At approximately 2pm Thursday July 14th, my entire world fell apart with one phone call. Since then, there has been non-stop stress and turmoil in my life and I have spent as much time with God in the last few days as I normally do in weeks. It’s been pretty much praying “without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) since. At first I didn’t know what to specifically pray for aside from safety and peace. Now I’m specifically praying for “return to sender”. If you are a praying person, I hope you will join me in doing so. Those are all the details you need…some of you may have more, but they have no place here on this blog. I promise you if you ask God to please allow a return to sender, He will know EXACTLY what you are talking about!
So today I was driving home from the store, after being spooked a few times. A woman from my ward who I recognize, but whose name I’m not sure I know, came up behind me and tapped/grabbed my shoulder and commented on how many ward members were in the store today. It scared me, a week ago it wouldn’t have. Then someone yelled out the window of their car and I’m not even sure if they were yelling at me, but it too, scared me. I’ve done everything I can to protect my children and I since this epic mistake was made. I’ve done everything the local DV counselor can think of and then some. She assures me that the office is abuzz with regret, shame and disbelief and everyone is taking it seriously. As they should since it’s not the first or second or even third time this mistake has been made. It may well likely be the last though…I will not rest until change is made.
I take a left down the hill to head home and hear Matthew West’s song “Strong Enough” on the radio…I’m by myself so no kids to distract from my listening experience, it’s relatively early in the morning as well and so traffic is pretty sparse. It was the perfect time for the Lord to speak to me. I’m sure some of you have heard (or read) me say I’m not strong enough…I can totally see myself having this conversation with God, in fact…we’ve had similar ones SEVERAL times. Here’s how it plays out from or with some of the lyrics to West’s song….
Me: “You must think I’m strong to give me what I’m going through, well forgive me if I’m wrong but this looks like more than I can do on my own. I know I’m not strong enough to be everything that I’m supposed to be
I give up I’m not stong enough.”
I’m the only one that’s been there right? I’m the only one that’s ever had way more on their plate than they could eat…even one bite at a time; it feels like that sometimes doesn’t it? When I got the call I did, my world pretty much collapsed and the first thing I said was ENOUGH I’m not strong enough. The song continues though….
Maybe that’s the point
To reach the point of giving up
Cause when I’m finally
Finally at rock bottom
Well, that’s when I start looking up
And reaching out
Now, I wasn’t/am not one to only look up when I am at rock bottom, but let’s face it. We all pray more during crisis than peace don’t we? No…just me? C’mon admit it…you do it too! You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t. It’s been my experience, sometimes people find God in tragedy or tough times. Other’s lose Him. When there’s a crisis, prayer often consists of a plea and a promise. Often we plead for something and promise to do something. That’s kind of how my life goes. I plead with God, I make promises and wait for His (or read the ones we’ve already been given in the scriptures). He makes/reminds me of His promises, I plead some more and always I have everything I need. I suspect now will be no different and “Strong Enough” has some pleas as promises as well, they go like this:
Hands of mercy won’t you cover me
Lord right now I’m asking you to be
Strong enough…for the both of us…
Cause I’m broken
Down to nothing
But I’m still holding on to the one thing
You are God
and you are strong
When I am weak
To be broken and down to nothing…yeah I’ve been there. It’s not that I have nothing now….I mean I have a few material possessions and I have a good support system, but I know what it’s like to have nothing physically and spiritually. I’ve been in some very dark places in my life…thankfully, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. My light is ALWAYS the light and promise of Jesus Christ. Because, as West says:
I can do all things
Through Christ who gives me strength
And I don’t have to be
That’s right…I don’t have to be strong enough because God is strong enough for both of us and, in times like this, I know that he is carrying me. I’ve always known this, but was especially grateful for this beautiful musical reminder while driving home from the scariest trip I’ve had to the store in a long time.