falling apart.


Sometimes I take dramatic pictures of myself. Call me crazy. I’m an actor. This summer I was alone down on the dock in Texas preparing emotionally to play the role of Riva. I was feeling the weight of the pain she was going through, and the weight of the pain of the world (the metaphor for Riva’s bleeding hands) and our desperate need for healing.

Right now, I feel a little like this snapshot. I need healing. Physically. For my tooth, for my back, for my stomach.

I’m having surgery next Thursday on my front dental implant. Apparently when they placed it, cement seeped out and into my gum. For the past twelve years no doctor has seen it on an x-ray until this past month. It’s caused gum recession, bone loss, infection and irritation.

I’ve also been on a journey of trying to find the right doctors and healing for chronic back and stomach pain, never sure which doctors to trust. Recently I read that gum disease can cause intestinal inflammation. I wonder if the root of all of this chronic pain has been caused by the latent gum issue nobody knew about.

Needless to say, it’s been a long and confusing twelve years. Needless to say, there have been times I’ve felt lost in the abyss of the unknown. Needless to say, I’ve found myself feeling as if I’m falling apart.

“I don’t know how long this will last; I’m praying for the pain to pass.” – Josh Wilson, Fall Apart
I’ll be honest: Sometimes I want to give up. Sometimes it all seems a bit too much. Sometimes the last thing I want to do is come to God with my pain, frustration, exhaustion, and overwhelm. But sometimes when I am at my lowest is when I experience God the most. Sunday night I was at a panel discussion after a screening of McFarland USA, and Rebecca Morgan said something so profound that she had heard somewhere:
“Your pain is fertile soil.”

Oh, how I pray that is true in my life. I pray my physical and emotional pain is fertile soil – a place where the Lord can meet me in the dirt, churn me up, stir my Spirit, infuse me with nutrients, with the richness of His love and grace. How I pray He would work all things – these hard things, these painful things – for the good of His Kingdom in my life… that the words of Romans 8:28 would be true – in my life and in yours.

Have you found yourself in a painful season? Have you felt like you might fall apart?

In recent months I have found myself on my knees offering up empty hands of faith to God, feeling as if I have nothing left to give, nothing left to offer but a broken yet faithful heart. And then the truth of these words floods my mind with hope:

“Though outwardly we are wasting away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” – 2 Corinthians 4:16

If I’m completely honest, sometimes I ask God what He wants from me – as if He’s some vindictive God who’s taunting me with false hope of healing. As if He is withholding something from me that I so desperately desire and so fervently seek. But I know those are merely lies Satan wants me to believe.

I think the truth is that God wants me – in the midst of the pain – to desperately desire and fervently seek Him.

I woke up the other day and felt Him tell me, “you will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart.” So I opened my Bible to where I had left off. And sure enough He spoke to me, reassured me, comforted me. The words of the passage were exactly what I needed to hear.

And then as I put on my headphones and went for a walk as the sun rose over Palm trees, I heard from Him through the lyrics by Brandon Heath:

“He’s not finished with me yet.”
I pray for myself and for you – in whatever difficult season you may be in – that when we find ourselves falling apart that that’s where we would find Jesus – waiting for us, walking beside us, and never withholding his great love for us.
“I find you when I fall apart.” – Josh Wilson, Fall Apart

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