A good friend of mine wrote me a great email that I read this morning. She told me that as she read these last few posts here she really had Psalm 68 impressed on her spirit for us. She unpacked for me some encouraging words that came to her for me, and just in general spoke comfort and hope, and empathy. When I emailed her back, this is what I wrote.
“Thank you for your email, I cried and cried to read it! You have not given me this before, and it was a very good word.
It feels so stupid to cry now, when, if this is like before, it will all be nothing sooner than I can imagine, but I’m so weary. I feel so uncertain, and I hate that. I wish I could see the end from the beginning, and I wish it felt like enough right now to just trust the One who does see it. I know I’ll get there. I think the past six months I have just felt really done with all of this and so when it is so clearly not done it is really frustrating. I also feel like the devil is blanketing us with discouragement, and maybe it’s like this every time until I find my feet, but I really hate this part.
I’m hopeful for Sunday that the discouragement will be broken, and at the same time I feel like I can not even dare to hope for a full and final healing. It felt so close a few months ago, and it feels so far right now. It feels like everything I’ve assumed would happen through Joel for God’s glory just will not. (And still in the back of my head I know that nothing has changed between a few months ago and now,) but suddenly hope feels foolish, and that’s not who I want to be. It’s not who I’ve been through all of this, and I feel like God has to restore my faith, because I’m not convinced I can just muster it up. I think here is where I re-learn how to praise God despite the heaviness I feel, and seek Him out when I don’t feel like it. (It’s so much easier when my default is, “wait and watch this is going to be amazing” I want to feel that way again, but I know the feelings are the least important things.)”

I wrote that to her, and I knew it was very true of how I have been feeling this past week, and that I had to post some version of it here, because the point all along was to write about the entire journey of faith, not just the times when you feel like you have it all together. I realized as I was responding to her email that I really had been very discouraged and I had not done anything to combat it. I had not dug into the word of God. I had not worshiped, or spent time praying and listening to God. I had not fought discouragement and I didn’t want to.
That’s the thing about discouragement, and apathy, and I suppose depression though by the grace of God I have been spared that fight, by their very nature they make you uninterested in rallying back for victory. However, when I wrote it out, I identified it, and I realized that all I want in my life is to be who God says I am despite my circumstances. I want to worship in the storms. I want to choose God and faith and perseverance even more when my flesh tells me to give in. So Ryan and I talked about it. We talked about how afraid we’ve been and how little we’ve felt like praying. We talked about how the faith we’ve felt so strongly before seemed almost like a pitiful joke now, and suddenly, that discouragement had no power.
Joel curled up in my lap in a towel after his bath this morning, and I rubbed his back and his head and sang over him, “Let God arise and His enemies be scattered.” (Because that is how Psalm 68 begins,) and after repeating it many times, I finally, and with the kind of painful effort it sometimes take to force your flesh to submit to your spirit, sang out “Let God arise and discouragement be scattered.” And I meant it. That is my quirky way of engaging in spiritual warfare, and for me it really was a war to even sing the words, because when you are feeling disappointed, discouragement feels a lot safer than hope. But I know who I want to be in Christ, and I know how I want to finish this race with Joel, and I don’t want to finish discouraged, I want to finish strong, full of faith, in Love with my God, letting my feelings about my circumstances have no bearing on the conviction of my spirit.
And today was a very different day. I was not afraid for Joel today. The discouragement has lifted, and while I know I have not felt the fullness of the hope that faith brings, I know I will, and more importantly, I know that I really want to, and that is already so much different from how I felt before I made the choice to not be ruled by discouragement.


There are 3 comments for this post.

  1. Amy gerhard on December 6, 2013 6:48 am

    As Joel’s teaching team, all women of faith, get discouraged and weep with you each time this news envelops us, we read your posts and fell so blessed and inspired by your unwavering faith in our Heavenly Father. As I was praying for you all this am, two verses came to mind. Ecc 3:1. Everything that happens in this world, happens at the time God chooses. And John 14:1. Do not be worried and upset,believe in God believe also in me. We love you all and are trusting with you. Kiss our little guy for us.

  2. amyg on December 6, 2013 4:00 pm

    Thank you very much! Those are great verses for me, this time around it has driven me nuts not to be able to know the “when” of things, and so those are good verses for me to rest on. (Also I was more than a little annoyed to see four 7:30 am radiation time slots (since I have to arrive fifteen minutes early and traffic is terrible in the morning it usual means leaving the house by 5:30am, but then I realized that is at least four days when Joel can go to the second half of preschool, arriving around 9:30 or 10 am and I knew that would make him super happy.) So, on Thursday and Friday next week, and Monday and Tuesday the week after, Joel should be there for a half day!) We’ve also heard lots of new talking out of him the past few days, in the tub he asked for “duck, duck!” and then quacked and quacked away when he got him, and the past several days he has said “doctor” as well!

  3. Beverly Boultinghouse on December 18, 2013 9:02 am

    God Bless and Keep You. I want you to know I am continuing to keep your family in my prayers.

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