Would you bow your heads to pray.
That was my cue to exit the church service before anyone could see my fragile state, or worse – try talking to me on my way out. I drove home in a fury, and as soon as the tires touched the driveway I bolted from the car into the house. Once the door closed behind me, I fell to the floor in a heap of tears.
Just as my knees had given out, so had my spirit.
On the ground, I raised my hands to signify my physical surrender to my circumstances. I couldn’t go on like this anymore. Adamantly I pleaded with the Lord for relief. Knowing there was no end in sight, I literally cried out in distress.
Is this what my life had amounted to?
“Just left something for you on your doorstep.” said the text message. Confused and shaken I quickly picked myself up fearing that my sobs and hysterical pleas had been heard by someone nearby! Relieved to see no one there, I opened the front door to find a book on the step. As I bent down to pick it up, a piece of paper fell delicately from it’s pages.
In disbelief I read the title of the loose sheet of paper, “It’s Not Over Till It’s Over.”
Comparing this mess called ‘Life’ to a long movie, the author writes these words,“…as the curtain falls and I think to myself, this is a strange way to end. I look again and see God pointing to the screen as if to say, ‘This my child, is not the end, but an intermission…’”
Just seconds after being in a fit of tears , the author’s next words, almost felt like they were instructing me in that exact moment. Like they knew…
“Can I encourage you to sit down, take a deep breath, stretch, and regroup? The story’s not over yet. Perhaps you are just at an intermission. We shouldn’t put a period where God put a comma.”
Holy mother of Abraham Lincoln… that just happened!
If that wasn’t God speaking to me, I don’t know what is!
As I sat on the steps of my front porch taking in the depth of those words, I was reminded of yet another powerful story that I had heard years ago…
Alter Weiner, a Holocaust survivor, described the unimaginable circumstances he had endured in the 35 months he spent in concentration camps.
He spoke of how by March 1945, that he was so emaciated and weak as a result of starvation, that he could no longer work due to his frailty. The Nazi’s saw no purpose in a Jew who couldn’t work, and so he was sent by train to a neighboring concentration camp where he would be killed.
He described standing in an endless line with other battered and beaten Jews – all hopelessly watching groups of Jews ahead of them being ushered into gas chambers, their lifeless bodies emerging moments later as they were carried away to be cremated.
Feeling the weight of his reality with each step he took – stepping closer and closer to his imminent death.
In his book, “From A Name To A Number” he explains being both utterly terrified yet filled with a deep desire for the pain and torture to cease – even if it meant his life having to end to do so.
He couldn’t do it any longer.
“I was standing in line for the doomed, waiting to be gassed and cremated. I sniffed the offensive odor of burning flesh. I felt downright scared. The thought of being so close to death sucked the life out of me.
Then a German civilian approached me. My heart stopped. He shouted at me, “Get out of line, young boy! You can still work!”
You can imagine the tension in that moment: not knowing whether you should shout for joy at the thought of another day, or if in complete frustration you should cry out to God for punishing you even longer! After all, he was saved, but only to be sent back to another concentration camp!
But Alter’s story was no where near over yet…
Amazingly, less than 8 weeks later – in just two months – Alter’s concentration camp would be liberated by the Russian Army! He would be set free from the torture, and suffering he had endured over the years at the hands of the Nazi’s.
While Alter stood weary and hopeless in that line just weeks ago – coming so close to death that he could literally smell it – he most certainly believed he had reached the end.
And yet, it proved to have only been an intermission.
I wonder how many of us could identify the same desperation and emotional emaciation in our own lives. Our circumstances leaving us so frail and weary, that we are no longer recognizable to ourselves.
I know I can’t be the only one who has found myself a midst a raging storm in my life .
One so long and so hard that I have fallen to my knees, arms outstretched in surrender as I pleaded for the winds that were threatening to overtake me, to cease.
If that is where you have found yourself today, then please remember :
This is not the end, it is only an intermission…
The story is not over yet!
Your Liberator is coming for you!
In Isaiah 41:10 its says, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.
The Lord is making a series of promises.
I am with you…
I will strengthen you…
I will help you…
I will uphold you…
I think we could agree that the idea of Christ being ‘with us’ is a nice thought – kinda makes us feel all fuzzy inside – but if we are really honest, hasn’t the Lord also seemed so silent at times?
It’s like He is passively holding out on us, while in desperation we wonder:
When will His strength come?
When will His help deliver us?
And why – in this very instant – isn’t the Lord choosing to make His presence known by rescuing us from our current heartache like a prince on his stallion? Like now!?
Yet I have found that when the flood waters have risen; when the heat has been turned up to the ‘oomph’ degree; when the burden has become too heavy for me to bare on my own -THAT is when God has brought the deliverace that I have so desperately needed.
The Lord speaks about this in Isaiah 43:2-3
When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.When you go through rivers of difficulty,you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
In our darkest days, these verses can offer an undeniable comfort. The comfort in knowing that even when we have fallen to the floor in a fit of tears with no hope of ever having the strength to get back up again, when we find ourselves so badly bruised and beaten that we are almost positive we have reached the end – even amidst the most unimagenable of circumstances – that the Lord our God will meet us there in our pain, and never leave our side!
And we will not be consumed!
Dear friends, I pray that each of us would come to fully grasp the fact that we are not alone, and that He is not done!
Wait expectantly on the Lord…
For your Liberator is coming for you!
** And make sure to check back here next Tuesday for something really special. My husband has agreed to take over the reigns, and share his heart on the 1 year anniversary of a tragedy that broke our hearts and tested our faith in a way nothing ever had before! You wont want to miss it! **
13 thoughts on “God’s Not Done With You”
Guess it’s only fair that I start us out 🙂
I am eternally grateful to the Lord for restoring and transforming my marriage. When it seemed it might have been doomed from the start, and real problems -not even 2 years into it- threatened to end it before it had even truly began!I am thankful that He didn’t give up on us! I am thankful also that when depression has been at my doorstep, that the Lord has walked with me through the difficult terrain to find my happiness once again. Life hasn’t always been easy but one thing is certain, the Lord has never failed me!
wow.. Kristan I cannot tell you how much I needed this. Thank you. And I cannot wait to hear what Ricky has to say next week.
Thanks Charissa! I can’t wait to see what Ricky’s going to say either. I know whatever it is, it will speak to all of our broken hearts. thanks for reading!
All I can say is thank you. The words in your blog this morning were exactly what I needed to hear. They were the truths I needed to be reminded of. God can transform any situation, and anybody for that matter. Our daughter has turned her back on God and I have spent hours, days, weeks on my knees in prayer and disbelief. This is NOT how it’s supposed to end. I prayed over this child before she was ever born. I did everything “right”…I sang to her, read to her, took her to church, never missing a Sunday. I sent special sweet notes every day in her lunchbox. We ate dinner together EVERY single night, and shared life and God’s truths with her. She knew God’s grace and was ON FIRE for him every step of the way through her childhood. She stood up to her high school biology teacher that was an atheist and proclaimed God’s truths to him! How could it happen that MY baby would chose to not want God to be part of her life. No, no, no!!!! Not my child!
Life sucks when a storm rages and you realize that you have absolutely no control to change it’s direction. I’ve stood behind that closed door pounding on it for someone to let me out. All I had to do was gently turn the handle. I’ve wasted too much time wallowing in my sorrow pounding and crying on that door. For too long I chose to see my daughter’s rebellion as a big fat period. I now know it is a comma, an intermission, a brief time. I’ve begun to see that through the pain of life there is still joy. There are blessings right at our doorstep just waiting to reveal themselves to us. We have to open the door and be willing to see them. There is joy through any situation, and I’m good for nobody if I stand behind a closed door drowning. God’s hand is right there reaching out to me and holding me above the raging storm.
God has met me in my pain. He has transformed my heart to be full of mercy and compassion for other hurting parents. I am no longer consumed with guilt and worry. I am at peace. And he has
prepared my heart to be waiting for that sweet homecoming someday with my daughter.
Shelley, I know you are not alone in your circumstances. It didn’t take long working in youth ministry to realize that each parent has been kept up at night in much of the same way. And that someday, so will I. But thank you for being a beautiful example of true authenticity to each of us! and I applaud you for your bravery and compassionate heart. Thankful that God has given you such peace, and is preparing your heart for your daughter’s return back into your arms. Praying alongside you.
Oh, oh. It’s my turn : )
I gave birth to my son Jonas at 20 weeks pregnant after we learned his little heart had stopped beating. Never in my life have I been so devastated, so broken and felt so hopeless. The very air I breathed seemed as a sentence I was to serve, like living any longer was a punishment more than a gift to move on and rejoice in what I still had. I am so thankful that in my faithlessness He never left me or punished me, He so lovingly held me… so close until I felt I could breathe again. And then, He have us Milo. A boy so full of life at times he sucks it out of me ; ). God is so good and the most amazing Father : ).
Oh Becca, my heart breaks for you. I can’t imagine the pain you have endured. But can I just praise you for being so brave?!? seriously! More women can relate to this than we would like to imagine, and those same women often feel like no one understands.
But you do… and God showed up for you! And He will for them too! thank you for your courageousness. Gosh, I just wish I could hug you! 🙂
Oh how I needed to hear this today. I have been searching for days for the right words, needing encouragement and the strength to go on. God is not through with me yet. I feel so done but am encouraged by your post. Thank you for your eloquence and boldness.
Oh I am so glad that my story could be even the slightest encouragement to you. He is indeed not done with you… You have come too far for this to be the end! hang in there girl! I will be lifting you up in prayer -starting now! 🙂
Krista, thank you for sharing who you are… your strength and openness are astounding and the effects reach farther than you know!
He Sent Me Whales
February 2010. I was sitting on a 12 person zodiac in Maui… whale watching. We cut the motor and sat motionless in the water as a male humpback whale swam by. It was completely silent except for the waves hitting against the boat. The whale was heading north then switched course and headed towards us. I leaned over the side, my face inches away from the water and there he was… my whale. Starting up at me, suspended in the water from beneath our boat. That whale touched my soul. He took my breath away. I have a picture of him.
August 14 2011. Stonehenge Memorial in WA, lying in the sun on a rock, hungover and in shock from what happened that weekend. I asked God to carry the burden for just a little while. It was the first time I’d asked him for anything in many many years.
August 19 2011. In my car, sobbing from a pain and sorrow like I have never felt in my entire life. I cried the entire way to my favorite mountain to hike. Nature was my only escape at the time… it was my church. I called my mom, barely able to get words out from the agony of my life. She said to me “I will pray that God will speak to you in a way that you can hear him”. I hiked and cried and ran and cried. And then a voice said to me “I sent you whales. They are for you”. I stopped, drove home and looked at my picture of my whale.
September 1 2011. In my parent’s house in Vermont, my mom handed me a black leather, gold paged King James Version bible. I stuffed it in my luggage. I believed in God, I did not believe in religion. It sat on my nightstand, unopened.
September 16 2011. Before work, empty of all spirit I opened my KJV bible to the first page… Genesis. I read. Chapter 1, verse 21 “And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and ever winged fowl after his kind; and God saw that it was good.”
I looked at my picture of my whale. It was God. He said “I love you.”
Isn’t it amazing how god can use the simplest of things to remind us that he is there and that he loves us? Like in a sunset, or a childs laugh? In a whale! For me god spoke through trees, when around spring they would blossom it just reminded me that what was once barren in winter could be beautiful again. Brought me so much hope, so I can totally understand your whale story! 🙂 thank you for sharing your journey of how you came to embrace the love god has for -the love he no doubt, had for you all along. you will be such an encouragement to others!
My sis can write! Love yuh!
Awww isnt my lil brother the sweetest 😉