It is Easter morning and I’m curling frizz, pinning up locks and smearing on lotion. My closet offers me nothing. The ruffled white skirt that feels like Easter and joy and sunshine sets at the wrong spot on my hips. The pain is lacing through my mid-section and I abandon it for the black one that rests up higher.
I slip into new shoes. The ones with the flowers. A bit of spring in my blackness.
I walk across the parking lot with a husband who whispers, “You’re lovely.” I bite my tongue to keep from retorting in frustration. I don’t feel lovely. I feel black and bloated and in pain. And I know that deep inside it isn’t him and it isn’t me. It’s not the black skirt or the lack of color or the frizzy hair that wouldn’t curl.
It’s the knowledge that instead of a baby, I am forming cysts. And the pain that I feel does nothing but offer discomfort. And it is Easter when I should be laughing and dancing because my God rose from the grave and conquered death but I am just angry that He’s not willing to conquer this death in me. And I’m feeling guilt at my anger. And I’m wondering if this battle will ever end.
We’re seated in the back and the Easter choir is singing and girls are walking through with their bright colored frocks and their fussy babies and I’m praying, God, I don’t want to be at this place. I don’t want to be angry and hurting. I just want wholeness. How do I find wholeness in pain?
He is quiet and I fight the urge to roll my eyes. Of course He’s quiet. Isn’t He always?
I flip open my church newsletter and read bits of news as the choir sings songs of glory. Near the end I see the article about Mexico.
I remember the testimony. The man who wanted to serve God overseas, who worked and learned Spanish and looked for an avenue to preach the gospel but nothing seemed to work. And I remember his voice breaking, “I couldn’t understand what God was doing. Why did he give me this desire if I couldn’t fulfill it?”
And how he surrendered. And how God said, “You’re not supposed to go because I’m bringing them to you.”
He looked around and saw them, from all over the Spanish-speaking world, coming into our community to work on farms. And now there is a church and Bible Studies and new Christians and light that is going back to their home towns. He went to Mexico last month to visit the new Church there, started by the men he led to Christ.
I read about a Mexican they met there who hadn’t accepted Jesus. This man who kept saying, “I know I need to change…” but wasn’t ready to take the step. He didn’t want to give up, to surrender, not quite yet. And I felt it, the indecision that pulled at him. The knowledge of what he should do and the lack of will-power to do it.
How many times have I looked at what God has called me to and fought it?
He has said, “Are you willing to never be a mother as you serve me?” And I fight it every step of the way. I know it is the only option, this surrender, but I don’t want to give up, not quite yet.
And I take a few steps, walk a little ways then turn back in fear.
But the words are shaking on the page and God is practically yelling to get my attention and I stare and blink.
Before leaving Mexico they were having a baptismal service. There in the water, they are receiving new Believers into the body of Christ and as they finish someone yells. They look and he’s coming. The one who couldn’t decide. He’s tearing off socks and rushing into the water, dragging them deeper, answering, “Yes, yes! I’m ready!”
My head bows and my tears drip and I’m humbled.
Quiet? God, quiet?
His voice is reverberating off walls and across nations. It’s echoing through the halls of my church from thousands of miles away.
Did you know that? Are you listening? He’s alive.
I want to tear off my flowered shoes and let my feet brush on holy ground. I want to dance in my black skirt. If there was water I would run into it. I want to go deeper.
This is my God. This is the King that I serve. The one that hears even the desperate whispers of my heart. The one who brings resurrection into my own little deaths. The one who asks for surrender, even through pain. The one who speaks so loud that even my closed ears can hear.
The God who lives.
“Of one thing I am perfectly sure: God's story never ends with 'ashes.” ― Elisabeth Elliot, These Strange Ashes
linking with A Holy Experience