like to be in the middle of the poem.  Only He actually was forsaken that day.  It wasn’t just a feeling.

There is so much we just don’t know right now.  We are waiting on blood tests.  We are waiting on doctor’s visits.  We are waiting for scary things like Sophie’s hacking cough and Freddo’s sudden nose bleeds, and Emma’s rapid weight loss…to have names.  Names like “random childhood illnesses,” or names infinitely more scary.  There’s lots of waiting going on around here right now, but I’m going to have a rare missionary moment and tell you something about Jesus…

He waits with me.

Every time I go in for another painful blood draw…He holds my other hand.  Every time I look at my sleeping children and wonder if we’ll even get to keep the little ones still in our lives…Jesus is there at bedtime.   He kisses the cheeks, and tucks in the covers, and stands there weeping with me. I believe deeply in His sovereignty over every moment of our story. But that doesn’t mean that I do not think He weeps right over the fresh ink.

The Jesus who wept at Lazarus’ grave…is also friends with me.

Sometimes, I feel His nearness and His presence.  Sometimes I feel deeply abandoned and unprotected from pretty much everything. But regardless of my feelings….there are things promised to me.

He is the God who picked the paths we’d take. “For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.”

He is the God who walked this very sand.  “He was a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.”

And regardless of what we can see and feel on any give day…He is the God who carries.  “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.”

I know this, because if He wasn’t…I would not have made it to this day. I have been literally picked up and carried through a whole year full of days where I have simply felt too weak and broken to even keep on walking.

And through another scary week…I am banking on His promise that He is the God who carries.  That He is “faithful when we remain faithless.”  That He is faithful to the stories He is writing.

And that He looks down on us fragile humanity, who have put our trust in His Son’s suffering, and says just like Reid once said… “No matter what, I will love you.  And I will walk with you, and I will pray for you.  And I will treasure you as my wife.”  

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14 thoughts on “Telling People About Jesus

  1. Thank you for sharing. As someone with a chronic illness, I have my days where my faith is totally an act of the will because I’m sure not feeling it. Thank you for reminding me that He, too, felt abandoned by God. It’s sometimes too scary-easy to brush off His suffering as “at least being over fairly quickly” (I’m speaking merely in human terms) & thinking He can’t possibly REALLY understand the day-in, day-out trudge of a chronic difficulty. But He felt abandoned. He understands.

    Will be praying about your blood tests. We don’t know the future, but we know the One who does & that He loves us. It is enough. Will be paying that you FEEL the “enoughness”.

  2. Emma’s directness is so sweet! Praying for you, Misty– that you continue to recognize the truth of His presence, even when you don’t FEEL it. We pray this for all of you. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  3. Misty,

    God has given you an amazing gift of wisdom — thanks for sharing it with us. My heart is breaking with all the sorrow you face, and I am praying for you guys, especially as you wait for answers now and in the future. I hope someday when I face suffering that Christ will be revealed as my foundation, as He is in your life.

    I love you guys.

    Courtney

  4. Just found your blog. Have come to love you and am praying for you.

  5. hi misty. just found your story…. been reading through and just feel such sadness. i am so sorry for all that you are going through. but i am so glad that your faith is so beautiful, that you know of the Savior.
    my family and i just moved to SLO… which maybe brought this even more close to my heart. i have five kids and i would love to bring toys to you and dishes… and whatever else you may need that we have to give.

  6. Thank you for sharing your story and telling us about Jesus. I would love for you to contact me at your earliest convenience. Judy D. asked me to try to get in contact with you. Please use kneeling.org@gmail.com. Thanks again. I look forward to hearing from you.

  7. Crying out to the Lord on your behalf! You are a light in a dark time and your beauty radiates to everyone who comes in contact with you. May the Lord be glorified.

    2 Cor 4 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; 8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death works in us, but life in you.

  8. Hello Misty,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I just found you blog today and have been reading it for hours. I am in deep awe of your faith in our Lord. You and your precious family will be in my prayers.

    If you could, I would also like for you to contact me. My email address is audreymtz4@mail.com. I would like to help you in some way.

  9. Praying for you and your family! Thank you so much for your posts. As you write these words you are an encouragement to me of your faith and I long to be strong like you! I like the verses that Rachel posted, we are just an earthly vessel here to do the Lord’s will. We don’t know how long we have here on this earth, so make the most of every opportunity to share your faith with others. And you are doing just that, even in your weakness God is being glorified! Keep holding on to the hope we have in Christ! Also, please know that you have an entire church praying for you! It is always in times like this that we don’t know how we made it through only to find out that people are praying you through!!
    Love In Christ~
    Susan

  10. Misty, I’m so glad to have found you. Thank you for sharing Jesus. I trust he will be with you and your family and declare good news in His name. I like matthew 5, the message version (I wrote it out here; http://preachteach.com/2013/08/13/blessed-at-the-end-of-my-rope/). Blessed at the end of the rope, blessed when everything is lost for HE is with you. Grab hold, and don’t let go!

  11. This is such a beautiful post about putting your trust in the Lord, even when it seems almost unthinkable. Thank you for your faith and your honesty. We are praying for you and your sweet family, for covering, His healing, and for heavenly angels to surround you and uplift you to feel and encounter His presence. He loves you, Oh how He loves you.

  12. Like the others I would like to help as well and you can contact me at kylanl@hotmail.com and let me know your greatest need and I pray I can help with that. I am so sorry for what you are going through and praying for strength physically and mentally- I am praying for your needs to be met adn you adn your familyt to be completely healed.

  13. I found your blog today. This post, this has been my life the last year. I can’t even tell you how it feels to read this. Thank you so much for admitting your doubts. It is helping me to feel carried.

  14. Misty,
    I found your blog tonight. Your story is so heartbreaking and overwhelming. My heart goes out to you and your family during this time. I don’t know what God is doing, but one thing I see is a person that is showing us their raw, real faith. Thank you for being open and real about the struggles with your faith. I love how you basically say this verse: “Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68).

    May you continue to feel His presence. And His body at work on this earth.

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