Sit here on the bed with me for one second. I wake up tired on days we go to the doctor and I need a moment to pray, stretch out my back, and stretch out my faith.
I keep thinking about the last time we were here, just two weeks ago. I sat in the exam room with Brad, surrounded by acupuncture charts and meridian maps. The doctor’s bookcase has a slight lean to the right where he’s stacked thick binders of notes from research conferences. On the desk is bottle after bottle of herbs and tinctures. It’s a place with a lot to see.
We sat there, listening to the doctor talk about how Brad might need another oral surgery, when a weird thing happened. I kept listening and taking notes but part of my mind snapped into observing the three of us in the room, looking at us the way a stranger would.
And my mind said go. Grab Brad and run. Get in the car and drive and drive, leaving that very ill man and very scared girl behind.
The time keeps adding up. Five years together, five years of Brad in constant pain. Almost four years married, at least three since we started changing our diet, almost two since he tested positive for Lyme. Even so, it still sometimes feels like this life is happening to strangers. It hasn’t really taken five years of our life, has it? We’re not really the ones going through this, are we? But we are, and the longer it takes to have a breakthrough, the stronger my gut reaction is to take Brad and find someplace to hide where pain and fear and doubt can’t touch us.
Because guys, I’m just a girl. I don’t have superpowers of faith. I don’t feel like a conqueror. My eyes aren’t always clear and focused on our Savior. When we’re in bed and Brad is already halfway to sleep, I put my arm around him and can almost feel the pain vibrating off his body. So I’m not a saint. I’m a heartbroken and scared wife.
If I cling to the Lord, it’s because I’m dead desperate. If I pray and pray and pray, it’s because I need Him. If I doggedly read the Bible and wrestle truth out of every verse, it’s because I can’t live without it. If I feel happiness and peace knowing how much God loves us, it’s because I’ve begged for it.
Right now I feel like Eustace when Aslan claws his dragon scales off. This struggle between faith and feeling must mean layer after layer of self-reliance, doubt, weakness, and pride is being ripped away from me. So yes, I feel wounded. And yes, I feel naked, raw, and vulnerable. But I know the lion’s claws are really the loving hands of my sacrificial Savior tearing away what’s not pleasing to Him and clothing me with righteousness in its place.
Pray for us, because the ripping off doesn’t feel any better for knowing what it is.