How Long


I believe in sharing the raw and ugly. I believe doing so is the only way to find purpose for our pain, and finding a reason for your hurt is the best salve for the wounds. David said, “For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long…” When I read that I felt like he took the words right out of my heart.

I am grateful to have received a beautiful text from a beautiful soul. Susie Sidebottom embraced the vulnerable and exposed the raw and ugly. I pray it was soothing to the wounds.

You can imagine my joy when she agreed to write a guest post. It was a testimony that stirred my heart. I had a feeling it would yours too.

**************************************************************

This week, while doing my studies of the Psalms, I was consistently drawn to the thirteenth Psalm. In this Psalm, David was praying for relief from despair. Within the first two verses, David asked “How long?” four times.

“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?” ​​​​​​​Psalm 13:1-2 ESV

Ten years of marriage to my soul-mate, and I can promise you that I have asked “How Long” more than just four times. How long until we have a baby? How long do I have to work a job where I am unappreciated? How long until I am the number one priority? How long until we aren’t in a financial upheaval? How long are we going to be just the two of us? How long will this pregnancy last? How long will this test or trial last? How long until God finds and shows favor in me? These are just a few examples of the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of times that I have asked “How Long?”. Confession – the last of my thoughts are thanking God and rejoicing in Him and his salvation at those moments when I am asking that question. In reading the thirteenth Psalm, that is exactly what David did at the end of that prayer.
“But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.”​​​​​​​Psalm 13: 5-6 ESV

I can say that in the last couple of years I have been able to find greater peace because I have been able to let go and let God. These last two years, I have been trying to focus more on being thankful for everything that God has afforded me. Admittedly, David made me chuckle with the sixth verse, because it is inherently true. God has dealt bountifully with me.

God knows exactly the right timing for everything in our lives. He is the master designer of our stories. Looking back on my life, and the trials within, I can understand the answer to some of my “How long?” questions. God answered by showing me that He has the perfect plan and that His timing is impeccable.

It was easy to find great solace in reading this Psalm, because the great King David felt the way that I do and have in the past. David sets an excellent example and reminder that it is okay to ask of our God “How Long?”, but we also need to remember that He is the great provider, and we need to be thankful for everything that He has already done for us. Remember, He has dealt bountifully with us. That is quite a job on most days.image

So I Sing


I called her a burn scraper.  Yeah. I’ve never been great with conversations.  That explains why that was my intro into telling her how through asking hard things of me, she was helping me to heal.

See, when I woke up in recovery I knew in my heart I’d never be the same. (Funny they should name it that, because I wasn’t recovering.)  The doctors and nurses played it all off, but I knew.  Gasping for air and unable to tell anyone why or what or how I was feeling.  Strip a persons voice from them and they’ll be at your mercy.  Whatever you or any other well meaning people want to say they need, are, want, feel… That becomes their new identity or prison.

My sister said that after Granny had her stroke, she felt trapped in her own body. That’s accurate.

You know what Satan says about your gifts? “You aren’t very good, and you certainly aren’t as good as_____. Just sing in the car; God hears you there and it’s for Him anyway.” Lose your gift and you know what he says? “Well you blew that. You didn’t use it and now you’ve got nothing to give God.  You aren’t useful to Him now.”

So when someone strokes your arm and tells you the doctors say she’s only got 18 months at best, and she just wants to hear you sing. What can you say?  I’d like to tell you that I didn’t care; that there were several other people in the room or that I wasn’t weighing my options, but that’d be false.  I did know I didn’t have much, but I love her and what I had was enough for her so she could have it.

So I sang.

Then there was the time we were setting in the foyer after service talking. That same bald head wrapped in what the best I could tell was a turban of glory ask me to do it again. Yeah, that isn’t awkward. Just bust into song. Right there. As if I’m worthy of hosting some concert, and these people have nothing better to do than be my groupies.

So I sang.

Then that time after Satan lost and she had a silver crown of curly hair as a trophy to prove it. She came to the seat behind me cupped a shoulder in each hand and ask me to stand and sing. In the second pew from the front, in front of everyone, I found my feet.

And I sang.

She had the guts to obey God and scrape at the raw places. Because if cancer taught her anything it was that to really recover you had to endure. And if cancer made her anything it made her strong enough and brave enough to do the painfully pious.

I stood there with my back to the crowd and laid it all out. The little 10% of the one vocal cord that works; sang.  This time I realized I wasn’t singing for Becky or because of cancer or for the ability to avoid regrets over not granting her a dying wish.  I didn’t have much but I love Him and what I had was enough for Him so He could have it.  And He did want it; like He wants the widow’s mites. It isn’t much but it’s everything I have, and it’s what he wants, and He says it’s enough.

So yeah, funny that my right cord is completely paralyzed and I have 10% on the left because that’s all God ask of us. Our 10%.

So I sing.

Printable_5