I know you’re ready to quit. I know you want to give up. I see how hard you’re fighting just to make it through one more day. I see the pain, the deep, debilitating, horrendous pain. I see your joints swell up and your muscles fill with fluid. I see the unknown phantom pain that cripples you when it hits. I see the dark circles of exhaustion hiding underneath your eyes, the red rashes on your bruised skin, your pixie hair fighting to stay on your head. And I see how you walk. You stumble and stay slow. I hear the imperfections in your speech, the loss of comprehension, and I see how many words and ways you have forgotten. I see you wake in the morning, your brain slowly and then suddenly realizing the pain in your body. I see you pause at the bedroom door, gripping the doorknob, disappointed that Jesus didn’t come for you, knowing you have to go on another day. I see you stretching in the kitchen, your muscles shaking under the weight as your pray they hold on long enough for the coffee to brew.
And I know you’ve lost hope. I know how scary and painful it is to even try and hope right now. But I also see how much you want to have hope. You want to believe there is more than suffering in front of you. Even now you think, “But what if there is not?”
But dear hurting girl, I am you. I am the part of you that believes. I am the girl who remembers. I am the girl who loved to sing. I am the girl who knew life was hard but believed it could still be good. I am the girl who lived in Nigeria, ate street fish, walked the brothels of Jos, climbed the rocks to see the city at sunset, helped deliver two babies to girls I loved, and made the angry military guards laugh. I am the girl who loved to laugh. I am the girl who would dance with her friends at weddings, who made a fool of herself in public just for fun. I am the girl who was learning to play guitar. I am the writer. The one with the words sewn up in my soul. The author of children’s tall tales and short stories from the field. I am the portion of your heart that hasn’t let go of the hope. I have rooted my hope in Jesus Christ and even when you have not been able to hold on, my foundation has never been shaken.
Dear girl, there are better days ahead. I know your unbelief but my faith is strong enough for the both of us. There are days ahead where you will feel great, you will do great, and you will be great. There are days ahead where your arms will hold the children you dream of, where you sit with broken-hearted women and tell them about Jesus, and where You see first hand the work of the Lord all over the world. There will be days where pain doesn’t greet you in the morning light. Where your body can move and dance and exercise. Where you can lift your hands in praise without worry of falling.
It’s true, I don’t know when these days will come, but I know they will. Please don’t give up on me. We are worth the fight. And please remember we do not fight alone. The Lord is on our side. Even when You doubt, He battles for you.
Keep going dear one. There are better days ahead.