Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Being Real

Okay.

Deep breath.

Can I tell you all a secret that I've been keeping these past few weeks??

Can I? You might be shocked.  I'm going to level with you......

I'm struggling.  Very, very hard.  I'm sinking rapidly in this ocean I've been asked to navigate by One Who they say loves me very much and cares for me and died for me and only wants what's best for me.

I'm actually having a full-blown Crisis of Faith.

And it's just another bit of grief to add to my burdened shoulders right now, but I can't seem to see the shore in this ocean, or to pull myself out of the downward spin I'm in.  It's slowly eating me alive, and it's hurting my family too.

Let me lay it out.

I don't understand why the Lord, after several years of praying for twins, would answer our prayers, and then.......before I knew what hit me......He took one away.  I don't understand why Olivia died.  I don't understand why I'm being asked to say goodbye again.  Why?

I can't seem to comprehend it, even now.  I'm shattered.  I'm broken.  I'm confused.  I'm devastated.  I'm  shaken to the very core of who I really am and what I really believe in.

I'm tired of lying.  I'm tired of pretending everything's getting better.  I'm so weary of platitudes and pretty phrases and looks of sympathy and verses that tell me I'm going to be rescued and blessed and healed and surrounded and taken care of and lifted up and delivered.

I just can't seem to believe it.

It's so scary for me!!! I have always, always tried to trust the Lord and walk with Him and believe Him and do what He wants me to do, not always with a willing heart, but nevertheless, there has never come upon me such a great wave of uncertainty and unsteadiness! I thought that I had my hand firmly in His and I thought that I was doing pretty well, seeing that the grief of our first stillborn baby and a few miscarriages and years of infertility didn't kill me!

But I'm not doing well!!!

My soul is famished.  I can't even sing and worship and lose myself in the familiar songs that I have loved, as a singer, a child of God, and a worshipper......Right now, I no longer believe the cherished words that I used to cling to and confess and raise as a mantra for my life!

Did you hear me? I just don't believe the words!!! I can't be a hypocrite and I can barely raise my voice and I can't form the words about trusting and honoring and obeying and surrendering and holiness and joy......

I thought I KNEW that God was with me! I thought I could trust His strength! I thought I would never lose that feeling of knowing that He was indeed as close as my own skin, my own breath.....

But I've lost it.  Everything around me appears dark and hostile and silent and unyielding!  As never before!

I hear the songs this season of "Emmanuel"..."God With Us"......and I scream out in the very core of me.........

ARE YOU?????

ARE YOU HERE????

I lift my eyes to the brass domed sky above me and I heave and groan and question!

I'm on a rocky ledge and I'm looking down.  I have never been here before.  I'm crying out for help.  I want so badly to renew my faith.  I want so badly to be that testimony of His faithfulness that I used to so diligently pray for!  But.......

I'm not.  I'm so unfamiliar to me!

I can't even read my dear Bible! I'm so skeptical, so numb, so injured in my spirit.  I thought I knew that the Scriptures were just the thing to heal my heart.  I thought I had enough verses memorized to be able to cling to and renew my mind, but I don't.  I don't.  I don't.

And it's staring me in the face, this lack of anything to grab on to.

I hear all the advice.  I listen as I read of others who have been here before me, and I will be deadly honest with you, I used to scoff at those travelers who were so shaky in their faith as to have a crisis!

Well, here I am.  One of those travelers!

I am suffocating here.  I am a shriveled, dry vine, ready to drop off the plant at any moment.

And I'm begging for God to come and rescue me.....and I can't see Him or feel Him or hear Him!!!

I'm constantly having to fight back hysterical, gut wrenching, gasping sobs and swallow the huge lump in my throat! I'm forever trying to take deep breaths to keep the horrible agony from exploding out of my chest.  I'm avoiding people's gazes. I'm shunning my dear friend.  I don't know the wan, drawn face and the empty, dead eyes that meet me in the mirror each morning.  I am as dry as dust and as frail as old bones.  I'm slashing my husband with words which I have no idea from where they come......

That's the truth.  That's the ugly, unfrosted truth.

I guess I'm asking you to pray for me! I know you have been.  I know some of you have been with me this whole way, these past months.  I know that you have been holding me up and interceding for me.  I appreciate it! I have no right to ask for more and I'm unworthy of your love and your admiration and your diligence!

But I can't do it myself anymore.  I can't continue on pretending that I'm getting better.

I need a miracle.  I need intervention.

I crave the Voice of Truth to drown out all of the other voices raging at me right now.

IS this time really for my glory?

I'm afraid.  I'm pressed on every side.  I want fresh air! I want.......

I want......

I want Emmanuel.

17 comments:

Melissa said...

I'm sorry to read you're having such a tough time Leanne. Our family has been praying for you and Pennie, but we will add that your faith is restored and your inner most soul feels the hand of God pressing on you. (((HUGS)))

Kelli said...

Praying....

Maria said...

Dear Leanne -
I have never been where you are. I am hurting for you and will be praying.
Maria

Renata said...

Dear Leanne
I'm praying & will continue to do so...
Love you dear friend
Renata ((HUGS))

Duckygirl said...

Leanne,

Just like the lyrics of this song say, we are weak...prone to wander...prone to leave the God we love. We ALL are. I'll pray for you that He will 'take your heart and seal it for HIS courts'.

((HUGS))

~Laura

Here's a link to listen to the song if you wish: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwFHsX6omvI&feature=fvst

Kathryn said...

I don't know how to put this in words that will express what I'm feeling. I appreciate your "realness". All of those pretty phrases, quoted verses, etc. are WONDERFUL, but there are some times that they add to the burden. They are a big reason why I have chosen not to share much of my personal life online anymore. What I want to say to you is what I wish people would say to me. I am going through something similar for some of the same reasons, but also for very different reasons. Something has happened in my life that I never imagined possible. It has caused me to question all I have ever believed too...I know that feeling well.

Leannie, I know this hurts like nothing else could even come close to hurting as, and I am SO sorry you you have to do this again. If I could take it for you, my friend, I would. You need the kind of help that comes and sits with you, cries with you, hurts with you, prays with you, and is that "other voice" that you need right now. Not with verses, pretty phrases, platitudes, etc. (though there will come a time again when that is helpful), but words of understanding, words of "I'm here...I haven't been through this, but I'm here for whatever you need". Only God can restore your faith precious girl, but even from across the country, I can link "knowing" arms with you and hold yours up when you can't. I can pray my guts out for you when you can't. I can listen to whatever comes out of your mouth, because there was a time when I didn't have a clue what was coming out of mine either.

I don't have the answers to why God seemingly answers our prayers, and then rips the very rug we are standing on out from underneath us. That is a question I have been asking for nearly 15 years. Faith is believing that God is good all the time, that He makes no mistakes, and that He IS here, even when it seems to be otherwise. Even when there is no evidence of that goodness, or even when He seems silent.

I know this for sure...satan is doing the "Happy Dance" that you are on that ledge looking down, my friend. So, from my computer, I'm coming out there to get you Leanne. You say the word. Tell me what you need, and how I can truly help you...and I'll do it. I think you have my phone number, and I will listen anytime of the day you want to talk, or I'll just sit on the phone and cry with you. My heart knows the same hurt, and it aches deeply today that you are having to feel this so strongly again.

I am here my friend. I love you, and I am praying for you today with all of my might. Jesus IS our great banner of hope, and He WILL steady our knees when they are weak, when we find it hard to believe, or when our faith is shaken. He IS holding your hand, and one day you will FEEL it again. It will take time to work through the grief and the heartache. There will be joy again, I PROMISE you. You are too weak to fight for it right now, so we will fight for you with our prayers, our love, our own faith, and being there for you however you need us to.

Please, please don't hesitate to call me, or tell me when I can call you. I want to help...

Love and prayers, Kathryn

Kathryn said...
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Kathryn said...
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Emily said...

You are not the only one. You are not alone. We all struggle and it's true that I can look back and see enormous growth in myself when I was hurting.

A Homemaker's Heart said...

Oh, dear sweet mom who anguishes in grief. I've been exactly where you are...sinking in an ocean of grief and wondering how the loving Father, my God, could give life and take it away from me. I cried out the same words...actually screamed them, wrote them, and even mumbled them in a heap curled up in a fetal position. Your "realness" is that real burden of true grief. Loving something so much that it pains every part of you, and more real is that foundation of faith. Losing touch with that grounding is ever so shattering because it leaves us lost and feeling alone.

I know that my comment is getting far too long, but I have lost an early miscarriage, and lost at 18 weeks, and had a stillbirth at nearly 5 months.

I've walked this similar painful road. While all our grief is different in many ways, it is also similar in the wound of a mother's heart.

I've made a promise in the memory of my precious babies to offer the wounds of my heart to hopefully be a friend and guide to those in their faith walk during grief. I would love to offer you encouragement, love and support on this painful journey if you care to chat online, email, write through the mail, or even a phone call.

May you know that the "crisis of faith" you yearn for, means that you have that foundation already laid for you. The Lord will be there to hear you yell out....even take the words of our heart because we don't understand. It's when one cannot acknowledge ever having that faith that they are in crisis. I wholeheartedly believe you are a deeply wounded grieving mommy who will be truly blessed in your grief because the Father will put back the pieces of your very tender heart.

~Tamara

A prayer....
Dear Father, You know first hand how that grief that stole my ability to walk beside You, open Your Words, or even call out to You. I was so buried in a sea of grief and You patiently awaited my return into the fold to take Your hand. This dear mommy is under that same burden of grief. Please grant her the peace she needs to grieve and fall apart and let her know that You will be there for her when she can reach out and touch the hem of Your robe and call out to again. My heart is still tender, dear Lord and I am grateful for my empathic heart. Please give me the prayers to help, Leanne, in her grief. ~Amen

A Homemaker's Heart said...

One more thing...yes, I write like Anne of Green Gables talks...hehe!

A very dear sweet blogger, Marsha, is such an inspiration in this grief walk. I know you may not be ready to read her precious, precious heart, but she is amazing in the faith department after the loss of her son. Her blog is Other Such Happenings.

Continuing to pray....

Susan said...

Leanne, I have been with this blog since you found out you were pregnant. I want to thank you for being so honest. I thought I was the only one who had this struggle. Last year when I lost my baby I lost it i sunk into a deep depression and I know I was not glorifying to God. I just thought I wasn't a strong enough christian. I guess I was being human, which is what you are doing and God knows that.
I will pray for you, I will pray for you to feel God phyisically hold you in His arms and carry you because you need Him too.
I also willpray and thank God for your honesty, you are helping people you don't even know.

Sweet Annabelle said...

I remember that. And I'm praying for you, too.

A Homemaker's Heart said...

I had you on my heart and wanted to let you know that I'm still praying for you :)

Rebeca said...

Sending love and prayers, sweet Leanne. I don't have any great words, just love. Peace to you.

Karen said...

Leanne,
I have been praying for you as I first read this post a few days ago. Thank you for your honesty. I have questioned my faith so much since loosing Rebekah, but I remember this quote, "unshakeable faith is a faith that has been shaken." I remember how I just had to keep reminding myself about God's goodness and faithfulness, even when I didn't feel that goodness or faithfulness.

Just keep talking to Him. He knows your heart anyway=). He will walk this with you and even carry you, even though you may not feel His presence.

I am so sorry you have to walk this path. You have been entrusted with such an incredible pain.
You are loved! By me and so many others and by God! (Although I am sure you already knew that).

Praying for you. Thank you for sharing your precious heart!

Lori said...

I'm so behind in blog-reading, but wanted to let you know your words could have been (and sometimes still are) mine...I asked of God the same thing--why would He make me wait over 10 years just to GET pregnant...finally give me a miracle, and then allow it to be ripped from me after he was born to something that pretty much every doctor in that hospital couldn't fathom was happening? HOW? WHERE WAS HE?? I had more faith than I've ever had in anything that this was the way He was going to show His amazing ability to work more and more miracles...and instead, I left the hospital with empty arms and the most disappointed heart I've ever known. All I've ever known and trusted to be true? Gone--in the instant my son died.

And it's so hard to bring it back. I can only say what everyone else has--you are not alone and even those of us who have been what others would consider strong Christians our whole lives are hurting and questioning and wondering...just NOT GETTING it and begging God to intervene and remind us that He IS and we ARE in His hands.

Praying for you still and continuing....