September 3, 2009

oh, how he loves us

it has been a long time since i've posted on my blog. i've been busy. busy drowning in an ice cold river. this river is filled with doubt, anger, fear, and self-pity to name a few. the cold is not the least bit refreshing, but rather paralyzing. it leaves me disoriented, numb, and struggling to catch my breath.

i'm not sure when i fell in, or how i'll pull myself out. i'm battered and bruised from slamming into one rock after another, each one causing enough pain to break through the numbness and remind of the reality of the situation.

fortunately, i have some life preservers. they come in the form of my friends and family. i have many encouragers standing on the bank of my river, cheering me on and praying for my safety. there are also some who are as close to the rapids as possible, allowing themselves to be cut and bruised, while reaching into the icy cold to try and pull me out. i am sometimes able to grab on to them and get a break from the beating, but the current is too strong for me to remain.

still, there are a select few who do all they can to save me from this, and who would willingly trade places with me if they could. of course, i would never let them, but they will never know how much it has meant to me to have such overwhelming help and hope and love to remind me to keep breathing and fight for the future.

when i awoke this morning at 2:00 am, engulfed in the raging chill of the river and feeling the weight of the water on my chest, i was afraid this would not be a good day. certainly- some days are better than others, but i had a feeling this day would bring no relief. i thought about my life preservers, but even the most dedicated would be sleeping at this hour, and i know that none of them has the ability to actually pull me out of this place.

so i began to pray to the one person who is big enough to calm the water, dry it up, or pluck me out, if he so desires. and something miraculous happened. i began to smell salt in the air, and feel a warm breeze pushing through the oppressive clouds. ever since i was a child, the smell of the salty ocean has been as instantly calming as a valium for my soul.

as i drew nearer to my savior, the raging rapids became the slow, lulling waves of an enormous new body of water. i felt myself begin to relax as the water temperature increased and warmed me from the outside in, and there was no more need to struggle. i was peacefully surrounded by the real, living ocean of god's love. my breath came effortlessly as he held me in his hand, and i was able to glimpse the beauty and glory of the dawn breaking way off in the distance. i could sense that sunrise would be majestic, and i know now that it is coming for me.

i know the "new day" may be a long way off, but for now i will wait here and try to be patient. will there be moments where i once again experience the fear of the icy abyss? without a doubt. but i pray that in the pain of those times, i can remember the calm of my ocean, and the faithfulness of my god. my prayer for you is that even if your day begins in with you drowning in a raging river, it will end with you sinking in the ocean of jesus's unconditional, lavish love.

maybe this song will help us all grasp that.


Strange family said...

Mandy, I love you and am praying for you! God brings you to mind often and I pray for you when He does. In the midst of your raging river, God has spoken through you to my heart. Thanks for being real and honest.

Lacy said...

Mandy - That was an amazing post! I am glad that you felt the Lord's peace at the end of the day, and know that he will continue to bring you that peace when the icy river takes you in again. I love you and am praying for you. We need to get together soon!

Melissa said...

This life preserver will pray with you at 2am. My thoughts go to you all the time. Txt anytime sweet didi, day or night. This will be made beautiful. Keep holding onto his promises.

Jill said...

You are such a great writer!! I am sitting here crying with you again my sweet friend. I know that your life is an amazing testimony and you may never know just how you have witnessed to and inspired. Just hang on tight! I love you!

Tiffany said...

WOW! That was amazing to read. You are in my thoughts so often and it was sooooo great to spend some time with you. I look forward to hugging your neck again soon.

sarita said...

Oh Mandy, you made me cry with your post. How beautiful hope is! I'll keep praying that God will keep rescuing you in his warm ocean of peace - I know that he will!