life making, The Mucky Stuff, The Vulnerable Side

Always Winter and Never Christmas

I laid in bed all day. Some moments curled into a ball tighter than I can curl my fist. Other moments with groans deep and husky, gasping out a pain that struck so deep I could not tell if it was physical or emotional. I never thought I’d be here again. I never thought I’d feel this, this pain. Not again. I never expected to be in this place of waiting. Again.

Yet here I am. Sick, once more, hurting once more, waiting once more. And as I look through the window spotted with thick drops of rain, I ask myself a question, unwilling to hear the answer: How long? How long will this carry? How long do I go through this?

Does your heart wonder? Does it wander? Do you look to the night sky for a babe king to bring hope?  Do you hear your heart, your soul cry out in anger, in pain, as I do? How long? How long Oh Lord. How long? How long does this ache carry? How long does this urge to be more, to do more, to know more last? How long?

And I know it all too well. I know it as I lay in my bed. I know it as I walk downtown streets.  I know as I look up to a full sky with stars that paint pictures of something more. I know too well.

Always winter and never Christmas. My heart falls to the ground as I learn the true meaning of the phrase. I sit in the middle of my apartment and cry. How long oh Lord? How long must I hurt? How long must this be the best way I serve you? In pain? It seems such a paradox. The very antithesis of what He came to give. I came that they may have life, and have it abundant. I look at my body, eaten up by disease, gaunt and bony. This is abundant? I ask him. This is what you came to give me?

Always winter and never Christmas.

Does your heart wonder? Does it wander? Do you ask Him as I do? This is abundant? This is what you came to give me?

In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.

If you ask the Father for anything… Anything. Can this be true? I sit and wonder. Anything.

What do I want? I sit and think. I curl back up into that ball tighter than my fist. I cry. I think. What do I want? What do I really want? I want this disease to be gone. I want to finally rid myself of this disease. This disease that consumes. This disease that overwhelms. This disease that makes me do the very thing that I do not want to do. What do I want? I want to be healed of this disease. Not that one. Not the one the doctors see and monitor. Not the one that brought me to this night. No, I want to be healed of this disease of sin that consumes and overwhelms. I want to be made new.  This is what I ask. This is what I want. This! In my heart of hearts. In the deepest places, this is what I want. Have mercy on me, Oh God, because of your unfailing love. Heal me. Make me new. For it is by your stripes we are healed, it was your sacrifice. Blot out the stains of my sin. Heal me. Make me new. Wash me, and I will be white as snow. Oh give me back my joy again, you have broken me, now let me rejoice. Heal me. Make me new. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, Oh my God, renew a right spirit in me. Heal me. Make me new. Do not take me away from your presence. Oh God, do not take your Holy Spirit from me. Do not let this disease have hold on me. Heal me. Make me new. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and make me willing to obey you. Heal me. Make me new. Give me a heart that seeks yours. Strip me of this disease. This disease that ravages the soul, that eats its fill on the selfishness of the heart. The only thing in me that is truly mine. The only thing that was never from You. Let me be only what you have made me to be. Let my heart hold only what has been placed into it by you. Take this disease, take my sin. Heal me. Make me new.

If you ask the Father for anything.

Truly, truly, I say to you.

If you ask the Father for anything, in My name.

If you ask in My name, He will give it to you.

Oh, that you would give it to me. In Jesus name, Oh Father. Heal me. Make me new. Above all else, give me a heart that seeks after Yours. For you have come that we may have life. That it would be abundant. Oh Father, heal this heart. This heart that wonders. This heart that wanders. This heart eaten by disease. And give me a heart of flesh.

Does your heart wonder? Does it wander? Do you ask Him as I do? This is abundant? This is what you came to give me? Oh that we may know life abundant. Oh that our joy may be made full. Oh that even in the cry of ‘how long’ we may have healing. Healing in our bones. Healing in our lives. Healing in all of the broken places. But most of all, healing in our hearts. That we may know life abundant. So that our joy may be made full.

|John 10:10|John 16:23,24| Psalm 51|

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One thought on “Always Winter and Never Christmas

  1. Carolyn Luper says:

    Bethany, I don’t know if you would want to hear it, but there is such beauty in your pain. Would you write like this otherwise? I pray for you, for your healing, for your freedom from pain. I am not rejoicing in it, but thankful that since and because you have it, so many of us are blessed. There must be another way for you to bless, not from a place of extreme pain, but from a place of hope and joy and comfort. But, while you are there, you are speaking to so many who need your story and your honesty. I’m so sorry for your suffering. And, while you are there, you are showering us with your faith, your longing for Jesus, your determination to persevere through strong adversity. This all has a purpose, although the glass may be dim and dark at times. God is using you, using this horrible illness. You are not suffering in vain. My heart is full for you, my soul aches as you express your frustration as well as your hope. I don’t know how long, but while you are there, you are serving. You have a ministry through your God-given ability to write and to share, which reaches so many who are also in pain. Physical, emotional, spiritual burdens which have a purpose that we cannot understand until they are gone and we look back at our journey. This will be gone again. And while you are there, you are loved deeply; love is all around you every moment. You are never alone. Praise God for Bethany!
    Praise God for Your love that passes all understanding. May Bethany touch the hem of your garment and be healed once again. We wait. We wait with the expectation that we ask in Jesus’ name and receive blessings beyond measure! Beyond our own understanding of time and place and reason, we wait. Please bring her comfort, Oh Lord. She loves You. We, her friends and family, love her. And we thank You for this ministry that has evolved from her suffering. Since there is suffering, we know that You are using it for good, to bless so many whose hearts are open and longing for Your word. You have chosen Bethany to fulfill Your purposes. “I have chosen you and not rejected you.” Blessings, Bethany.

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