I have not felt very glittery. This journey started for me about a year ago…August 2013. Immediately, I was filled overflowing with an unshakeable faith. I was a comfort to those around me, confidently declaring God’s promises to me. “I will be calling you with my good news.” Suddenly that was gone, and there I sat on my first day of treatment scared and completely void of any sense of God’s presence. I knew I couldn’t do this without him, yet my heart seemed to have very little interest in earnestly seeking him. But true to his word in 2 Timothy 2:13, he was faithful when I was not. He was there, showing himself in the Christian nurse who cared and comforted me with her testimony. He was there in the loving message from a friend, and the beautiful song he had her deliver to me. He was there, making me strong enough to do homework. Everywhere I looked, whether I could feel it or not, I saw evidence of his presence.
It reminded me of the closing verses of Jonah when he is so angry with God, and in response, God grows up a plant “to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort.” I know that the passage goes on and that God removes the plant the very next morning, but I have always seen such comfort and compassion in God’s action of growing up that plant over Jonah’s head. Such love. I feel like that’s where we are now. He knows the ache of my heart, and in response, he provides shelter and ease of my discomfort.
In the couple weeks since, I continue to struggle with what I label as a lack of faith. He may not offer words of contempt, yet I can’t help but feel like a disappointment to him. Everywhere I look I see women with shiny happy faces that scream courage and strength. What happened to mine? And am I truly weaker? Less faithful? Or could it be that I’m just a little more transparent? I began to ponder that more and more and am left with the question of why is it that we only show our best side? Yes, a testimony of strength and courage is empowering, but doesn’t the same hold true for one of tears? How are we supposed to know it’s ok to cry if we never see anyone else cry? How are we supposed to share the compassion of a tenderhearted Jesus if we never allow anyone to see him catch our tears in the palm of his hand? Maybe that which is gold, doesn’t always glitter…maybe it streaks like a tear.
The song he sent my way that evening was “More than Conquerors” by Rend Collective. He was planting an anthem in my resistant heart… growing up a plant to ease my discomfort.