Today has been a day of highs and lows. Sundays are precious, busy, stressful and yet wonderful in so many ways! Most will know what I mean by that - but today has been one of truly awesome highs, moments of stress, times of exhaustion, precious times with God and then real depths - all in one single day!
As I start this it is nearly 11.30pm - for a 'school night' this is so late for me but I can't sleep and have spent the last few hours crying (yet again!) So what about today then?
This morning was a precious time of worship - it started in the Word this morning when I was in Kings and reading about the whole Hezekiah thing when the enemies were saying to the people of the Lord, that God wouldn't save them and that they were going to lose blah blah etc etc and then God did something outside of the 'human plan or concept of what could happen' and sent the angel of the Lord who killed like 185,000 people in one night or something like that (2 Kings 18 & 19) - I was struck again how God is not bound by what people say, think or expect. Then after my time in the Word I had a shower and I don't know if I am like anyone else but my most intimate times of worship in song are in the shower! This morning I sung the same song over and over normally I will jump from song to song as I praise but this morning it was the same song 'Jesus, Jesus, Holy and Anointed One' - the chorus goes on to say 'Your name is like honey on my lips, your Spirit like water to my soul.........' there was more than physical water this morning and I felt a precious touch from God as I worshipped! Then at Church before the praise team practised and as we prayed together again I felt such a touch from God, then as we went through the songs for the morning I just felt God was so close, then in the worship - WOW! The Holy Spirit came and there was such an outpouring - different folks prayed stuff out that was just SO spot on.
Then I was with the children so missed the sermon - it was really stressful!!!! Some of the children are just so out of control and I found it so hard because they are so lovely and each one so special, one in the group is the sort of age that our child would be if ..... well you know. Anyway it was REALLY tough going and come the end of the service I was just SO relieved but had to dash to check my hubby was ok with serving tea and then needed to sort music etc etc. To my relief I got in the car and turned on some sounds! Got home had lunch, watched some rugby - Malcolm had a headache so at half time went to bed and I watched the second half in bed as he slept - France won, then I fell asleep - woke at 6.20pm with a start and shoved on some clothes brushed hair and dashed to Church leaving a dazed hubby with headache in bed. I really wanted to be there tonight - felt this morning I missed out not hearing the Word preached. Tonight I was reminded in the worship of how mighty God is and that too often I don't seem Him as All-mighty and All-powerful - I need a bigger vision of God - was encouraged in the brief worship that I was there for, then the preached Word was awesome - Psalm 23 and just the single line 'The Lord is my shepherd'. The Lansdowne website should have it up soon http://lans.strikinglysimple.co.uk/4wright.php?chinnor=Sermons/Talks&harper=1448&laura=15&emphas=&preview=&bounce=no if you want to hear it.
Anyway got in the car to come home dropping a couple of people at different places on the way home, got out of the car and spoke to a lovely couple from the street - they are moving soon so want to get them round for a meal before they go although they will only be moving locally I think - note to self remember to sort a date with them! I hardly know them and he recently had a stroke (reason for move) but it was a timely conversation. Walked in the door - got a headache and just felt real turmoil no peace at all - told Malcolm.
Headed to bed at 10.15ish. Mal and I prayed together and unusually I felt that I should pray again about having kids - I don't do this as often as perhaps I should because it upsets me so much and afterwards I just cried and cried - there are simply no words this evening to describe how much I hurt (pause to reach for another tissue........) Malcolm said that he thought I needed to cry - he sees it before I do now I think. I am not even sure how to pray anymore in some senses, all I know is that the ache is so real and I don't see any end to it. Last Wednesday I had a picture or a dream - whatever you might call it, eventually tonight I shared it with Malcolm I won't post here what it was as that isn't appropriate but I must admit things are hard. I tossed and turned in bed almost crying at every turn - trying not to wake my exhausted husband and eventually have given in and got up!
What changed today I wonder - it started precious, it had tough moments, it even ended precious but this evening I feel afresh despair and hurt; but yet God is still my shepherd - I am His and He is mine - I heard it today, I know it but at the same time there is an ache and a void that I carry at the same time. I even asked myself if it is possible to feel despair and yet trust God at the same time and honestly I have to answer 'yes' - does that sound crazy to all the theologians>!>?!?!? Don't get me wrong I trust God 100%, I love Him, I accept all the wonderful things that He says but at the same time there is an ache that doesn't know healing and a pain that few can grasp. The battle now is to take the tears and not ignore them but to pour them out as an offering as sacrifical worship - in the midst of the tears to look to God and say 'I love you anyway' and to hear His reply of 'I love you anyway' - it goes both ways as I was reminded by the preacher this evening.
There are questions rattling around my brain tonight and some of them I need to ask and find answers to, others I need to have courage to lay down and to leave at the foot of the cross. Perhaps the highs and lows of today have been from one extreme to the other but I must not forget that my God is mighty, that He (and only He) is the giver of life, that He is bigger than my pain and that He has stored my tears - which feel more like a river rather than something that can ever be bottled tonight.
I am reminded of that Tim Hughes song:-
(Not sure if this will work as I haven't worked out how to incorporate a You Tube into a post)
If it doesn't work go to youtube and search on Tim Hughes and click on 'when silence falls'
I must head to bed now as I have a full on day at work tomorrow but in returning to bed I will remember that the Lord God Almighty is my friend and on my side even in the depths of tonight. I will also ask Him to be my strength, my peace, my tower of refuge and strength but have to admit that it all still hurts!