I sat here and tried to write a Facebook post about my feelings, but I am SO not a fan of vaguebooking, and I didn't know how to go about writing it in a way that was honorable. I wrote it, deleted it, and started again about a dozen times. Finally, I closed my computer and headed to read my Bible and pray.
Sure enough, wouldn't you know, that the scriptures set for today were about God telling the Israelites that when they bring the firstfruits from the promised land, they should audibly account the tale of how God rescued them from a dark and dangerous place, and brought them to this new land. They should praise Him for what He did and not forget.
I smiled. "Yes God. I am in a better place today. This is because you rescued me... us... from a dark and dangerous place. But how on earth do I post about how you did all of that- how do I tell the tale of what You did that day without causing division, without pointing fingers, without reopening old wounds?"
I don't know if it's even possible to do this right, but I do want to take some time to recall what happened, so I don't forget that it wasn't just a really awful day. It was also a day that I got to feel what it is like to feel the presence of God during a fiery trial. That's a pretty big deal. So, with my apologies for whatever is about to offend those of you who are sure to be offended, I lift up this account in praise of the God who rescued me:
3 years ago on April 5th:
- I woke up that morning with a stomach ache. It had been a really rough year that had gotten really extra rough in the last couple of weeks. I knew that today would be no ordinary day. I wanted to go back to bed, call in sick, run away. There was no doubt in my mind that I was headed into a spiritual battle. I made a deal with God- I would go if He would go with me.
- I desperately prayed as I dressed for the day...God was there.
- I got into my car & drove, filled with angst...God was there.
- I walked into my church of 18 years... God was there.
- I prayed with my children's ministry staff team...God was there.
- We were called in front of a board of elders...God was there.
- We told the truth...God was there.
- We were treated cruelly and lied to...God was there.
- We were given an ultimatum...God was there.
- We made the decision to resign that day...God was there.
- We packed up our beautiful office...God was there.
- We said goodbye to the people we loved...God was there.
- I walked to my car...God was there.
- I somehow got into my home, collapsed in a heap of tears, and God was there.
- I told my husband the whole account. Even on that dark, terrible day, I could see that God did exactly what he promised- He was with me, each step of the way, even though it didn't turn out the way I hoped. I could feel His presence, and I knew that very day that I'd never be sorry I made the choice to get out of bed and go into battle with God.
If this is a new story for you, or maybe even if it isn't, the bullet point list won't seem that big of a deal. When I read over it, I see all the things missing- the disappointment, the sorrow, the fear, the anger- but I still don't know how to put those into the right words. Also missing are the names of the heroes and the villains of the story- it just doesn't seem appropriate. But what's not missing is the fact that God was there. He was there, my friends, and even though to this day the situation hasn't been resolved to my satisfaction, I can see that God was there, and is here, and will continue to be. I know that we were rescued, and I believe that He used that day in ways that haven't even been revealed yet.
For this, I am thankful. I am so amazed at what God has done over the past 3 years. I praise Him here- not to cause or draw out drama, but to mark the date. The day I went in to battle, holding the hand of God.
Hallelujah! He is the God who is mighty to save!