Broken Hallelujah

The hospital called this morning with the details for my surgery next week.  Another.surgery.  Ugh.  I know God has led us to this and we have been prayed over by the elders for healing….for the third time.  While I don’t believe in luck…perhaps this is charm-?  Just as Paul asked of the Lord three times as he expressed in 2 Corinthians 12, we are hopeful for a physical YES! this time.  But…if I’m honest…I’m scared.

I feel like the last several weeks I have been barely keeping my head above water…surviving at best.  The weight upon my shoulders has pushed and threatened every moment to overtake me, but the Lord has not let me drown.  Sometimes I think it would be easier to just give up…but He won’t give up on me.  He just keeps giving.  Strength…hope…encouragement amidst the bleak mid-winter.  When I feel like I’ve let everyone else down the slightest compliment or gratitude for my weakest efforts keep me going.  The end of 2016 is one I will celebrate…and though the beginning of 2017 doesn’t seem to be a highlight…I’m hoping God proves me wrong.

This surgery signifies the seeming finality of my femininity…my womanhood…the last nail in the coffin to my youth and fertility…not to mention certain menopause at 36 years old…and it is heartbreaking.  It’s a feeling I never could have understood had I never walked this road.  Looking from the outside in…I’ve been given so much…why should this even bother me-?  I ask myself the same question.  But in the midst of this heart-wrenching fear…as unwarranted as it may be…it can be so hard to keep the faith.

This song has meant so much to me this difficult Christmas season as I’ve wrestled constant illness.  It seems impossible, but in the midst of pain and agony, I can be grateful and praise the Lord…and I am certainly not the first to experience it.  The Bible is full of stories of great heroes of the faith who, while not prefect, wrestled with life’s difficulties yet still praised the Lord.  The perfectionist in me wants to shame the fear and the pain as faith-less, but it is so real that I can’t ignore it.  To act as if its not real I think would be worse…and I know my Savior, whose birth we celebrate this season, understands.  Because sometimes I think…I know…there is no one else who possibly could.  It’s lonely and isolating.  But it brings me to Him, to which I am so grateful.

Things didn’t go as He would have chosen when He came to this terrestial ball as a baby that first Christmas as a human from glory.  But He was fully obedient to His Father’s will.  His sacrifice is one I will never fully understand.  When I look at what I face, I am filled with such hope when I think of what He went through for me…and because of it, this earthly pain and heartache isn’t all there is for me.  Because of Him I have so much more to look forward to…a life forever free of pain, sorrow, tears and illness.  It is truly beyond what I can imagine right now.  When I look at my scarred body…I immediately think of His…which He will have forever…because of me.

My hallelujah may be broken…but sometimes I think it might mean even more than one that comes from a place of mere happiness.  When I can praise with tears in my eyes…maybe that’s better than with a smile on my face?  When I can be grateful when things go wrong…and have joy not just when things go right…I do believe He is pleased.  It makes no human sense…and I think that’s a good thing.  I am celebrating an end to this year and I am grateful for all God has done…yet I am truly broken at the same time.  It is possible to be both.  And I look forward to 2017 and all that God has in store.

O God, have mercy on me,

But when I am afraid,
I will put my trust in you.

You keep track of all my sorrows.

You have collected all my tears in your bottle.

You have recorded each one in your book.

I praise God for what he has promised;
yes, I praise the Lord for what he has promised.

Psalm 56:1, 3, 8, 10

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