I've prayed for miracles that didn't happen. I've struggled with feeling of intense inadequacy about not having "enough faith." I've felt fearful that God would fail and all of my faith would be proven worthless. I have felt intense pain, almost like the pain of betrayal from a lover, from the disappointment of unanswered prayer.
I had decided that it was better to trust God to be with us through our trials, rather than face all of my fears to pray for the miraculous. And in some ways, there's truth to that. But it was too painful for me to pray for miracles, so I didn't. But I'm praying for a miracle for Bailey like I've never prayed before.
Before I went to therapy I was a master at silencing my emotions. I could turn them off and go numb. It was a coping mechanism that had outgrown it's usefulness, but I didn't know how to stop doing it. For homework my therapist told me I had to list out all of my feelings every day and that "fine," "bad," and "tired" were not emotions and couldn't be used on my list. I remember about this same time my heart started to feel again and I promised right then that I would never allow myself to purposefully go numb ever again. But I have broken that promise.
When we heard the news several weeks ago that Bailey's cancer was winning I couldn't feel it. I didn't purposefully go numb, but I didn't stop myself either. I wanted to be strong for my friend Julia and I knew she didn't need a friend crying on her shoulder as much as she might need a shoulder to cry on. I wanted to be strong so that I could take care of Grace as we've been battling constipation again. I wanted to be strong because I was so afraid that if I started crying I might never stop, and that frightened me. I was too afraid to feel.
Today God reminded me that it is safe to feel because He is able to guide me through it. I know he wants me to enter into life fully and that means feeling pain too. I've renewed my vow not to go numb (though I will certainly pick the time and place of when I am safe to feel, so that I can cope).
Additionally, a few months ago at church God told me it was time to get wet. I had an image in my mind about the apostle Peter getting out of the boat to try to walk to Jesus, that time Jesus was walking on water. And Peter sank. I always saw that story as Peter's failure. But God showed me that besides Jesus, Peter is the only other person who has ever walked on water. He got wet, but he also got to experience something amazing, even if only for a few steps. I felt like God was saying the miracles are in the water and I will have to get uncomfortably wet to find them. I hate being uncomfortable. But I want to see Jesus at work even more.
So this week has been hard. I've been wet- putting all of my fragile faith into praying for a miracle Bailey, even should it mean that I come away with my faith wounded. I've allowed my heart to feel, even should it mean that I come away with my heart wounded. The only relief I've found has been in worship and in prayer to Jesus. Though my heart is aching, I still feel peace.
I still don't know that God will heal Bailey. But I do know who God is, and he is a very generous God. For this reason I am joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer (Romans 12:12). Sometimes God will do miracles, simply because we are bold enough to pray for them. That's why we will be praying the Saturday at the candlelight ceremony. I know my heart will be very vulnerable that night, and I've given it permission to be that way. I will be outside my comfort zone, putting all my faith in one basket- because my faith isn't in the miracles, my faith is in Jesus himself. And in His goodness I have no doubt.
Though His ways don't always make sense to me, I know that the cross still stands as a reminder of his ultimate promise- that neither life or death, neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all of creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.