“Dear woman, why are you weeping?”
“They have taken away my Lord, and I cannot find Him.” John 20:13
Driving home from counseling this week, I asked God, “ What’s my name?” Pushing for a break in the silence that has lasted a year. He whispers back playfully, “What is mine?”
Seeing my confusion he pushes back himself, “No, literally. What is my name?”—citing two specifics others have given him… one being ‘The God who sees.’
I’m thrown into the turmoil of starved pursuit.
Holy week is turning out to be remarkably significant each year, more present than a remembrance. When I last wrote, I thought I would lose the baby I now hold in my arms. I had just experienced a loss that left my soul bleeding and I was terrified as my physical body threatened to follow suit. Mercifully the pregnancy complications stopped, but the rest did not. Little did I know the betrayal of God himself was soon to follow.
Brene Brown’s definition of courage floored me. It comes from the Latin word cor, meaning heart, and thus courage is ‘to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart’. Thank God. That’s me, that’s always been me. I am courageous. I share the following about my life, however disjointed, in this truth.
About a month ago, the prophetic spoke over me, “You are in exile, though not because of anything you have done, and God wants you to pour out your heart to him but he will not answer you.” Great. At least we are on the same page.
I only heard this in retrospect.
In April we knew we had to move. In May we prepared. In June we decided where. In July we scouted. In August we packed. In September we left a home we loved and arrived to a house in chaos.
Within an hour of walking through the door our daughter began vomiting and going into shock. The entire place reeked of cat pee (she is severely allergic) and lucky for us we only cleaned the carpets after closing. I was 7 months pregnant, we were halfway across the country, alone with three kids under 6, a building we couldn’t inhabit and our belongings in a truck.
In September we pulled up carpet. Painted sub floors with Kilz (our toddler ingested some). Scrubbed every single surface with hot water and bleach. Re painted almost every wall, cleaned air ducts, ate out too much, and stuck our kids in front of an ipad, living in a trailer on the street.
October was much the same, but we moved inside, got a 0% Home Depot card and kept working. Still God was nowhere to be found. At 5,280 feet and 8 months pregnant I would pray every time I climbed the stairs, only to watch my words fall to the ground. Sometimes I fell too, weeping on the sub floor, the stumble an opportunity to pour forth my desperation to be heard, to be answered.
In November I gave birth.
There is much more I cannot yet describe, but what I knew of God and Christ and whatever the gospel was, I do not know any longer. The obediently constructed and reverently defended faith I had has been blown out of the water.
The layers—not just of this last year—of what I, and my family, have endured at the hands and words of those who call themselves his people have driven me to a place beyond belief. Added to all the physical strain of moving a thousand miles, remodeling an entire home, giving birth to a baby, there were vicious rumors and even hate mail. It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back, they say.
Amidst the turmoil though, there was the visitation of a few angels, without whom I would not have survived. And then the word of that prophet, but it still doesn’t resolve things. I’m exhausted having wrestled and waited in darkness for so long. But tomorrow is a good day for the questions and doubters. Who will roll away the stone?
Then it comes to me. His name.
“Let me go, the dawn is breaking.”