My desire for Still Waters and purpose in creating the blog is to share honesty with my readers, no matter how frightening this transparency can be. Honesty regarding my medical experiences, honesty regarding my hardest moments and also most beautiful and intimate moments. Honesty in my very long and impossibly difficult recovery, which I will not share in total-confusing detail but I also won’t minimize or sugar-coat. Honesty in my relationships with those I love such as my family, boyfriend, and best friend. Honesty from my heart, the overflow of my thoughts and feelings which (to my surprise/delight) flow together into one delicate yet powerful anthem. Finally, the most important reason I created Still Waters was to honestly and openly share God’s truth, His influence upon my own life, His desire to live in yours and the messages He so clearly sets upon my heart to express.
“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
SWB (Still Waters Blog) messages strive to expose God’s bright light as it outshines human darkness and struggle. But, in the spirit of honesty I need to make sure all of my readers understand this—living by faith DOES NOT make suffering or life in general easy… it does not make sickness or disease any less painful…it does not provide answers to all of the unknown… life by faith does not throw human emotions out the window nor does it paste a permanent smile across your face. Faith does, however, radiate a beam of hope and truth that can carry you through absolutely any trial that comes your way. Although faith does not make things easy it does make them possible… “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26). Trusting God, especially in the midst of suffering beyond human comprehension, is the most difficult step to take.
As Christians, we sometimes feel pressured to pretend our lives are picture perfect. We want others to see the way God has redeemed us, the joy He set upon our lives & His amazing, undeserved blessings. We try to mask our pain with an attractive self-image, believing if our outsides are put together then our insides will magically match. And at times, I believe, we are hesitant to be totally honest in our sufferings because of fear that our issues could push others away from God’s truth.
In light of this, I desperately want you to know that there’s absolutely nothing wrong in being totally truthful with others regarding your trials, suffering, victories, defeats, and walk with Christ. In fact, sharing openly is healthy and you never know when your story will touch another life… your experiences may be enough to save a soul. In the spirit of total honesty, I feel lead to tell you this painful truth which has been weighing heavy on heart– I often question my desire to continue on with my own life, wishing I had the power to end it. This honesty I have trouble expressing aloud for fear of hurting others or looking unstable; it’s an honesty that I cannot say but have the ability to express on paper. Before going any further I want to make this abundantly clear: I would never hurt myself nor is this a cry for help. My body is a precious temple of the Holy Spirit and my life will never be my own…it belongs to my Father God.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
But, amidst all the pain, suffering, agony, heartbreak & loss, I AM MERELY HUMAN, a broken human in desperate need for a Savior. Considering all that has happened/continues to happen, how could I not feel as though I’m ready to be done with this life? Would anyone look at my experiences and truly want to trade places? Daily, I wrestle the enemy with these feelings of wanting to give up, give in, quit & return to my only true home– Heaven. At times, I can feel the weight of these negative desires crush my emaciated body as I cry, counting down the seconds until the day ends. I am an alien in this world; that has never been more crystal clear to me than through this nightmare-ish time in my life. I long for my Heavenly home, I long for an end to this suffering and, in the worst moments, an end to this life completely. I find myself questioning God, asking him, “Can’t you be done with me yet? What is my purpose? Why am I still here?”
Just as I begin to allow Satan a foothold into my thoughts, My Prince steps in showing me purpose for my life. He reveals, through my loved ones, a reason that encourages me to stay, a cherished moment persuading me to choose Jesus and life over death and despair. A sweet smile from my Vincey…. a tender look from Tyler reassuring me of his love… A phone call from my best friend expressing I’m missed & never forgotten… A gentle, loving pat on the shoulder from my brother Phil as he returns home from work… A random text from my brother Cam that I can always count on to make me laugh… A television show that Mom & I look forward watching together to all week… A compassionate hug from my Daddy in the midst of my tears and the whisper of, “What would I do without my baby?” Comments, messages, cards, shares and likes from all of you that reveal a wonderful purpose behind my pain and great use for my story… All of these are simple reminders of the joy that I do have in this life and those little moments are enough to propel me forward and refuel my desire to keep on keeping on. These are also reminders that it’s not just about me– I have to keep fighting for those who love me and above all, I must continue working for the kingdom. God has a great purpose to fulfill through me and He isn’t done with this girl just yet!
On Thursday, I spent most of the morning crying tears of joy as I felt completely overwhelmed– in a good way– by the presence of my God. I sang & praised his holy name, playing “Overwhelmed” by Big Daddy Weave on repeat, unable to get through each verse without my voice breaking and the tears falling.
“I delight myself in you
In the glory of your presence
I’m overwhelmed I’m overwhelmed by you
God I run Into your arms
Unashamed because of mercy
I’m overwhelmed I’m overwhelmed by you”
It was one of those indescribable “God moments” when Christ’s mercy, love & faith become incredibly real & you must cry out to him, in thanks for rescuing your soul from its deserving destruction. That morning, I was at the peak of my roller-coaster, on top of the highest hill hoping to never come down. Yet, a few hours later my cries turned from joy to devastation & my hope was suddenly lost. After talking with my medical team at UC I found out some information regarding limited medicinal options for one of my seriously painful issues… this was absolutely devastating for me. I do not wish to share further details as it is complicated (please respect my desire for privacy on this matter). Old feelings surfaced: hopelessness overwhelmed my heart, I felt that once again my body was mysterious & unknown. When this happens, human nature thrusts me into a frightening corner of isolation, convincing me that nobody understands me or even cares too… Overwhelming loneliness which I know comes from the enemy; he’s fighting for control of my thoughts yet again. Satan you cannot have a foothold here; you are not welcome…this is My Savior’s arena.
I run to The Lord’s kingdom in prayer, pleading for peace in the midst of anxiety and trust even in the unknown. I’m asking God to remind me that He is in control–no matter what, His will is best. To learn to pray for His kingdom come, His will to be done on this earth and in my own life. To accept the realization that my wants do not matter unless they are in line with His wants. My needs, however, do matter and I have full confidence that they will be met just as the Bible diligently promises. I need not worry about my shelter, what I will eat or drink, or even what medicines I will take…. He is in control needs.
“So do not worry saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after these things and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:31-33
Beauty from ashes, eyes on the prize, joy in trials, when I am weak then I am strong, the things of this world are temporary, His unfailing love is my comfort, I can do all things through Christ, He works all things together for my good, we are more than conquerors… all important biblical messages that scroll through my brain, keeping me focused on the only principles which actually matter. Because, honestly, God’s never-failing promises are the only thing that can truly soothe an anxious, hurting heart.
“From the ends of the Earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” (Psalm 61:2)