I sat for awhile in my car the other day.
I thought I could drive myself to Starbucks. I really wanted a flat white. Really I think I just wanted to be free. I wanted to be able to do something as simple as driving to Starbucks and getting a flat white. I said out loud that I would probably regret my decision. And, a few minutes into the trip, I began regretting my decision. “You’re okay. You’re okay.” I told myself as I turned the music up trying to drown out my sickness. I just wanted to be okay. I just wanted to be able to do something that so many people do every single day.
I got my flat white and I drove home. Still regretting every moment. I parked outside of my apartment building. And I sat for awhile in my car. The nausea was unbearable. The pressure in my head skyrocketed as pain made its way through its every crevice. I wasn’t moving. I’m never moving. But, I felt like I was moving. Back and forth. Side to side. Drifting up and down as if lost at sea. The dizziness would not subside. My hands shook. I laid my head down on my steering wheel.
And, I sat for awhile in my car.
God, I just wanted to do something simple. I just wanted to be okay. Just for five minutes. Just for one minute. One moment.
I began talking aloud to God. Tears formulating.
“I don’t know what to pray anymore.” I sighed. “I’ve got nothing left.”
I thought of Romans 8:26–of the Spirit Himself interceding for me with groanings too deep for words. I was thankful for that. I had nothing left to say.
I went to my closet earlier today to get something and I got upset. I just stood there. Angry. Sad. My body weak. . My symptoms unrelenting. My thoughts betrayed me. Reminding me of another loss.
“God, I can’t do anything. I don’t know what You want me to do. Don’t You want me to do something with my life? Or just spend the rest of my life doing nothing? I can’t do anything.”
Out of the past (nearly) six months, I’ve spent a great deal of my days in bed. My mystery illness debilitating. Taking away all semblance of normalcy. Weakening my body first. Then my mind. Then my heart. Until I confessed to a counselor a few weeks ago that I felt like a shell. I was empty. I had nothing left.
“I don’t know how to not be sad anymore.”
You learn how hard it is to watch everyone live normal lives around you. You learn to fight the jealousy. You learn how hard it is to find joy when your body attacks you with no relief. You learn how hard it is to hope because life keeps breaking your heart. You learn a lot about your theology.
But, you also learn how hard it is to let people love you. To care about you. To take care of you. To give up hours of their lives for you. And, you learn how wonderful it is to be deeply loved by the Bride of Christ.
I had reached a low point. I confess I have often thought how much more wonderful it would be to die. To be with Jesus. To be free from my failing body that tortures me day and night.
I lay in bed, trying to study as my head ached, the dizziness strengthened, and the nausea built as I tried to read. Tears filled my eyes.
Then a dear friend knocked on my bedroom door. He came in. Asked me how I was. He told me the Lord had told him to come see me.
I am thankful for that.
Before he left, he prayed for me. He said the Lord had given him the word regret, and as he prayed he thanked God that He did not regret saving us. He did not regret choosing us. Even if we could do nothing, He would not regret us. Not for a moment.
Tears ran down my face.
My Father does not regret me. He is not disappointed with me. I have not let Him down. I am not meaningless to Him. He doesn’t regret me.
I am so weak. I can’t do simple things. I can barely walk sometimes. It’s really hard for me to drive myself to Starbucks or even to look through my closet. I feel like I can’t do anything. But, my God does not regret me. He is not mad at me. He is proud of me. He loves me. He is holding me. He is rejoicing over me.
I have nothing left. But, God redeems my nothing. May He use my nothing. May He receive glory in my nothing. May His power be made perfect in my nothing.
He doesn’t regret me.