So Where Am I?

Story - Angela N. - as submitted.
Part 3

So where am I?

After years of chronic pain, innumerable doctor’s appointments, two back surgeries, where am I?

If I am brutally honest with you, I would have to admit to not really having an answer for you. Here’s what I do know: God is not concerned with my comfort. That has been made perfectly clear. You may disagree with me right off the cuff, but hear me out. 

When your child is wandering, ignoring your warnings, heading in the wrong direction, I’m sure you would do whatever is possible to get their attention, or slow their steps, buy you some time to love them back to where they need to be. If that’s the case, it may take lassoing them, and if you’ve ever seen a calf being roped, you’d know that can't be a comfortable process for them! The rope falls over their head, is pulled tight, often knocking them off their feet. The roper comes, lifts them up and throws them bodily back to the ground, then ties their feet together. Sound like a comfortable position to be in? Nah, didn’t think so. When our children are straying, we don’t really care what we have to do to get them to listen to us.

I’ve been slowed down through all this. I can no longer keep moving past the pain or I risk possibly never moving without pain or even minimal pain, ever again. This season in my life comes with much reflection on my past. The few short years ago when my faith was so strong, no opposition caused me pause. What is so different now?

If I truly desire the kind of relationship with God that I want, I’m going to have to face some demons, and deal with the hurt.

I am a person who asks lots of questions. Lot’s of whys. It is often misjudged as a challenge, but in truth, I’m a curious person by nature and am always searching to understand a thing as much as I can. What happens though, when you know the answer to the question “why,” but it still isn’t enough? I can tell you that. You become angry. I carry much sadness and anger over those few short months three years ago that seemed like an eternity. I look back and see myself leaning on God with all that I had because He was all I had to lean on. So I had no time to question, no time to think about the things He told me to do. I simply acted. Many prayers were answered. The entire situation redeemed, but at a cost. I hesitate now because the deep, internal pain suffered during that time is still very tangible to me, and I do all I can to avoid ever having to experience it again. But I know I’m going to have to. If I truly desire the kind of relationship with God that I want, I’m going to have to face some demons, and deal with the hurt.

So now, knowing He makes all things work together for the good, I wonder who my story is for in my future? Who is going to need the wisdom and experience I’ve gained through my struggle?

Is that why I’m here again? My broken facet, which was a portion of the cause of my chronic pain, happened just 8 short months after my first back surgery and at the tail end of those specific months that were so difficult. Did my Heavenly Father, in His infinite knowledge and wisdom allow it to keep me from rushing headlong out of the door of His house and into an even worse disaster? Did He slow my steps in order to bring me to a place where I would be still and listen? I’ll let you decide on what I’ve revealed already. 

What my head knows and is trying to convince my broken heart of is that I am of worth to my Father, and for whatever reason, I am worth His causing or allowing my pain, physical as well as internal, to keep me from bedding down with the pigs. So now, knowing He makes all things work together for the good, I wonder who my story is for in my future? Who is going to need the wisdom and experience I’ve gained through my struggle? Who will be put in my path to extend my hand to and pull up with love, compassion, and complete understanding? 

These days, most of the time I feel much like David so clearly did when he penned, “How long, Oh Lord?” in Psalm 13. I look back at the huge miracles that took place in those months. The beauty that came out of the ashes, and question myself. Why? Why, Angela, can you not fully give yourself over to the One who proves Himself faithful to you? Why? I have many answers, yet none really good enough. All I can say is that I’m doing my best and sometimes, not even my best, to walk this out. And in the meantime, I ask many questions. God, am I still of worth to you? Do you still think of me? Are your thoughts toward me indeed as the grains of sand? Am I included in Jeremiah 29:11 passage we so love to quote? Do you still love me, want me? 

Just yesterday morning, I was awakened by the sound of a cat fight outside my window at 3am. My dogs were sounding the alarm from inside. One of my cats gave birth to a kitten who is now only about 9 weeks old. I threw back the covers and lurched out of bed afraid for the kitten. Sure enough, by the time I made it to the door and got it opened, the instigator was gone and so was the kitten. My heart sank. Now saddled with the task of breaking that news to my son when he woke, I cried and cried. I searched for two hours as best I could in the dark with two flashlights. Nothing. I dared not give voice to the terribly selfish thoughts toward God going through my mind -as if He really had anything to do with a kitten being hauled to her death. It’s silly, really, but it was a big deal to me, and for many reasons. My thoughts sounded very much like an adolescent, ungrateful teen. When daylight came, I searched some more, with the kitten's mom following my every step in her own attempt. As I walked back inside and closed the door, I did give voice to one single thought, and it was this: “God, why can’t we just have a miracle here? Just this once…”

Fast forward through the day, errands, basketball practice, Kids' Church. I was spent by the time my son and I walked in the door at 8:00pm. My feelings were hurt, I was hurting, and I was so very tired. I went to get ready for bed, leaving my son to a couple of chores in the kitchen. As I sat on the edge of my bed, going through my nightly routine, I heard what sounded like the kitten’s meow. My head jerked up, and I stared at my bedroom door, listening hard. I finally decided my son made the noise, and was turning back to my nightly task when he walked through my bedroom door with the kitten in his arms, eyeballs as big as saucers, and a huge, silly grin on his face. His words to me as he placed her in my own arms were, “I don’t’ know Mom!!! I prayed to Jesus…!” Alive and well, not a scratch on her! Call me crazy, call me silly, call it whatever you want, but I choose to call it a miracle. I choose to believe that God let me know in a big way that I do matter, I am of worth to Him. He does think of me! 

So how do I end this? How do I wrap this all up in a pretty, big bow? I’ll give it a shot! I don’t know where this is leading, but I’m walking, albeit slowly, (literally and figuratively) but walking none the less. And I’m singing the entire way a song that keeps playing off and on in my mind. 


If I told you my story
You would hear Hope that wouldn't let go
And if I told you my story
You would hear Love that never gave up
And if I told you my story
You would hear Life, but it wasn't mine

If I should speak then let it be
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him

If I told you my story
You would hear victory over the enemy
And if I told you my story
You would hear freedom that was won for me
And if I told you my story
You would hear Life overcome the grave

If I should speak then let it be
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my savior all the day long
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my savior all the day long

For the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell
For the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him