I haven’t written in a long time. I have tried to think of why, but I’ve struggled with words. Usually this blog is my place for updates, but also a place for reflection and processing through the hard. But as I’ve come here to do that time and time again, I just haven’t been able to find the words. It isn’t that I have lost faith or failed to see the goodness of God, because it is fully that grace and hope that keeps me moving these days.
Rather, it has just been a dark season of weariness, of one hit after another after another that has exhausted me and left me just clinging to Him without the words to express what I’ve been feeling or going through. It has taken every ounce of energy in my soul to wake up and keep moving and stay focused on Him, and I haven’t had it in me to process or share or try to encourage anyone else (which, now that I verbalize that, sounds horribly selfish and prideful, but sometimes we need to confess the ugly and bring it to the light!).
To summarize and update for those who aren’t aware of what’s been going on… Harper added IVIG treatments to her IV steroid treatments, and none of it worked. Like, at all. The treatments were hard on her body and hard on our family and we did it all for nothing, so it was devastating news. She has a new neurologist now, and is on a new treatment plan that will lead to high doses of Valium every night, and we are very early along in this process. It was hard to accept and it is hard to watch her struggle cognitively, but there is a peace now as she is happy and is taking a much needed break from hospital visits for a few months.
However, in the midst of all of that, we got hit from a different side when I was diagnosed with a crazy form of cancer. It has been a roller coaster ride as everyone has tried to figure this thing out, and I don’t know that we yet have a clear understanding of what exactly I have or what the prognosis is- we thought we did, but at every turn something else pops up, so we are in a state of constant waiting right now. It has been a whirlwind of scans and labs and biopsies and surgeries and complications, with things constantly changing and life spinning in a totally different direction than anyone expected.
I have now had four weeks of pain and nausea and sickness and bed rest that I never in a million years anticipated, and more unknowns looming in the future as we wait for second opinions from Duke and more procedures for other parts of my body, all while praying Harper’s new treatments work this time with minimal side effects, and I have just been sitting here in my bed alone with the Lord wondering WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GOING ON!
And today is Good Friday. As I was reading the Word today and reflecting on the crucifixion of Christ, it hit me in a different way. I’ve always seen the darkness of the day and felt the heaviness and pain and sorrow of the Savior of the world dying on that cross as His followers helplessly watched the events transpire, fearful of all the unknowns. But oh, how that has resonated with me in this season! That feeling of helplessness, of wondering, of fear, of confusion… of knowing what He said, but how the current circumstances just don’t seem to connect with what He said. His disciples, who no doubt loved Jesus, but in the dark were struggling against doubt and shame and loneliness and heartache and just. not. understanding.
And as I read and empathized so much (like to the point of weeping) with those confused Jesus-lovers on crucifixion day, these words of Jesus from the cross jumped off the page: “‘Eli, Eli, lema, sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'” (Matthew 27:46)
Now, on the one hand, we can see the reference Jesus is making here to Psalm 22, which is a Messianic Psalm that parallels the crucifixion of Christ. This was a Psalm the people knew, and the events were playing out just as they had been foretold. I love that even at the point of death Jesus is testifying who He is, pointing people to Truth.
But more so, I love the message I see here from Jesus to those who love Him- He understands. This is so important for us as believers to grasp as we form a relationship with Him! The One who sits at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us is not unsympathetic to the pain and heartache we feel. He’s been there and He gets it. He knows what it’s like to feel alone and abandoned. He knows how it feels when the darkness is closing in. And He shows us that sometimes it’s okay to ask God, “Why?” Jesus knew the plan. He knew God was not abandoning Him. He knew it was not over. But He still cried out in that moment. It is okay to have questions and to cry out. It doesn’t mean that you love God any less, or that He loves you any less. God is fully able to handle our questions, and He is there for us even in the darkest of times… we may not be able to see or hear or understand, but it does not change who He is or where He is. He is good and He is here, always.
So on this Good Friday, that’s what I am seeing… the Good that outlasts the night… the Good that overcomes the dark… the Good that wins the victory.
He’s already won, friends 💜