He is in the blood and death and pain.Apr 14, 2022
*I’ve seen people say “trigger warning” at the beginning of posts. That's probably appropriate here.
**Also, I wax a little poetic at times, so don’t get your panties in a bunch over word pictures. 😉
On one of our coaching calls this week we discussed processing traumatic events, like car accidents and sudden deaths and miscarriages. It seemed we’d all had at least a couple. I had had one 2 weeks ago so we were using that to explore the process.
2 weeks ago my husband and I woke at 3am to the sound of my middle son screaming my oldest son’s name over and over. My husband went in first and couldn’t rouse him from what appeared to be an extremely deep and snoring slumber. He told me to call 911. 10 minutes later 6 paramedics were standing in my kids' room. I first realized something was very wrong when one of them asked my son if he knew “that woman over there,” pointed at me and my son said, “no.”
He started to come back to me in the ambulance. He recognized me again and answered a few questions correctly. But then his head listed up and to the side, his mouth went slack, and he started seizing. I thought he was dying right there in front of me.
“Please help us Jesus. Please help us Jesus. Please help us Jesus.”
The paramedic was swift and competent and gave him a sedative that stopped the seizure before we arrived at the ER.
In the ER, while he was still out, they did a CT scan. It was fine. Blood work, mostly fine. As the sedative was wearing off but still gripping him, he screamed and flailed and tried to rip all of the lines out of his arms. My baby got tied to the hospital bed. He couldn’t wake up. He couldn’t sleep. He was stuck and screaming in some kind of pain and there was nothing I could do but hold his face and tell him, “Mom’s here. I’ve got you.”
Finally, he settled and slept. He woke as they wheeled him to a different room and was almost immediately back to his pre-teen, “I’m fine,” self. He wanted to know what his brothers were doing. He wondered if the tv in the room worked. He asked for bacon for breakfast. He was back. He had come back to me. For a minute there, he was gone. His personality and the “knowing” each other we’ve always taken for granted was gone. But he came back to me.
We don’t know why he had the seizures. He hasn’t had any since. I told the other mamas on that call, if he had, I’d still be experiencing trauma and not be processing it already in hindsight. There is no lasting grief that I am processing either, it was a blip, so far anyway.
Traumatic events are painful and confusing. They force us to see our frailty and finitude, our lack of control, our dependency. They stir up deep and justified pain when we are separated from people that we love. They force us to question God. But perhaps that is where our paths can start to fork...
We will all experience trauma, separation, death.
And we will all question God.
But where the questioning leads….that is the question.
He's not scared of your questioning. He has sanctioned it. Questioning prayers directed right to God’s holy face are endorsed in Scripture...
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? (Ps 13)
My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Why are You so far from saving me, so far from my words of groaning? I cry out by day, O my God, but You do not answer, and by night, but I have no rest. (Ps 22, which was also prayed this very day however many years ago, by Christ, on the cross💗)
What have you experienced in this broken, groaning world?
Did, or do, you feel forsaken? He's familiar with that kind of suffering. He prayed that psalm while he hung on the cross for us. He invites you to pray like that when you need to also. He can take it.
Do you feel forgotten? All alone? He knows. He knows that feeling. He is right there with you. He feels that right alongside you. He is your advocate and mediator, He is always praying for you.
Were you afraid you were going to die? Or experience excruciating pain? I don’t know what all was going on inside of Him that made him sweat blood, but I’m guessing it was something that makes Him able to deeply understand that fear.
Did you lose a lot of blood? He's not afraid of your blood. He was covered in blood. So that he could be near you in your bleeding.
He was not far off or even in the corner of the room. He was kneeling in front of you delivering the babies he knit together in your womb. He was wrapping his arms around you as you grew cold with blood loss and fear.
He was in the ambulance with you holding your hands as your hands held your loved one’s.
He was sheltering you from the broken glass and the crushing metal and the burning fire and he provided a way out of the wreckage for you and your brother, not because he's afraid of your death like you are, but because he simply has more plans for you here.
His ways and thoughts are much higher than mine (Is 55). I do not understand them. But what I am understanding more and more is that he is a God who is near. Who is with me. Who is with me in the blood and the death and the pain. Who is much more tender and gentle and present and interested in me then I have been assuming.
He didn't shelter himself from trauma, from pain and blood and death. He willingly entered in to it.
So he could be with his people.
So he could be with you.
So his people would know the immensity of his love, the height and weight and depth of it. So you would know that love. And find refuge in it when storms are brewing or metal is crushing or hearts are breaking.
“Be still, my soul: the waves and wind still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.”
It's Good Friday, y'all. The Seed of the woman has crushed the serpent's head.
“O watch and wait with patience, And question all you will
His arms of love and mercy, Are round about thee still”
Take a look inside the course, Your Shame, Crucified. Do YOU know what shame sounds like in your head? You better. ;)
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