I feel like if I start every post with, this has been a trying time, you may start to doubt my authenticity. But friends…2018 was brutal but 2019 has been coming in hot on its heels.
I think by now if you’ve been reading this for a minute (or if you’ve known me in real life for any time at all), you know how well I do with unknowns and uncertainties, with things I cannot control. If you don’t, the answer is not well. I wish I could say when my faith is tested I pass easily, but that’s not the case, sadly. Faith that everything will work out is still a struggle. Trusting God, even when it hurts, is hard.
This Friday I had another round of testing for my heart. The definitive heart failure question would be answered and any structural problems would likely be seen. And I was afraid. I was afraid that this would be the time that it doesn’t work out, again. This would be another time that even if “God’s got you”, as my friend says, it doesn’t mean I’m gonna like it.
So, as it got closer and I got more fearful, I went with my default coping mechanism, I tried to control what I could control. I planned, y’all. I planned for all the things. I was hosting an event in my house this weekend, so I had planned to have everything ready to go so that if something happened, my friend who had a key could let them in and they could still have the IF Gathering viewing at my house. I planned for a backup person to let my friend know that I wasn’t coming. I shared contact information with that person. I did all the things. The only reason the food wasn’t cooked was I ran out of time and energy.
I had this weird thought that if I had a plan in place that I wouldn’t need it and everything would be fine. But if I didn’t do all of that, something would go terribly wrong. Like I could cover my safety with backup plans. Even now, saying it, it sounds funny. But it was the only thing I could control. So I controlled the heck out of it.
But Thursday night, when I was out of things to control and about to jump out of my skin with worry, God sent the cavalry. My people came over after I got off work (which is late y’all. I work 12 hour shifts.). And my people gathered around me and prayed over me. They called out to God on my behalf, yet again. This time though was different from Goals Weekend intercession. This time I joined them in prayer. I was interceding on my behalf as well. But y’all, my people have some powerful prayers and some big faith.
God sent out the army to find me, again. Sometimes I think it’s unfair the number of times the army has had to come find me in the middle of the darkest night, but they do it. And they do it well. They love me well. When I worry I am too much trouble or too many problems, they hold me and reassure me and love me well. When I try to fake it or suck it up, they see through it and love me well. I am so grateful for them.
I am so grateful that one year ago someone I never met tapped me on the shoulder at an IF:local and said, “you can be in our group” which led me to my people. I’m grateful that someone else that I never met took a step of faith and talked to a stranger and kept chasing after me until I came to this community group. I am blessed that someone who I never met who does hospitality like nobody’s business opened her home and made me feel so welcome from day one. I’m not sure they knew what they were signing up for, but I’m so glad they stick it out.
While I haven’t gotten an official word, I’ve read the reports of my tests. My heart is basically in better shape than it should be really, given age and other factors. Though it still is acting up, it’s structurally fine and that is reassuring. It’s not failing or enlarging or exploding or doing any of the things. (Exploding I kind of made up lol).
I really can’t sit here and discount the fact that another miracle may have happened. We will never know this side of heaven. I can’t pretend that the army interceding on my behalf might have gotten me some mercy from my God. Just like last time with the lab tests, I can’t say we saw a miracle, but I for sure can’t say that we didn’t. All I know is I’m grateful.
I’m grateful I have people…more than just my people…who intercede on my behalf. I’m grateful that God is good and sends people after me when I start running or acting up. I’m grateful for a God who still pursues me, even when I get mad and tell Him off. I’m grateful for a God that knows me because He made me, so He knows what I need. I’m grateful for all the things.
Tonight as I cried for no apparent reason other than I’m physically and emotionally exhausted and this weekend has been too busy to process fully, I am in awe of my people who love me well, who don’t run at the sight of trouble, who don’t decide I’m too much drama or effort even when I fear that I am, who love me in spite of me and because of me. God knew what I needed before I even knew it was missing.
My hope is that I can love them well in return. My hope is that we can all reach the finish line better for having run the race together. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I may not have survived 2018 (and this much of 2019) without my people, but I know for certain I wouldn’t have survived intact. I thank God for the gifts He’s given to me.