Ugh, Please don’t God, not now. I hate to cry! Let’s talk through, sort through all of this later. Crying is for babies!
I was at a women’s retreat this weekend, feeling pretty all together. I’d been tracking along with God just fine, especially since January, I’d been having regular talks, quiet time, etc. I was there to enjoy my sisters! During one of the sessions, the speaker focused on lies that we buy into that the enemy plants in our minds. I could not think of any, I mean, I feel pretty solid in my faith and trust in the Lord so completely. I think God and I good. She challenged us to ask – “Is there any lie that Satan has planted that I am buying into” so I asked – probably not, I thought but I might as well go through the exercise and confirm. So dutifully, silently, while she was speaking – I asked. Then it started. A tiny little message started dancing around my heart, constricting my throat and bringing tears to my eyes. Ugh, Please don’t God, not now. I hate to cry! Let’s talk through, sort through all of this later. Crying is for babies! “For babies? “ He prompted. “I cried.” He gently stated. I remembered the verse “Jesus wept.” John 11:35. It says Jesus wept. He did not sniffle and dab his eyes. He WEPT!
I mostly held it together until I had some time alone and there, sitting in the grass, leaning against the base of a tree, facing the ocean, I addressed the thought that crept into my mind during the session, with Him. I wept, I sobbed – to the point of almost hyperventilating. I am a failure! I failed in staying pure as a teen. I failed at my marriage and most deep and painful – I failed at caring for my disabled son, Will.
My son Will was born with cerebral palsy. He was quadriplegic, g-tube fed, non-verbal (but communicated with his eyes, his laughter, his smile and his tears & cries). The neurosurgeon sat my husband and I down before we took Will home and told us: He will never walk. He will never talk. He will never eat. He will never speak. He will never learn. He will be a burden. He will always cry and fuss and he will never leave the house! Each statement felt like a punch in the gut.
While he had many surgeries and hospital stays, throughout his life, for various reasons, Will proved the neurosurgeon wrong in many ways! He rarely fussed. He was a delight. He loved music, in fact was deeply, emotionally impacted by music. He had the most beautiful eyelashes and a contagious smile and sweet, sweet laugh. He went to school from pre-school on – and boy did he leave the house! Everything we did as a family, he did! We went camping, hiking, out to restaurants, movies, picnics, to the beach, the mountains, the desert, everything. He was just seven when we left my husband.
One hot August day, a month before Will would turn 14, we went up to a country fair in the small town of Troutlake, Washington, where my two oldest daughters were volunteering at a camp for the summer. The country fair was a fun filled day, complete with good old fashioned pie and jam contests and more. We all had a fun time. Will was laughing and smiling most of the day. We left late that evening, said goodbye to my oldest daughters and headed home. We got home after midnight. It was hot in the third story bedrooms of our town house that August night and I was tired. Will’s bed was set up in my room so I would be near throughout the nights. He was pump fed through his g-tube throughout each night. The box fan in my window, at the head of my bed was on full blast to alleviate the stifling heat in that upstairs room. I fell to sleep nearly as my head hit the pillow and slept soundly all night long.
The next morning, I got up to wake everyone up for church and found that Will had passed away in the night. Tabitha, my youngest daughter who was 14, slept in my room that night and awoke to me discovering poor Will’s death. I did not know what to do, who to call. I called my brother – he called the necessary authorities and then came to our house. In the mean time, I wrapped Will in a quilt, while Tabitha woke her younger brothers and broke the news. We all met downstairs in the living room. When the police arrived, I sat on our love seat rocking Will back and forth in my arms saying “It’s all my fault, it’s all my fault!” I really was likely half out of my mind with shock and grief. I kept thinking, if only we had not gotten back so late, I would not have been so tired! If only I had not had the box fan on, I would have heard him! When he needed me most, I was not there! I failed.
I then began asking God, why, why?! Did you take him because I was not a good enough mother? During that past year, I was working full time, going to school full time and being a mom to all the kids. It was a lot – that’s true.
As I sat sobbing at the base of that tree, this past weekend, I repeated over and over – I failed. I failed you – God. I failed Will. I was not good enough. That is why you took him from me. Will passed away in 2006. I had stuffed this down and locked it away for 14 years because the pain, that wound was too deep! I could not look at it. I could not fix it. I could not cry, I was afraid if I started crying, I would not be able to stop. All of that grief and guilt bubbled to the surface anew. That wound was just as deep and painful as when I first locked it so deep inside of me.
Just then, as if over my left shoulder, I heard His gentle whisper, “That is Satan’s lie.” At that, I sucked in one last sob and stopped. I asked – really? That is a lie?! We say there together in silence for a while. I breathed. He soothed my heart ache. He then said, “We are going to have to re-open that wound and clear it out, it has become infected.” I cried some more. I hate pain, I said, but I knew if left untreated, it would only become a barrier, would always be a source of unspeakable pain and it kept me from complete health. I knew that going through the pain of cleansing was the right step and I needed to be freed of that lie.
It is a hard thing but empowering in the outcome. Are you ready to ask God, “Are there any lies that Satan has planted, in my mind, in my heart, that I am buying into?” “Would you ask God to reveal those to you, so you can be set free of that bondage?”