Think vertical, and your actions aligned with truth.
Truth supersedes what we can see with our naked eye. I was in a car accident last Saturday. A gentleman in a truck ran a stop sign and I t-boned the front drivers-side fender of his car going 55 miles per hour. I threw out my arm to prevent my dog Meg from going from the back seat through the windshield.
Miraculously, she's fine. An even greater miracle, the driver of the truck is fine. I sustained a broken elbow and soft tissue damage to my shoulder, but when I consider the physics of what could have happened, I'm blessed.
In the 24 hours after the accident I was doing pretty good at keeping my thoughts vertical and my actions aligned with truth. God is still good. I was in pain but thanking him to be alive. My car was totaled, but I'm thankful I was in a car sturdy enough to sustain such a hit. Thanking Him for protecting Meg and me. Five hours after the accident I had my right arm in a sling and my left raised in worship at church. I wasn't about to let the enemy steal my praise - I'd rather let the song from my lips kick him in the teeth.
Not today, Devil!
Thirty-six hours later, my eyes began to drift from Him, from truth and love, to the waves and it started with simple thoughts...
"The police officer who wrote down our information put my insurance policy number under both of our names. Now I need to track down that man's insurance policy - assuming he has one. What if he doesn't have insurance?"
"The ambulance ride to the hospital was incredibly expensive."
"I need to start asking for help because I cannot wash my own dishes or tie back my hair... I can't even pull on my own socks. Why do I have to be RIGHT-handed? Why did it have to be my right elbow that broke? Why does EVERYTHING have to be connected to the elbow?"
"I can't type... how the heck am I supposed to write? Is God telling me He doesn't want me writing anymore? Why does the enemy have to have such perfect aim?"
"I might need surgery, which will only prolong my inability to do anything and everything I care about. How can I do my job as an office administrator if I can't put my hand to a keyboard or hold a pen in my dominant hand? What if I can't pay my bills? What if I lose my house?"
"Wait... I can't ride horses? I've been waiting all summer to ride with my friends during the most beautiful time of year... I can't ride at all? Will they still want to hang out with me if I can't join them?"
"I am so alone."
It doesn't take much before fear takes root and suddenly spirals a vertical thought process into the ground like a plane crash. Last night I reflected on everything else that was happening outside of the effects of the car crash and realized - circumstantially my life is one hot heaping mess of loneliness and suck.
But: God is still God.
Even in the mess of loneliness and suck I see Him working and have both spoken and written down - in a shaky left-handed scrawl - things I'm grateful for that He's been doing on my behalf this week. I see it. I know it and rejoice, while my heart curls into the fetal position of self-protection.
Last night a friend lovingly reminded me that while God didn't make any of this happen, He's allowed me to be here in this state of spending a lot of time alone for a reason and that it's building toward something in particular. Even though I knew she was right, it's not what my heart wanted to hear.
I think every woman, regardless of her age and accomplishments, has a little girl inside of her that wants to crawl into someone's lap when they're scared and hurt and just be held while they cry. Not to condone helplessness, but to comfort.
As the days passed and the physiological shock of my accident dissipated, the reality of my condition sank in. My thoughts spiraled and my heart plummeted. My fear increased and my longing for nurturing and connection surged.
God was right there with me. Nothing about Him changed and I knew it. I knew the truth the same way I knew gravity held me to the earth. So why on earth was my heart suffering so much?
We're not meant to be alone. So what happens when we're in vulnerable places emotionally isolated? We're not supposed to do life alone, so what happens when crisis and tragedy hit and that's exactly where we are? How do we reconcile this notion that a relationship with Jesus fulfills every need, and yet God designed us to be in relationship with one another to reflect His relationship with the church?
I can't say I have the answers to these hard questions. However, today as I listened to a sermon by Dan Mohler about living in love, I was struck with an invitation from God.
"Will you spend time with me? Not for what you can do for me, but for what you can receive from me. Will you press into me? Will you let me show you how I meet every need without compromising my design for you to love one another? I just want to spend time with you, Beloved. I want to give you something."
What could be gained from concentrated time in the Word and prayer, alone in my house with no distractions or numbing agents? What could the Lord do in a heart flayed open for Him to examine for hours? What change could happen? What gifts bestowed? What wisdom planted and watered by the Teacher himself in such hours?
More than anything, I struggle receiving from my Father. Apart from the most basic of needs, it is a very difficult thing for me to grasp how wide and broad and deep is His love for me that because He's already given His son there is nothing He won't withhold from me. To think He'd want to spend weeks with me in the silence, to hear my heart and share His for me and the rest of His children is staggering.
And yet it's His word. It's truth.
I share this as a challenge. Perhaps you find yourself in the middle of something, in a holding pattern, waiting for God to move or for man to get a clue. Perhaps you're at the mercy of someone else's timeline and wondering what to do with the time between now and then.
I invite you to spend time with the Father. What about Him challenges you? Dig into the Word to see what He says about that part of Himself. Press in. Go on a walk in the woods and marvel at the colors he's painting this time of year.
I don't believe that invitation I received from God was for me alone. I believe He's asking that of every one of His children.
What will you say to Him?