Pronunciation Guide

Monday, April 22, 2013

Hope deferred, and a non-happy birthday

Well, the last few days have been a bit of a blur. [Yay for alliterations ha!] Long story short…I worked a bit, went to a healing seminar, my car died, my dad and husband put in a new fuel pump [thank you!!]…and now my car is back to normal.

I want to talk about the healing seminar. …Well, I’m not sure if I really want to talk about it, but I am going to.

I have had a constant headache for almost eight years; in that time, it has never gone away for even a minute. The intensity has fluctuated, but there is always some level of pain. I cannot pinpoint the day that it took hold and didn’t let go…but I know it was the spring/summer before I turned eighteen.

For those nearly-eight years, I have thought many different things about it…pursued many dead-ends in trying to relieve it. Among these attempts are numerous times where people have prayed for me, over me. The headache remains…and I’ve lately begun to see that maybe it isn’t supposed to go away.

But I went to this healing seminar because I told my friend[s] I would go. I didn’t want to go, not really. I am not really sure what I think about that kind of stuff; I totally believe that God can heal, does heal…has the power to heal. But I’ve seen it misused so many times, seen it distorted…had people tell me things that…it just…sigh. I am cynical, bottom line. I want proof --- and to me, honestly, proof is not just someone saying it. It isn’t enough for a stranger to say that they had cancer, and that God miraculously healed them two minutes ago as the speaker prayed. It isn’t even enough for them to take off their cast-boot-thing and say that their broken foot was healed. How do I know they weren’t faking it? That their foot was actually broken, and now is actually healed? I’ve never seen that person before in my life.

…So I told God ahead of time that if he wanted to heal me there…he’d have to make it utterly clear that the guy was talking to ME. Like, the speaker would have to know something about me and my situation that NO ONE but God would know; that way, I could believe that God was truly speaking to him about it, and that I wasn’t manipulating it.

Because I fully believe God can heal, in an instant. But I am tired of trying to manipulate things to be something that they are not. I am still reeling from doing that several years ago, and I am sick of it. And I am tired of getting my hopes up. I believed I could be healed, but I wanted to be sure that God was talking to me. …With me so far?

Anyway, so at this healing seminar, they never said anything --- not one thing --- about anyone with headaches, or a headache. But through a turn of events, I ended up having the main guy pray for/over me. Several times. …And…the headache did not go away. I felt nothing change, or diminish…or move…or anything. Nothing happened.

And though I had expected it…assumed it…to be honest, I was discouraged. I was disappointed. I was frustrated. I was angry that I’d let myself get my hopes up, even for just a split second…for I KNEW that I would not be healed. God has more or less brought me to the conclusion that, for right now, I am going to have the headache. Period. For me…this is what it is. Doesn’t matter who is praying, or how many other people around me are being healed…God has pretty much said that the headache will remain for now. So I knew I shouldn’t hope, shouldn’t think that it would happen for me. …But I did. And I am still mad at myself.

Because I’m tired of going through this. I’m tired of hoping, of letting my heart rise in tentative anticipation…only to be let down. Again. I don’t want to expect God to do something great, something miraculous, because if he doesn’t…then…I’ve just stepped off the stairs in the dark and missed the final step. And that is not a good feeling.

I live as a practical agnostic…believing that God will move in the lives of others [usually with very little effort on their part, grr], but preparing myself to fend for myself when he doesn’t move in my life. In my heart, my stance is essentially this: “God, I know you could do this…but I don’t really think you will. So I am just going to sort of go ahead as if you aren’t going to do anything. If you do come through, awesome. If you don’t, well…I already have plan B in place, so…”

…Out of one side of my mouth, I ask God to do the miraculous…but out of the other side, I whisper, “…But just in case you don’t, I’m going to act as if you aren’t. That way, if/when you don’t…I won’t be disappointed. I’ll be prepared. …I won’t lose my footing.”

And so I am suffering not from a headache that won’t go away…but from a spirit of disappointment…of disillusionment. …Of hope deferred.

…The bottom line is this, probably the most insidious thing Satan ever told me: …The lie that I will have to fight for myself, because no one else will. The lie that God does not have my back, that in my moment of greatest need…he, and everyone else, will abandon me to face the onslaught alone.

[I have a point to this, I promise. …I think.]

Yesterday was my main character’s birthday. No spoilers here. …Let’s just say her birthday was not a happy day for her. In fact, the first like…three and a half books of this story will not be happy for her. [Or…maybe…four… …There are only four books.] There will be moments of happiness…but there are many more moments of darkness, of despair…of hope deferred. Of her steeling herself to not hope, so she won’t be disappointed when life doesn’t work out for her. But she keeps hoping…and so she keeps enduring disappointment.

And yet, as her creator and author…I know how it all turns out. I see how it will fit together, even if she doesn’t see it yet. I know that it doesn’t end for her in the pits of despair, in that awful dungeon. It doesn’t end with her alone, in a field, with no one aware of her existence or demise. …I can put her through hell because I know that there is still life for her. A purpose. A purpose that will not only not discount what she has endured…but hinge on it. Use it. …Redeem it. …All of it.

…And so with this headache stuff…I don’t know…I just kind of feel like God is having me go through it for a reason. Not just going through the physical pain, but all of the emotional/spiritual stuff that accompanies it. In doing so…I am feeling what she will feel. I am living what she will live. I am going through what she goes through --- the struggle of disappointment, the pain of dashed hopes…the anguish of believing no one will have my back or fight for me.

If I am honestly going to take her [and other characters] through this journey of redemption, of hopelessness to hope…then I myself must live it. I must endure disillusionment and the struggle to hope…so that I can be genuine with her struggle. I must experience the darkness of night…in order to show the joy of seeing the dawn. Of seeing the stars coming out. Of seeing beauty after destruction…redemption of the seemingly irredeemable.

Of life after pain.
And hope after disappointment.


  1. I really hope that by the time you are going to write about her redemption and life after pain, that your headache will be healed, that YOU will be redeemed and given life after pain. I feel so bad for you and wish there really was something I could do to help!

  2. =) Thanks, Jake! I hope so too. We shall see!