standing in the gap

She didn’t hear me. Surely she wouldn’t overlook that. She didn’t even acknowledge that I just said I wanted to die. All she heard was that I wanted to be with Him. And a week ago I wasn’t even sure I wanted to love Jesus anymore. Never in a hundred years would I have thought that I would get to a place where I didn’t love or want to love Jesus. But here I sat. No longer shaking my fist at the sky, because honestly, I didn’t know if I believed that there was anyone in the sky worth shaking my fist.

One moment. One single instant sent my world spinning.

Maybe that isn’t entirely true. It had been a series of hundreds of moments. Built on other moments. Built on still more moments. And this one, this one particular moment…this one was the one that fractured something in me. All of the moments before this one tore and stole and eroded the deepest parts of who I am. Threatening to kill me but stopping just before my heart stopped. Torture. Mocking the very breath that filled my lungs.

When you live under such torment for years upon years you learn quickly what is necessary for survival…that is, supposing you care at all to survive any longer. For me, it usually follows the same pattern every time. I have grown used to this pattern. So when, two weeks ago, all this was set in motion and I was gearing up to ride the waves like normal, and they didn’t come, I was left floundering. The pattern I was used to, the timeline, the expectations – all shot to hell. The shut down period lasted far longer than I was accustomed to. It was a hole I was unable to dig myself out of. No matter how much I wanted to or how hard I tried, I could not for the life of me lift my eyes. Phone went unanswered. Text messages were only sent sporadically to those who didn’t offer cliche or trite words. Sleep. Work. Home. Repeat.

“A mountain fell on you. It is ok to feel like a mountain fell on you.”

A mountain did fall. I was crushed. I shut down. Refusing to say that the mountain fell. Refusing to talk about the mountain. Refusing to cry out for help from underneath the rubble. As if even my body was in complete shock. Numb. Even if I wanted to feel something, I couldn’t. And I wanted to feel something…anything. Even if it was pain. It would mean that I was still alive. Still capable of feeling. So I ran. I ran straight to the shiny silvery “friends” I had broken up with a month ago. They were just as I left them. Promising relief. And temporarily giving it.

I wanted to be left alone. I didn’t want anyone to care. I didn’t want anyone to call. I didn’t want anyone to preach at me or tell me what I should or shouldn’t do. I didn’t need scripture shoved down my throat…after all, I could probably quote it better than you ever could. I didn’t even want answers. I didn’t want someone to “talk me out of any of this”. Don’t love me. I will only disappoint you. Because I have nothing to offer. Nothing but crying in the bathroom floor and nothing but anger and confusion and probably not many nice things to say. Started to believe again that I am not worth it. Not worth loving. Not worth sitting with in the floor. I didn’t believe that God actually loved me, or even that He actually gave a shit what was going on with me. Where was He? He promised He would never leave me or forsake me, right? Well…where you at?

He was right here, in these messages, all along:

“It’s ok if you can’t fight. You are fought FOR.”

“You keep breathing. In and out. One breath at a time.”

“God wants you to know that you are lovely.”

“No matter what happens tonight or tomorrow. I love you.”

“I’m here, holding your hand. And I’ll be here tomorrow when you go numb. And later when the anger grabs you.”

“You are part of my family. I know you are hurting. But you are not alone. I stand here to combat the lies and hold you and pray for you because I love you. You. Just you.”

“My heart for you has not changed. I am not disappointed. I just hurt alongside you and hate that you are hurting right now. I. Love. You.”

“I don’t think any less of you. This is your Father’s heart for you in this moment. Mine is but a pale echo of His. He loves you. He weeps with you and for you. You are loved.”

They were right. This ain’t up to me. They weren’t phased when I asked them if we could still be friends if I wasn’t a christian. I still don’t believe it like I want to. I still don’t know a lot of things. But one thing I do know. They are standing in the gap. Believing for me and hoping for me and fighting for me…because right now, I can’t do it on my own. I wanted out. I wanted to be done with all of this and I wanted to go be with Jesus. I wanted to not be alive anymore. And all she heard was I wanted to be with Jesus.

“I believe you still love Him. You just can’t see it clearly right now. And that’s ok. I will believe it for you until you can believe it again.”

So right now, when the answers aren’t enough. When I can’t believe on my own. In these moments that I have no fight left in me. For all the times I want to just be done with it all and go be with Jesus. I will remember that I am not doing this alone. That I am not alone. And while I may not “feel” like God is near, I will read these messages and know that through these women He is reminding me He loves me and assuring me that He is on the bathroom floor too. And just like she said “I won’t get up until you do…” – neither will he.

Here’s to the sitting. Here’s to the silence and the waiting.
Here’s to the anger and the screaming.
Here’s to the feeling and the not feeling.
Here’s to feeling the love of God through them.

Here’s to you.

You who won’t stop looking for me in the rubble.

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4 thoughts on “standing in the gap

  1. Yes. Yes. This is so raw and vulnerable and beautiful and true. Thank you for being brave. Thank you for sitting and feeling and not feeling and searching and screaming and staying. ❤

  2. The rubble, the bathroom floor, the carpet on your tear streaked face. You’re right. You ARE NOT alone. Not even now. Breath by breath those of us will stand in the gap with you, for you, around you.

    As Always,

    Bethany

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