He fills the longing soul with good things. Ps. 107:9

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I Am

I was going to blog tonight about my frustrating day. But things have changed. My heart is heavy.

I just got off the phone with a dear friend who has been dealt nightmares in her life that many of us cannot even fathom. Some of you can. The last dark place that swallowed her has nearly stripped her of her faith. Her hope is a thread. A tiny thread, but big enough to call me.

All of her life, she has been abused, neglected, ignored, ridiculed, abandoned, taken advantage of, overlooked. And she has fought. Since grade school, I have seen that girl fight like a cat for her faith, her life, her health....her hope. But her resources are almost gone. And I begged her to just have faith in my faith right now.

Don't talk to me about "your decisions determine your destiny." I know that. She knows that. She's a brilliant girl. But most of us have been given so many resources in our lives. Good parents or good training or good friends or at least a good break somewhere. I'm not crying the blues for her. I'm not into whining about these things. I'm telling you the truth about her life.

Look at us! Look around you right now. We have beautiful, colorful homes. If there's not a husband and kids driving us crazy, we can at least think of one person we could call if we were truly desperate who would be there in some way. Someone who we know beyond a shadow of a doubt loves us deeply and will be there for us. She has NO ONE! Even I failed to call her last night when I had promised.

We wrapped up our conversation after doing enough crisis management to get her through to a phone call tomorrow....and I returned to my life - of feeding mac and cheese to my baby and singing Zaccheus with my girl. I cannot even express to you how spoiled I feel.

Imagine right now....walking to your car from a job you're getting ready to lose....think of your parents who are worse than absent. Years of physical and mental illness to overcome. Memories of sadness and terror. "Friends" who disappear when they know you're going through another "spell." Doctors and Cops who ridicule you. Acquaintances who abuse you. Now go home to the empty apartment you're getting ready to lose. TV is irritating. The fridge is empty. You look at the phone but cannot think of one person you can call who will be there for you. Then reach inside for your faith..... and feel complete and total emptiness.

ALL you ask from God is to know He loves you. But you don't know....can't find a reason to believe.

Now tell me about your bad day.

If you have ever had a friend who is a Survivor in anyway, or if you are one yourself, your heart connects more easily to this. If you've been close to mental illness, you know a bit about the monster and thief that it is.

If not, you may be thinking all kinds of ways to help her. And she's probably tried them all and will have to try them again to simply survive. But right now she needs to feel the arms of a God...an Abba God who really, truly loves her in a way she can feel and know and understand.

What if you lost your husband and kids (or your only close family and friends) in a car wreck tomorrow? What if you couldn't afford to live on your own income and lost your home. What if you were very sick and had a bad record and couldn't get a job that would allow you to survive? What if your support system - no matter how small you feel it is - suddenly gave you no response when you needed someone? What if your church was absent and distant? What if you believed that God is, but could not find even the tiniest reason to believe that He loved you?

What would you put your faith in? Everything that good that He does is gone. Now what? The only thing left is Who He Is.

We sing and chant, "God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good." I have learned to believe that when tragedy has struck our family over and over. He isn't good and trustworthy because He does anything good for me. He is only good because He Is.

And I cried as I told my friend that I still believe that is the God I know and love. He is the God who loves her just as passionately as He loves you and I in our safe and loving worlds. If we sometimes have a hard time letting His love soak in, how much more does she need His arms?

She talked to me about the 3 kinds of people in the world:
1. Bad people, who hurt others and are selfish and don't care.
2. Good people, who give of themselves and help those who need it (this is not a conversation about imputed righteousness or anything....don't over analyze that label)
3. And the "passive people" - who look very good, and sometimes help someone, but who do not want to care beyond their comfort zones.

This view of hers is, of course, influenced by years and years of being surrounded by #1 and #3 kinds of people. But dear God, please let me be a #2! Let me care beyond my comfort zone. Let me get outside my little let's-put-bandaids-on-each-other world enough to even see who's truly wounded and desperate. And give me the wisdom to know the balance of helping.

My faith is strengthened, but my heart is broken. God must trust her a lot. Please pray His arms around her right now.
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4 comments

~Heather~ said...

SARAH, I WILL BE PRAYING FOR YOUR FRIEND! BLESS HER DEAR HEART! MAY SHE FEEL GOD'S LOVE AND HUG RIGHT NOW!!

Love, Heather

Kimberly N. said...

I have pondered much about how the barriors in so many lives keep them apart from "feeling" God's love...so thankful for His mercy and understanding far beyound ours to meet these needs. And so thankful for "protective" barriors that guard us in pain..none of us are strong..in fact we are fragile...there but for the grace of God...
(Thankfully you WERE there for your friend.)

Juwah said...

Your blog was very thought provoking. What a challenge to be a "good person", thank you.

I also read your "review" of Laying Down the Rails. I'd never heard of it, but have read some on the Charlotte Mason Method of education. You are my new "go-to" person for book suggestions. :)

Sharlyn said...

Thanks for the reminder, Sarah. I have my own friend in somewhat similar situation. It is not always easy to keep loving and caring. Bless you for your efforts. Your friend has a real treasure in you.

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