Fallen Shelf
December 29, 2021

I’m struggling. 

That’s hard for me to type because it shines a spotlight into a part of my life that I don’t want the world to see.  I don’t want you to see anything but hope, encouragement, a smile, and a life being lived, but if I’m not being 100% transparent, I’m not who I claim to be, right?   I’ve contemplated posting about my struggles for months, but each time I sat down to share my thoughts and feelings, they seemed to run from me.   Until tonight. 

I spend most days witnessing the effects of enormous loss and doing my best to help carry the pain of so many people that I honestly cannot fathom how so many can hurt so badly.   I know the depths of my pain intimately and have somehow managed to shelve it so that I can be that help to others, but occasionally all that I place there causes it to collapse under the weight.  When that happens I crumble and come to a screeching halt.

Spent.  Done.  Out of gas.

It doesn’t happen often, but when it falls, my pain meshes with the pain of others that I have helped carry and I am unable to see beyond what I feel.  I am more in tune with the ugliness in this world, and less aware of Hope, and I ache for all of us.   I don’t want to see posts, read text messages or emails or even acknowledge the reason why they have all been sent.  At these times I long to see my baby and I’m desperate to see the darkness that seems to invade every area of every life banished.  I long to see addiction, suicide, violence, ugliness, bitterness and hate eradicated.  I long to see the sorrow of mankind put in its place.  In these times, I go to the only One that can give me eyes to see through that darkness. 

I’m always surprised at who He uses to remind me that He has a purpose for the pain that I pile on that precarious shelf, and equally amazed that He chooses me to be a tool in turning what the enemy meant for harm into good.  We are all called, chosen and set apart to do just that, but that realization is one I will never get used to.  In the last two days, He has taken months of my own personal darkness and made it “worth it”.  He’s breathed life and Hope back into this worn out vessel, dusted off my backside and told me to get back on the battlefield where I belong.   Ironically, He sent two precious individuals to me that were brave enough to say the two words I couldn’t bring myself to say…

I’m struggling. 

They were not parents or someone that had lost a dear one to the disease I’ve come to hate so much.   I’m equipped for that and I’m comfortable in that role.   Maybe I was too comfortable because He shook things up a bit to remind me why I was on that battlefield in the first place by setting me in unchartered territory.  

Separately, two kids who are about the age Hagen would be came to me and asked me to help them fight for their lives.  They trusted me, a total stranger, to take them by the hand and walk with them through what can only be described as truly terrifying.  They didn’t know me, but He did.  They had no reason to trust me, but He knew they could.  I had no experience or qualifications to assist in the type of help they needed, so I can’t help but wonder if they knew the only thing I was walking next to them with was my faith if they would have asked me to help.   But then again, maybe that’s why they asked.  

In their struggles, He led and they followed.   In my struggles, He knocked, and I answered. 

Tonight one is safe.   The other went back out into a world that wants her dead.   I celebrate both and consider both victories.   He isn’t done with either of them, or anyone else that is bound by the chains of addiction or sorrow or anything else keeping them from Him and the life more abundant that He promised.  And He isn’t done with me.  He allowed me to see firsthand how Heaven can make the impossible possible and how many truly selfless people willing to go to any lengths there are working behind the scenes to save lives.  I got to be on a team handpicked for such a time as this.  

Now that I can see through the darkness again, I see that we are all struggling, but we are all needed.  I see that none of us are equipped, so He equips us.  I see that where we are is not where He wants us to stay.  I see that where we think we’re needed, may not be where we’re needed at all.  I see that the shelf has to fall so we can crumble under the weight of it.  I see that from those broken pieces, He creates something new, and places the shelf back in its place for the next time. 

If at this late hour you see this and your shelf has fallen on top of you with an unbearable weight, hang tight because He is coming.  Have faith and believe you are worth rescuing.

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