Before the cancer diagnosis I was "launching" a speaking ministry. I cancelled a women's conference here in Florida and a speaking engagement in Maryland. Of course Andrew was our top priority for months. In the grieving, I questioned whether I had anything to say anymore. The prospect of standing before a group of people and saying ANYTHING felt very distasteful to me. I think part of it was my questioning as to why Andrew was not healed. (Of course he is 100% well in Heaven. Once you are in the presence of the Lord, no sickness exists for anyone!). I felt confused, hurt and let down. I kept thinking I have no answers! None. Only that Jesus is THE answer. And I don't need a microphone or a podium to tell someone that.
From the day in August when we got the results of the biopsy and on through the month of December, I cannot tell you how many times I heard from family and friends how my "ministry" was going to be "even greater."
I would nod politely (at first) but then it all just got on my last nerve! I wanted to shout, "Seriously! Do you think that I would trade the life of my son for a "ministry"?
Of course that is not what friends and family were implying but that's what this mother's heart heard. I even said on more than one occasion. "Jesus died so that others might be saved. My son doesn't have to!"
Perhaps you can, for just a moment, put yourself in my place and understand how all of that sounded to me. Often I find myself making some kind of retroactive deal with God. I think of what I would give up or what I would go through if none of this had happened. You see, it is a kind of relentless agony to wake up every morning and not see Andrew. I can't hear his voice any longer, except on video. I can't kiss him although I kiss his pictures. I can't see his smile except in photos. It's EXCRUCIATINGLY painful. When I am out and I see boys his age on skateboards, a knife goes through my heart. I see boys at church with his hair color and they are sitting with their families and I inwardly wince. For just a fleeting moment if you thought how your life would change if one minute your child was in your home and the next minute...NOT, I'm sure you would have a small taste of just how horrible that would be.
And some of you are in my place and you understand firsthand. And for that...I am sorry.
Back to the "mail."
In February and March I had a couple of inquiries as to whether I was available to speak again. I turned them down.
And then I found Andrew's Message in his Bible. And very slowly my heart began to soften. An inner flame flickered.
One of the ministry leaders I had turned down contacted me again. This time I said, "Yes."
I went back to God in prayer and very simply said, "If you open the doors, I'll walk through and I'll speak for you."
That's it. Where He leads, I'm willing to follow.
I remember very clearly one morning as I was running, I was talking to God and He placed a little seed in the soil of my spirit. From that a message was birthed. I can take you to the exact spot on that morning run where I began to cry and thank God that I could, once again, feel His rhema word fanning that flickering flame into a campfire.
Last week the mail incident reminded me of a scripture in Habakkuk.
"I will stand my watch
And set myself on the rampart,
And watch to see what He will say to me,
And what I will answer when I am corrected."
You see, this is the way I have been feeling for several months. "I'm here, God. What are you going to do with me now? I have nothing to give. Nothing to say. But I'm still here. And I'm not leaving. You're stuck with me because I'm sticking with you."
"Then the Lord answered me and said:
"Write the vision
And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time:
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it:
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry."
When I think back to my decision to start running again, I truly believe it was a desire planted by God. His word tells us in Psalm 37:4:
"Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart."
A few years ago I was preparing a Bible study and in my research I found that the word "delight" (Strong's #6026) is from the Hebrew root word anag (aw-nag') meaning "pliable." To be pliable is to be malleable, to be softened to the things of God.
When the desire to run again came back, I had a purpose in the running ~ to carry Andrew's Message. And I did that, literally, in the Iron Girl 5k. I wrote it on tablets (posters). I made it plain so that as I ran, other runners could read it. I made it plain so that as I stood at the finish line and those running in the 15k passed by, they could read it as they ran. I made it plain so that the crowd around me could read it.
God sent His Message by way of His Messenger. It hasn't made it to some due to negligence. It was supposed to be delivered but on the way it was dropped.
I'm going to pick it up and make sure it gets to its intended recipient.
I'll help deliver the mail, will you?