It was a different room on a different floor but everything was the same.
The kid-friendly colors, the Purell hand sanitizer, the over-sized rocking chair-turned bed where I used to rock her, looking out into the snowy city below through the wall of windows. (Thank you, whoever designed Helen DeVos. Thank you for that wall of glass.)
This time I had my own pillow, but what difference is a pillow in a mansion of memories? Sleeplessness found me just as it did for the twenty-one nights we stayed before.
But this is not about me or our story.
This is about you.
I cried for you last night. Whoever you are, I’m not sure. Maybe you were below me on the levels where the children fighting cancer stay. Maybe you were in the PICU holding your child’s hand as they struggled through the night. Maybe you were in our old room in the NICU watching your new precious life fight with everything in her for that next breath or drop of milk. Maybe you’ve had to pack up your belongings and head home…. without your baby. Maybe this is for someone who is suffering on the inside from a torn marriage or emotional abuse.
I am so sorry. I do not have the words to make things better or place the broken pieces of your heart back in place. I cannot give you the promise that everything will be just how you want it to be. I cannot do these things, but what I can do is stand with you in weakness.
I know how it feels to bleed. I know how it feels to watch the life inside of you drain without losing one drop of blood. I know the pain of complete uncertainty.
I couldn’t write about it then. I couldn’t write anything. I need my heart to write and in that moment it was completely broken and bleeding. Perhaps it was God’s timing to bring me back to that place a year and a half later, back to that room, so that I could visit the pain again with the ability to write about it.
I am certain I was crying with the Father’s tears for whatever you are going through. I do not typically hurt for a face I have never seen or have compassion on a story I have never heard. But see that’s the thing- He sees you. He knows your story. And as odd as it may sound, He wants me to communicate that to you. He gave me tears so that He could tell you He is crying with you. He gave me the ability to write so that I could pass along His message. His Holy Spirit is living and active, working in ways that can go beyond understanding. Please believe how much your Father loves you and works to comfort you.
There is a story for you. He has placed a special story in the Bible just for you and for all those who are weak with pain and suffering.
Matthew 9:18-22, just four short verses. A woman who had been hemorrhaging for 12 years reaches out touch the hem of Jesus’ garment. This is your story.
The woman, completely weak with loss of blood, manages to reach out. Can you see her frail hand? Can you imagine how slowly she would be moving? Perhaps she was knocked to the ground in the rush of the crowd. This was me. Is this you? Completely weak and bleeding, she finds a way to reach out and grab hold of just the hem of His garment. The act was enough to stop Jesus in His tracks, and look around past all the healthy people to find His weak one.
I have felt strong before. I have felt spiritually healthy and ready for battle.
And I have felt weak. I have felt overcome by fear, wracked with doubt, and unable to stand let alone fight. In the midst of warriors, I was a wounded. I was a bleeding wounded and all that I could do was hold on to who I knew to be the one true God. While in that moment I felt too weak to stand strong and mighty in His beautiful promises, I did not let go of who He was.
In the midst of our trial, people would ask me how I was doing. My response, “I am hanging on.”
That is truly all that I could do. I could only hang on to the hem of Yeshua’s garment. And although I didn’t feel it then, there was great power there.
Isaiah 40:31, “Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength…”
Wait. As you walk this valley, this valley of heartache, know that this is not where He leaves you. His heart breaks with yours; this was not at all His desire, a world of pain and suffering but He will take you through it. And in due time, after weakness has run her course, He will renew your strength. Just hang on.