If a blog could be whispered, I'd whisper this one. Some trials in life suck the breath out of our lungs, squeeze our heart to the point you think it might explode, quiet the words that normally flow easy. Some things silence our wordy prayers and leave us with simply heart-crying groans. Words seem insufficient...and the words you do say seem shallow, silly in the midst of such ache. Maybe I'm at such a loss because it's not my story. I'm inside the story enough to ache, but too outside to fully know how God is being faithful. It seems impossible, yet I know He's faithful. I believe He is faithful. HE IS FAITHFUL.
Today, a friend walks the valley of the shadow of death, the number of her days limited. We all thought maybe she would be the one...maybe she could be the one to fight this cancer for ten years and get her kids through high school. If anyone had the temperament to do that, it would be her. After a rough week at chemo, she'd sit with the two-year-old Puggles at Awanas and say, "I can feel crummy at home or I can feel crummy here. I'd rather be here." Even as the pain has overwhelmed in the last weeks, she said, "I just need to get this managed, so I can get on with my day." And against the medical odds, we all hoped that she would be the one who would beat it.
The Creator of her body, the Lover of her soul, the Heavenly Father who knows how this story ends, seems to be walking her home. I whispered to my little guy this morning, "It seems she's going to get to go Home." He smiled, "Oh good. Now she will be back at church." I corrected gently, "Not this home on earth. Home to our Heavenly Father." He whispered back, "That's so good for her. She will be so happy to be with Jesus. But I'm so sad for her kids." He grabs my neck and gives me a generous hug. And I feel so spoiled because I have the energy to hang on tightly to my kids, and make them breakfast, and give a test, and use the word "tomorrow." My journey on this day seems so easy...and not too far away, this friend's valley is so hard...
We cry out to God for peace for the family and her two young children. We cry out for comfort for her. We pray against a spirit of fear for her and for her beloved family and friends. In a stolen moment with a couple girlfriends around her hospital bed, we promise her that we will pray for her children long term. That as we pray for our own children's purity and gentleness and salvation and spouses and...and..., that we will also pray for hers. That her children will be prayed for by other mamas who know the deepest longings of a mama's heart for her children. It seems unfair to promise a mama that you will do for her children the one thing that she longs to do for them herself. Yet, there's nothing else we can offer...and maybe, aside from a miraculous healing, there's nothing she wants more ...than to know her children will be prayed for.
But mostly, we groan. We groan and trust that God understands the language of hurting hearts.
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's Will." Romans 8:26-27
We trust He intercedes for us as we don't know what to say...as our prayers seems incomplete...as we seek to trust without seeking human understanding...we groan because there simply aren't words powerful enough to express...
As Kara Tippetts wrote in her blog www.mundanefaithfulness.com during her final days, "There will be grace for this..."
So, our hearts groan for our dear friend who is journeying through the valley, and we whisper,
There WILL be grace for this...