Last week I had an appointment with the cardiologist to check out my heart, make sure all is well, it’s beating the way it should, the valves are not clogged, yadda yadda yadda … as I lay there on the table with all of these cords hooked up to me and the heart machine (that’s what I call it), I happened to glance at the monitor and saw my heart. I also heard my heart beat.
As I lay there staring at this living organ beating away, the thing that crossed my mind, and honestly the only thing I could think about was, if only this machine could read how broken my heart really was! The organ was healthy. It had a regular heartbeat, the valves that allowed the blood to flow from my heart throughout the rest of my body were clear and the nurse had this dumbfound look on her face like “why the hell were you referred to us??”!!! Looking at the monitor, nothing was wrong.
Here’s the truth: my heart, not that living organ I was staring at on the screen, but my spirit was broken! My spirit IS broken. By looking at the organ, you could not tell that my daughter suffered from a mental illness that has been and continues to be untreated, despite my efforts to get her the help she so desperately needs. And because of her brokenness, I am broken. Because she hurts, I hurt. Because she’s in pain, I live in pain every single day. And it has been constant for the past 2 1/2 years!
By looking at the organ on the screen, you could not see the pain I suffer on a daily, continuous basis. You could not tell by looking at the screen, that I bleed a painful death every single moment. The death of what could have been. The death of what should have been. The death of what used to be. My heart is broken in a million pieces.
When you are in a hopeless situation, when you cannot fix what is broken, when you feel like a failure, it is damn near impossible to smile. It is damn near impossible to smile without feeling guilty that someone you love more than life is in a dark place and chooses to stay in that dark place! How dare you smile? How dare you enjoy life? How dare you live as if you are not living in a hellish nightmare?!! How dare you?!
“4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 SURELY goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” Psalm 23:4-6
My situation may look dim NOW. My daughter may be on a destructive path NOW. My heart may be broken NOW. But my NOW is not my FOREVER. Because God’s Word cannot lie. He said SURELY goodness and mercy shall follow me (and my daughter) all the days of my life. Even NOW I am followed by goodness and mercy. In my weakness, in my brokenness, in my nightly cries, goodness and mercy comforts me. And I get up the next morning to go through it all over again. I don’t have to look behind me, I know goodness and mercy is there.
God’s Word keeps me. It is all I have. It is all I want. It is all I need. I cannot trust my eyes. I cannot trust my ears. I cannot even trust this living organ that beats regularly (how about that?!). I can ONLY trust what God says concerning me and my daughter. And in THAT, I rest. #TheEnd