My emotional breakdown came last night. The adrenaline rush from Friday’s events had ended, and we had spent the day at home, resting and recuperating. Everyone was settled for bed, and I was enjoying snuggles with the baby girl… And I took notice of the bruises on her arms and legs, the result of their frantic attempts to gain IV access the day before. I saw the scars on her head and her stomach from her earlier days of fighting, marks that will always be there to remind us of her battles. She looked up at me with heavy, darkened eyes, eyes that had once been so big and bright and sparkling, but are now weary and drawn and dim. And I melted into a pool of misery. I wept and I got angry and I told God how unfair it all is, and I begged Him to make things easier, or at least make me understand.
I say that to be very open about this journey we’re on. I’ve heard people comment that I’m so strong and my faith is so steadfast- but I don’t feel that at all. I struggle. I cry. I get mad. I ask, “Why?’ more times than I can count. It hurts my heart to see my daughter struggle, and the periods of crying and uncontrollable mood swings that follow her seizures are beyond exhausting. I have days of feeling absolutely overwhelmed when I can’t make her happy, guilty for the lack of time I have to devote to my older girls, stressed over the medical expenses and not being able to work outside the home, afraid of all the unknowns that we are faced with, confused that my life looks so different now… lots of “yuck.” Granted, I can see God at work, I see the miracles He has performed, He has never left us in this journey, and I have much to be thankful for… But there are moments that I just don’t get it.
Today as I battled the after-effects of my pity party and all the emotions running rampant, I sought solace in God’s Word, and found myself reading 2 Chronicles 20. In this passage, Jehoshaphat gets word that an army of enemies is headed their way- and his first response is to call on God. Jehoshaphat stood and prayed the most beautiful prayer, and as I read it, I realized that this indeed is the prayer of my heart today.
O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you…. (Verse 6)
If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us… (Verse 9)
…For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you. (Verse 12)
You see, I find myself feeling quite a bit like ol’ Jehoshaphat. The Lord had brought them so far, kept His promises, and life was good… but BAM! Here comes the enemy again, and it looks hopeless. But here’s where I learn from this king… His first response is to call everyone to prayer. And in his prayer to God, He recognizes Who God is, pledges His allegiance to Him no matter what may come, and then proclaims, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.” When I don’t know what to do (and I certainly do not these days!), my eyes need to stay focused on Who God is, commit to trust Him, and let Him lead. Because as Jehoshaphat looked to God, God answered his prayer…
This is what the Lord says to you: “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” -2 Chronicles 20:15
Ah, what comfort there is in knowing that the battle belongs to the Lord! It’s not my battle to fight. I don’t need special weapons or super strength. I just need to trust. Is that easy? Absolutely not! But when I’ve hit the bottom of the barrel and feel that I just can’t do anymore, I have to trust the One who holds all things. I can rest in His arms, knowing that He is going before me, and that the victory is already won.