Healing From the Inside Out, life making

Looking Backwards

My body got tired. It got tired and it gave up. It was done, and like it or not, it was going to get its way. 

And so, after two collapses, two trips to the ER, and one horrible episode in an attempt to go to church on a Sunday morning, I spent 3 days in the hospital. They told me I’d be a patient for at least a 23 hour observation, with the potential of more if the doctors don’t like the way I progress. I guess they didn’t like the way I progressed.
I hurt. and I bleed. and I am reminded of the woman with the blood issue. The woman who bled for 12 years. And I wonder what she looked like. And I wonder, were we the same? Did we think the same thoughts. Did we both love our Lord? Did we have faith? Did we both doubt?  Did we both feel lost? 12 years for her, 11 for me. Either way, years of looking to the future. Years of looking for hope, for a new path, for a new life. And I wonder, have I been looking in the wrong direction? Should I have been looking forward or did I get the directions mixed up?
Sunday, I spent the better part of the morning in the lobby of my church. I was too sick and in too much pain to do much but double over. So I missed out on communion with my church body. Do this in remembrance of me. Communion. A time of remembrance. A time in which we are called, by The One Who Loves Us Most, not to look forward, but to look back. In remembrance of me. Remember me, He says to us. Look back at all the things I have done for you.

I missed communion on Sunday, but I think I also missed the point. Communion. Remembrance.You shall not be afraid of them, but you shall remember well what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt. This is my Egypt. This life of mine. This disease. This world that tells me I have nothing without success. Without money, power, sex. Without status and glamour and popularity. But I shall not be afraid of these. I will remember what the Lord my God has done. What He has done to my Egypt.  

The story of my Egypt is quite an intentional one. He has carried me through many dark places, hard places, tricky places. He has been a light in the darkness. He has been my joy, my love, my safety, my favorite. He has provided money, food, clothing, resources, people, friends, community, growth, counseling, doctors, answers. He has been my provider over more places than I even knew needed providing. And now, now I am choosing to remember.

Because we are called to remember. We are not called to look forward. How can we? We do not have the eyes of God. We do not have the mind of God.  Our thoughts are not His thoughts. Neither are our ways His. I can look to the future. I can trust there is movement. I can believe in the Hope He has set before me. But I will see nothing. Because it is not in my need to see. And so I look to the past. I will choose to look backwards. Looking backward to the times before He came through. The times He showed himself in big ways. The times He showed himself in the small. The times He was with me in the dark. The Times He was with me in the light. The times He spoke out loud. The times He spoke through others. The times He spoke through song or sign. And the times He chose silence. I’m looking back to the times I didn’t believe. The times I saw no answer, and yet, an answer came. And it came in the most obscure and yet obvious way. I’m looking to the times when faith came from nowhere, and stood with me like a guard. The times when people came in and believed, when I had no belief in me. The times I believed yet begged Him to help my unbelief. The times I laid in bed and cried out. The times I stood strong in the light and proclaimed His hand on me. The times my heart waned. The times it grew strong. Because He was there, in all of this. There was movement. There was purpose. There was a journey I couldn’t see. But He carried me away from Egypt. He carried me away from Pharaoh. He met me on that road. He wiped my tears, and He led me on. He led me forward.  That is my God. My God who brought me up out of the land of Egypt. He delivered me then and He will deliver me now.

I can’t see forward. I want to. God knows how desperately I want to know what is ahead of me. I want to know what is coming. I want to see why this journey has been so hard, why it keeps continuing on in such a difficult way. I want to see. But I can’t. And so, I continue to look backwards. And I remember.
Deuteronomy 7: 18 | Jeremiah 16:14
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One thought on “Looking Backwards

  1. Lindsay says:

    Bethany your words speak of your soul and they are beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I pray for you often.

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