Last April I began writing again, privately, in the little folder on my own computer, hidden away from anyone’s prying eyes. I had a sense at the time that God wanted me to post again on this ancient blog. But not yet. Maybe in the fall.
Now it is fall and I have continued writing since it began in the spring. So what I am posting now is what I wrote first, back in April. For anyone who followed the blog years ago you’ll know the references I make to sickness, healing etc. But for anyone seeing this for the first time, well, you’ll pick up what I’m talking about eventually I suppose, but if you go back on the blog and read what was posted 7 years ago it will make more sense.
Here it goes...
It’s a long time since I’ve written to you folks – if in fact there is still anyone hanging around my blog. I don’t keep up with technology but I always get the feeling that people are constantly drifting around to new fads and trends that make my 2008 blog way out of date.
I’m back in this place because there used to be an audience that was following my journey of China, sickness, spiritual journey and healing. Anyone who was following that time knows that I stopped talking fairly abruptly. They may have paused to wonder why or they may have just moved along to some of the other millions of blogs that are available.
There are a lot of voices online, this is not to be doubted. I became selfish with mine when my journey started to seem too personal to be part of a choir.
Six years on, I realize that when I stopped talking I was making a choice dictated by fear. I may have been in a fragile state when I stopped talking to you who were listening, but I left you hanging. So if you are still there, let’s resume this conversation. Not because I want to raise up a crowd of followers, but because I think God may want to say something to you.
I will resume because I was convicted by a very simple phrase this week. Obviously my journey didn’t stop when I left you hanging, but my attitude had shifted. I went from a posture of raw openness (one that many of you commented on) to being extremely closed. The processing that I used to openly post didn’t stop – I continued to reflect on pain and healing and sickness in such a deep place that it became unhealthy. It became about ME.
It’s been seven years now since I was diagnosed and since many of you began an intensive prayer journey on my behalf. I heard about churches linked to people that I barely knew who were praying for me. I was told many of them were following this blog and praying for me. People around the globe were apparently praying. I was contacted by strangers everywhere who wanted to relate.
The simple phrase I heard this week is “It was never about you”.
I think I knew that while I was still posting seven years ago, but when I closed up I forgot.
I’ll share first about why I closed – the fears – then we’ll see what happens again when I re-open. We’re going back in time here, because healing has reached a whole new level in my life. God has breathed life back into the corpse that I had become over the last several years. And as he breathes I keep finding him bringing me back to where it started. Back where you last saw me.
I’ve been so afraid…
1) To deal with questions of healing. I’ve cowered under a rock, afraid that you and everyone else would assault me with all your hardest healing questions. I know you have them. Everyone does. How did I get “picked” for the lottery when you or your loved ones have not been “picked”?
2) I’ve been afraid that you would all judge me ungrateful and unworthy. I never, not once, wanted to be healed. I wanted to go to Heaven. The most amazing thing God did for me through my illness was to awaken some kind of a heavenly sense. I was seeing and anticipating heaven with all the invested interest of someone who has lost all hope in this life. I know I sound hokey, but I could SEE it. Not with my eyes, but somehow inside I could SEE it. I didn’t want to get “picked” for healing. I have been envious of everyone I’ve known who has gone to heaven since then. In my eyes, they were the ones who were picked and I was the one that was overlooked. Jesus, why did THEY get to go?
3) I’ve been afraid you would judge me short of faith. That my healing was incomplete because of the fact that I have lived with greatly diminished physical ability and great physical pain since that time. I have brain damage that causes intense neurological physical pain and loss of memory. I need high doses of nuerological pain meds three times a day, I can’t remember faces and I am constantly covering the tracks of my many brain lapses.
4) I have lived in years of depression. I exhibited symptom after symptom of clinical depression for somewhere around four years. James knew. But I hid it, along with my physical pain, from all the rest of you, even my closest friends. Gritting my jaw physically and emotionally through one meaningless dead day after the other.
So if all these things are true, if I was the one that went through the traumas of cancer, if I am the one that was “picked” but not picked” and had heaven imprinted on my heart, if I am the one that have walked since then in enduring pain and medication and often walking with a cane, if I am the one who has hidden my pain and my questions beneath a façade of doing well and getting on with life, if I am the one who has struggled with depression…
…How was it “never about me”?
Because you are the ones who prayed that my life would be preserved. You are the ones who were watching closely to see affirmation that your God is still working actively in lives and interested in healing and intervening and answering your prayers. In my fears, I blocked you out. God has brought me through and worked in my life so that I can point you to him. So that I can affirm what you’ve always heard, that God is alive and active and working in your life whether you suffer from chronic pain, from chronic depression, from death of a loved one, from hopelessness, from doubts in his existence. I may have stopped talking, but in that silence God has proven himself to me in all of those things.
It is time for me to prove him to you in my story. In my silence I have suffered from so much isolation and feelings that no one understands. I have been victim to a thought that what I suffer is too sacred to be touched by others. WHAT A LIE!! I see it now.
Heaven is still imprinted on my heart. As I write, my last living grandparent, my Grandma, is dying. I’ve been warned the phone may ring any minute. She is so close to heaven’s gates she can probably smell its fragrance and as I think of her approaching, the fragrance that I remember fills my mind as well. Sometimes I catch a whiff and it allures me. It was so close. Oh Jesus, to finally be there! Free of pain and doubt and the agonies of this world. To live forever in the purest harmony with Him and my fellowman and creation!
And finally, the last main reason that I have stopped speaking out… Pride, plain and simple.
As I said earlier there are so many voices out there to listen to. Especially when it comes to blogs and sermons and books. It hurts my pride that I am one voice in billions. You will take what I say, my precious life experience, and you will weigh it against all the other things that you see and hear and encounter. My precious life experiences, all that I have, lost in a sea of other’s awareness. Of course you will. It’s what I do to everyone else. But I’ve been too proud to let you do it to me.
When Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey (what we now call Palm Sunday) the week before he was crucified, the crowds of people shouted and sang and praised him. His disciples thought that this was a little loud and ornery, so they suggested he should quiet the crowds.
Jesus’ response. “If they stopped praising me the rocks would cry out in their place”.
Shame on me for not raising my voice, and for allowing rocks to cry out in my place. The sea of voices may be loud, but if I don’t join in, then I have refused to take my place in the grand celebration of Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour. If you happen to hear one or two voices louder than others in the clamouring sea, maybe just maybe, you’ll hear mine – and maybe it will begin to catalyse revival in your life so that Jesus can work in you and breath life like you never imagined back into your life, your pain, your wounds.
Imagine yourself in a crowd of people where everyone is speaking and no one voice is standing out to you. It’s impossible to be impacted by any of them. But if, if, one person leans over your shoulder and whispers your name in your ear, you will instantly turn with attention.
So hear me now, like your name in your ear. Jesus has resurrected the girl that I thought died 7 years ago. He has breathed into me again and I LIVE. Despite phantom pain. Despite severe dark depression, hopelessness and the feeling that I lack of a future.
Its time to stop hiding. This girl is alive. And if you stick with me we’ll continue to explore openly this work of God in my life.
Not because I am so important, but because he wants to do it for you too.