Tuesday, April 17, 2007

When your faith is tested


When all that you have long held to be TRUE is no longer working.

Or: "A frank talk is good soap for the hearts." Arabian Proverb

In the midst of all the news of the tragic massacre on the campus of Virginia Tech, I have tried to keep perspective as we deal with our own chaos with our son. I keep trying. I keep praying for the victims and students, families and friends, who have suffered such a tremendous loss.

"To you, O Lord, I call." Joel 1:19

I truly wanted to post a Tackle it Tuesday or Tuesday Trivia....something light and fun.....for it always brightens my day. Still, upon waking this morning and finding my grown son pacing in the kitchen, it is highly unusual that he had come home in the middle of the night to sleep in our guest bedroom--my radar went wild. Our son is in the middle of yet another manic attack. Our suspicions are only fortified by his unusal behavior, that he may be coming down from a drug use. The confrontation that ensued did not lead to answers to our questions or a sense of honest communication. Instead we are left with our emotional hands tied and our son's confusion heightened and out of control.

As he left our home, the same home that once held his heart safely in its walls, we mourn the loss of yet another piece of our son. The help that we offer may be harming him. The love that compells us to remain in his life may only be destroying our relationship. How can this be? How can loving someone destroy them?

As I looked at my 6'4" son this morning, I desperately sought to see any remnant of the precious little boy that I gave birth to. His heart is hurting, my maternal instincts are firing--yet, the help that I offer only provokes anger.

As he left, with the closing of the front door, I felt a slamming of my faith's porthole. Can I be very honest? I am struggling to find the TRUTH in any of this. That is what the enemy does--he stalks and preys. He is stalking my son and preying on my faith.

Mark 9:24: "Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"

Exclaimed! I appreciate this word this morning. This is my exclamation as I wander through my morning. "Help me overcome my unbelief!" How beautiful is our God that even when we doubt Him, He remains with us. Although this loving of a prodigal has been a decade long journey for us, one truth that remains evident--He continues to love us and work in our lives.

"Turn, O LORD, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love." Psalm 6:4

I find that I am challenged this morning; challenged to stretch my fading faith to another level. At the risk of having a post that is too long for interest, I want to share with you a passage from a book I keep at my nightstand: From After the Locusts by Jan Coleman. After enduring a tragic loss, the author writes:

"She had no more strength left to believe. She had fought with everything in her and had lost. [...] Later, in the darkness of her bedroom, curtains drawn against the cold drizzle, she realized, "My hope was lost, replaced with shattered dreams." Lord, she prayed, are You there? I need You to speak to me, if You want me to continue in my hope. Please show me what to do.

That evening in church the pastor's thundering voice dropped to a low rumble. "Have you lost hope? God wants you to look up. He is with you and will restore your hope in Him."

"I was stunned. The message was too immediate to be a coincidence. Maybe God is with me, I reasoned."

Linda began to see that she had missed God's truth by placing her faith, not in Him, but in herself. "I had spent all my energy trying to have faith in faith! I had been held captive by trusting myself instead of trusting God."

In the stillness of the garage that night, she turned off the engine of the car, laid her head against the steering wheel, and prayed, Lord, I transfer all my faith from myself to You. "In my mind's eye, I could see Jesus' loving face as I handed Him back the limp body of my daughter. Lord, she is yours. I am going to trust you with her future. My faith in you no longer depends on her healing."

"Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love." Joel 2:13

OR: When all that you have long held to be true is no longer working: seek HIS TRUTH!

Worthy of any Tackle it Tuesday......isn't it!?


Dawn said...

Wow. That's all I know to say. Satan is attacking on every hand. He seems to have free reign right now. I know Who holds tomorrow, and Who holds our hands, but it is difficult in the fire. I am praying for you, Curt, and Gordy. And for your other two kids. As I know you are praying for us!

Linda said...

At a time in my life when I was so devasted I couldn't even pray, others prayed for me. I'm going to be praying for you.
I loved the passage you quoted. I think there comes a time in our relationship with the Lord when He asks "Do you love me enought to trust me?" At least, that is the question that burned its way into my heart. The most difficult thing I have ever had to do is release those most precious to me into His hands and then simply trust.
I don't really know what that will mean in your situation. I only know that God truly is there - even when He seems so distant we can't begin to see Him.
I don't want to sound glib. I know how it can hurt to have someone just speak in platitudes when your heart is breaking. I just want to share my heart and tell you that even when your worst nightmare comes true - He is there. I know it's true. I have lived it.

Diane said...

Linda...and Dawn--

I can not begin to tell you how much your prayers mean to me...and my family. There is nothing 'glib' at all....about knowing that you are covered in prayer....and hear the stories of those that have walked in my exact 'shoes.' It is not glib--it is God--at work! Thank you!


groovyoldlady said...

Diane, I keep picturing your son pacing in MY kitchen. Bonehead paces when he's agitated.

We can't be the Holy Spirit for our kids. We HAVE to give them over to His mercy and to His discipline. It's not fun, but it's good.

Barb said...

The best Tackle It Tuesday I've ever seen. By far.

This is gut wrenching, Diane. I'm praying.

Kelly Klepfer said...

Ah, Sister.

I so wanted to post something light-hearted today, too.

I feel the burden in your words. Your pain. I've been so low before - been so without faith that I hoped for something from Him to let me know He hadn't given up on me.

Then I was reminded of the day He began to preach tough things - things about making decisions and truly following Him, and the crowds left. He asked His disciples if they would leave Him, too. One of them, I think Peter the denier,answered "where else can we go, You have the words of life."

That keeps me from going totally into faithlessness, the same question. I haven't found any other source of words of life.

Melzie said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog. I love yours (who is singing on the sidebar? Nice!) I am sorry you are in the valley right now..as one who has been there done that you will be in my prayers. xoxo melzie

amy said...

What an honest post and consider me another prater partner..Thanks for visiting my blog

C. H. Green said...

Hugs...Somebody will make it. Might as well be us!

Sista Cala said...

Yes Diane you have tackled Tuesday. You will tackle Wed, Thur,Fri,Sat, Sun, Mon, and Tues again. How do I know this? I know it because even in the midst of the worst, you always post about the BEST. The enemy may be trying to wear you down, but he can not prevail against the One who lives inside you. You and yours are in my prayers.

Nadine said...

Lord I pray right now that your build Diane's faith and strengthen her. Give her Your peace. I pray Lord that you bring her son unto Yourself. I will continue to hold you up in prayer.

Susan said...

Diane. Your post today was the first of your blog that I have read. You quoted my favorite scripture. Truly my favorite cry: "Help Me Overcome My Unbelief"! Lifting you and your son up.

Pearls of Wisdom said...

Dearest Diane,

I am so sorry for what you are going through with your son. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your whole family. I will continue to lift you in my prayers throughout the day my sister in Christ.

In his endless love,
Angel Mama

By the grace of God ... said...

As I sit here with tears streaming down my face ... I had to thank God for an answer to a prayer I just prayed about 2 hours ago. I left work to walk ... I like to get out and usually spend the time praying ... I had been praying for my son and was feeling at a total loss ... and told the Lord what to I do? Where do I go next? You visited my blog today and then I had to read about your son. The answers were in this post ... thank you so much! I'll be praying for YOU and YOUR son. Blessings and Hugs!!!!

AuburnGalAlways said...

Thank you for visiting my blog earlier today. I appreciate the comments.

And thank you for your candid post. My children are still small, 6 years and 3 months, so I'm not yet having to deal with much more than simple disobedience and a smart mouth. I pray for you as you deal with the challenges surrounding your son's life.

I also feel the enemy's attacks. I have turned my back on my relationship with God so that I don't have to deal with certain habits and poor choices. It is causing problems in my marriage and simply must end. It is quite painful to admit this about myself and take each step to make the necessary changes.

Your post inspires me to do better and seek out God through His Word.

Again, thank you.

Looney Mom said...

I just read all the way down your blog at the last week's posts; wow! Very honest and inspiring.

I'm sorry that you are going through this with your son. I know how much it hurts to see your children make poor choices. I can also relate to the back pain. I've been there for just 3 months but it has been the longest 3 months of my life. My heart breaks for both of you.

I'm glad that you were able to see past the depression. As a manic depressive I find it difficult to really get out of the hole and PRESS ON! Thanks for that. God bless you and your family. I pray that your prodigal will return.

Cheryl said...

I could hear your heart as I read this post. I can't imagine that when my little ones grow up the may break my heart with decisions they make and my helplessness in it. I hope that people will come along and pray with me, lift my arms when they get too tired and believe when I lose faith.

2nd Corinthians 13 reminds us that what is seen is temporal and what is unseen is of eternal worth. In that unseen place is precisely where our God is working. We will only see a dim reflection now but one day - praise God!! - we will see the finished work of the Father's hands. Hold on to what you have prayed for - we believe with you that God's finished work is coming.!

He loves you dearly and He hears every prayer you breath. Not a tear falls that he doesn't see.

Perri said...

Diane, I'm so sorry this battle against satan continues so fierecly for your family.

You are in my prayers.