Do you believe in a God who throws stones?
As I read the words, my heart was pounding, my ears were burning, my mind was spinning.
Our adopted daughter had asked to come over because she had something to give us. It had been a stressful week for her in the middle of a stressful year, in the middle of a distressed life. After she arrived and settled in, she handed us a letter.
My eyes scanned the pages; I was trying to stay my usual cool and unconventional self while internally feeling totally overwhelmed and inadequate for what was happening. My mouth went dry, my hands tingled, adrenaline was rushing through me.
She had given us her suicide letter.
We thanked her for sharing and then asked what did it mean that she was giving it to us. She said she didn’t need it anymore.
And what did that mean we asked. It felt like we were holding our breath all this time. Scenarios were running through our heads at lightning speed. No shame, no judgment, support, love, safe right now.
She said, “Because I want to live.” And with that declaration, her tears came rushing forward as if a dam was bursting. We just sat with her, cared for her. It’s all we know to do.
That was Spring 2016. Thankfully, as I write this, she is still alive. We count every new day as a victory. The journey isn’t easy, in fact, it’s downright crushing sometimes but she is a warrior.
If you’re reading this, dear Velveteen Rabbit, our hope and prayer with all the love we can send through the distance between us, is that you keep fighting. Remember your supports, ignore the crap that comes your way, and when you relapse – regroup and press forward. Hang on. No matter what, you can survive and thrive.
And when you’re feeling overwhelmed, rest in what you know to be true: you remain, unquestionably lovely, intrinsically love-worthy, and unconditionally loved.
A good friend of my shared this raw and real prayer experience so I asked permission to share it. Other than a few edits, I am sharing it as is.
“Have you ever gotten to the point where you say to God, ‘I don’t know what the f*$k I’m doing with my life.’? That’s the prayer I prayed today. Somewhere between listing off all the horrible things that the devil was pumping into me about myself. I didn’t have any religious spin on the fact that I feel like a bag of shit, so I said quite frankly, ‘F*$k it, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.’
The politically correct Christian in me wants to say ‘How dare you use that language in the presence of God?’ But it’s not like He doesn’t already know where my heart is, so what’s the point of cleaning up my language, if my heart is cussing to high heaven?
You ever get to that point where you’re praying, and you don’t even know what the hell to pray for because everything just seems like one big jumbled mess? You know God has been there for you before, but in your Israelite moment you feel like God has dropped you off in a scene from ‘Lost’ and you’re trying to navigate yourself off this island that is a literal death trap. Welcome to my world!
I watched this video on Facebook yesterday – it was of vegans protesting animal cruelty. God forgive me, but these idiots were branding their bodies with hot iron and rolling around practically naked in blood to show how animals ‘feel’ in the meat industry. I’m all for being sensitive, but there are people being shot to death because the color of their skin ignites fear, and you are protesting for animal rights? Seriously?
I’m not diminishing the value that God puts on His creation, and yes, we have been horrible stewards when it comes to managing the natural resources that God has given us. But honestly, when the lives of cows, chickens, turkeys and the like gets elevated above those of our fellow man, I shake my head in dismay that creeps into anger.
I can usually tell I’ve reached my saturation point when my will to do anything constructive disappears. I spent the day in bed today. I didn’t want to face the world, because honestly, nothing about it impresses me right now. I look around and ask God, ‘Where are You? Why are children being killed at the hands of evil men? Where is the God of Elijah? I need Him to show up right now.’ I laid in bed today, trying to fill the listless feeling with Soduko, Mahjong, Facebook…that didn’t work. I listened to Lux Radio Theatre (radio presentations of hits from the silver screen era), but not even Clark Gable nor funnyman Bob Hope could cheer me up. I know that when I get to this point I’m vulnerable, and only connecting with God will give me insight, but it doesn’t stop me from trying everything else.
I finally took out my prayer journal and decided that if I had any hope of facing the world today, I needed to hash some things out with God. This was the most interesting prayer I’ve ever prayed. I started by telling God all the horrible things I believe about myself… you know the usual – ‘I’m ugly, I’m stupid…I’m still single, because no one will ever find me lovable.’ I mean I took self-loathing to another level. Stuff came out of places, I didn’t even know I had places. It broke my heart to see how little I think of myself. But halfway through the prayer, the conversation took on a life of it’s own. I kid you not, I went from writing in the first person (‘I am this’) to writing in the third person (‘you are that’). It was like the devil was like, your self-loathing is not enough, so let me pile some more shit on… I did manage to get to the point in the prayer, where I was able to admit to God that I know all of what I wrote to be a lie, but that didn’t negate what I was feeling. And it was there in the middle of asking God to help me to focus on what I know rather than what I felt that I needed to stop all the repetitive crap. You know what I mean…?
Today I prayed a prayer I have never prayed before, and God replied, ‘It’s about time, now let’s get to work!'”
Wow! Another excellent post by Little Red Survivor.
There’s a phrase, the elephant in the living room, which purports to describe what it’s like to live with a drug addict, an alcoholic, an abuser. People outside such relationships will sometimes ask, “How could you let such a business go on for so many years? Didn’t you see the elephant in the living room?” […]
I had one of those experiences last night that’s going to stick with me for a long time. Sunday night. 7:30pm. And I was going to a church I had never been to. I moseyed in the back and found a seat in the second-to-last row, just off the aisle. Mass started. We were about […]
“Your past history and all of your hurts are no longer here in your physical reality. Don’t allow them to be here in your mind, muddying your present moments. Your life is like a play with several acts. Some of the characters who enter have short roles to play, others, much larger. Some are villains and others are good guys. But all of […]
Great post! Are you letting God or your fears lead you?
The mountain goat feels perfectly at home on the precipice. He knows not fear. The heights are his friend, his defense against predators. There’s no need to fear heights. Abandon the lowlands, and dare to scale the heights. Don’t fear the plan and destiny God has for you. Leave behind your “security.” Since predators prowl […]
Another out the park post from Beauty Beyond Bones.
If there’s on Olympic event that is simultaneously the most mesmerizing, and yet the most head-scrating thing ever, it’s…pole vaulting. No, not rhythmic gymnastics. Although, that’s a close second. Pole vaulting. I mean, I’d like to meet the guy who invented that event! Like, Okay, I’m going to willing catapult my body through the air, over a ridiculously high […]
This is an excellent review but the best part is the reference to Velveteen Rabbit.
It’s not the load that breaks us down–heaven knows if we could see it all at once we might just shift our hips and find a better way to carry it–no, it’s the shrapnel of life that keeps turning up in our relationships or the gloom we feel when we’re alone due to the painful […]
Excellent post from Mustard Seed Budget.
You don’t need a fancy building. As a matter of fact, a fancy building can be the ruin of a church. Where does the New Testament say Christians focused on buildings? In the first century, they met in homes, next to river and then in catacombs. All you need is the Spirit and the Word. […]