Deep Waters

The deep waters surround me. I am lost in the sea of emotions. Trust. Faith. Anger. Wonder. Weariness. No longer am I sure that I can push through. How can my Lord and Savior allow this much pain? I now understand how over days, months, years of torture, one’s faith in God can waiver. Pain changes brain chemistry. Lack of sleep adds to the leaking of joyful worship.

How do we survive?

Love.

Love in the form of family, friends and strangers who reach out for a moment in time, and become the hands, feet, heart and mouthpiece of Jesus himself.

Love in the form of a breathtaking sunrise, changing leaves, laughter, music, sweet whispers in the wind.

Love in the greatest story ever told. The Bible: a treasure trove of truth, hope and victory.

Love is the way, the truth, and the life. Love is the only way out of the deep waters.

God’s love has been pouring down amidst the darkest nights of my life. Still, I wish I knew when, what, where. Anything; so I wouldn’t just have to lay here and wait. It is so difficult for an athlete, go getter, and yes a micro-manager/type A like myself to not be able to do what I routinely have done without thinking twice; to not be able to plan ahead. And so these days I force myself to look past the dust bunnies under the chairs that surround me, the bowls in the sink, the bed with wrinkles, the hairs in the tub, the spider webs that decorate the doors. Why did all that matter so much? Why does it matter at all today? The truth is it does not matter.

I am an onion and God is peeling back all the layers, exposing the parts of me I no longer need, along with the idols I didn’t know I had. My old self is being stripped away. God is emptying everything that has been slowly drowning me.

Here at the precipice of life and death, I lie truly awake. God is faithfully exposing my weakness, my sin, my challenges. The way the worldly accolades held court, assuring me I was worth something. But God was always saying you are worth everything. I just didn’t hear it. Now I do. He is the only one I need to please and He is already pleased. There is nothing more I could do to make Him more pleased. It’s the same for you. He is pleased with you right this very minute.

When was the last time you slowed down, lay on the grass, the couch, decluttering your mind, watching the “To Do” list fade into nothingness?

Have you surrendered everything to God so that He can peel your onion layers?

We often don’t realize the baggage we carry. Old stories, lies, idols, extraneous coping mechanisms, all adding to the weight that threatens to drown us in the deep water.

I didn’t know how many trappings I had collected. God knew and He couldn’t leave me like this. In all His love and mercy, God slowed me down—all the way—and in this place of complete surrender, He has slowly but surely been bringing me out of the deep waters towards the surface, each weight gently dropping, sinking back into nothingness.

Just 3 weeks ago I was on my hands and knees, crawling around my kitchen in order to organize the pots and pans drawer. I needed control of my out-of-control life. It was absurd. It hurt so much and yet I couldn’t stop myself. Perfectionism, pride; so many demons clinging.

God is breaking the chains even the ones that appear to most Christians as abiding: my desire to unburden others by taking on their burdens, their pain. More than anything else, He is exposing all sorts of guilt that is not mine to keep, shame, fear, lingering unforgiveness, anger, disappointment; and so on. He is emptying this corroded vessel and making it new. I feel free, excited for my new life.

None of this would have happened had God not allowed me to slow down. My difficult circumstance has stripped me down to my naked self. A seed. Pure. And it is from this seed that the Lord will produce the greatest fruit. How amazing is that?

Whatever you are facing, believe that God is doing a Mighty Work. The circumstances can seem dire at times, but God knows what He is doing. It is often when it seems like He has given you more than you can handle that your cry out- dear Lord, I need you, I surrender to your will. And at that perfect moment, He overwhelms you with His love and begins to reveal His great plan.

So Trust Him. Praise Him. And be grateful that He loves you so much. He is in the business of building us up, dropping the weights, stretching us, maturing us, deepening our faith, giving us the gifts and the strength we need for the higher ground He’s prepared for us.

I am not saying this easy. There are times when my faith waivers and I need help. It is then that I reach out to my fellow prayer warriors and ask them to come alongside me and lift my arms. Prayer is so powerful. We need each other. If you need prayer, dare to ask. God is listening.

As I lay here in what some call a hospice bed, I have come to realize that it is a healing bed, a blessed miracle bed. I am being born anew and I am in awe of God. I am full of peace and joy despite my circumstances. In fact, as I delve deep, I realize that this is most peace and joy I have ever had in my life.

It took all this to bring me to this place of utter and complete love. My praise is so great. To God be the glory.

Make time for God. And then make more time for God. He is waiting for you with open arms. In fact, He is with you right now.

 

Thank you again for your unending love, support and prayers.

4 Comments

  • Debra says:

    Well…I am glad u finally realised that Karen..Rest is a blessing as,well..it can allow to to reach up through praise and worship ,real communion..his strength..not yours..and as for things in order??? I get it..i love beauty as well ..but the depth of the spirit and soul inside,the actual essence of God in you… thats the gift…

  • Andrea Williamson says:

    These words are so inspiring. Reading them makes me realize how much I focus on exterior things and try to control the world around me. The truth is, we are not in control and those appearances and outside opinions I worry so much about mean absolutely nothing when you take a closer look. Thank you so much, Karen. You are clearly bringing a message of hope to all who are reading the words you’ve written that are really coming through you from a higher power. With love and support to help ease your burden.

  • Jack Qualey says:

    What an inspiring message of hope in the darkness! Thank you for sharing these important thoughts with us at such a difficult time in your life! God is with you as you share with us and inspire those of us who battle cancer and other illnesses! We love you for it!

  • Pam Sills says:

    Karen, what a beautiful letter you wrote! I was moved by your words! Your ability to express your emotions of suffering, pain, and love in such eloquent words that flow together and “somehow” find the goodness and beauty in life, is a true gift! If you are excepting visitors, I would be honored.

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