The only direct statement of Jesus which is simple enough for me to comprehend when my heart is breaking or when I’m discouraged or scared is: “Follow me.”
I cannot understand life because life is not understandable. But I can grasp: “Follow me.”
Eugenia Price, No Pat Answers
Even when my mistakes are my own, even when I screw up royally, even when what I have done is so stupid and I feel stupid and am pissed off at myself for what I did – even then, those words, “follow Me” are a comfort and a safe haven. To me, “follow me” means everything will work out, everything will be fine. Even as I go through the consequences of my actions or even, inaction, I know, I believe, I trust in a Benevolent God who will bring me through whatever crises I have caused.
“‘Follow Me’ into the darkest alley, to the brightest mountain top, to the lowest low, the highest high and everywhere in between and all will be well, all will be as it needs to be,” says my God to my weary heart. I am not a stupid person. I am not a failure. I am not a bad seed. I am not unlovable. God sees me as I truly am and what I have the potential to be. And yet, He loves me still.
“‘Follow Me’ into the safe haven of My Arms and we will work through this together,” says my God to my hurting head. My head does ache, my heart is weary, my body is tired from all the stupid things I have done. I am not ignorant. I am not lazy. My inner dragons tell me these things constantly and because I stop and listen to them those words seem to take on a life of their own and become a self-fulfilling prophecy. But I am none of those things. Just because I have done something stupid doesn’t mean I am stupid.
“‘Follow Me’ and I will never allow you into places that you have not the strength to handle,” says my God to my sobbing soul. When I weep before His Throne and cry for mercy I am reminded Mercy has already been given and Grace is never-ending. I so have the strength to go on in spite of what snarl I am currently tangled up in.
“Follow Me,” the most beautiful and complicated and simple and pure words ever spoken by my Lord, Savior, and God. I will follow you, always.
I love you, dear unseen fellow sufferer, and from the depths of my heart. I thank you for staying one more day. And though painful it must be, I ask you, “Please stay one more day.” I encourage you to listen for the sounds of God’s music, for we shall hear it and we shall be made whole. Whether the music of our healing comes tomorrow, two weeks from now, years from now, or only in death when we see Him face to face, ultimately we shall be rescued, and we shall suffer no more.
Joyce Landorf, Silent September
This passage from Silent September is so beautiful, so real, because I have been there in the distant past. I know how easy it is to succumb to the pain, be it physical or spiritual or emotional or mental; to sink so deep into the Abyss that there is no light and no way out; to be so desirous of death because it seems to equal peace and release. I know what it is to look at yourself in the mirror and neither recognize the face or wonder if you will ever smile again. I know what it is like to wonder if I should go on with this existence called life.
During my darkest days of depression I would look at the outside world from behind my mask and secretly hate those who loved life, those who smile, those who seemingly had it all together and their lives seemed perfect. I seethed with jealousy for they were living the life I wanted and my own existence seemed worthless.
Somehow, by the Pure Grace of God, I stayed one more day. Each day was a “one more day” for me. I was only able to live and face each day one at a time, sometimes an hour at a time, living for the moment I could return home to my bed for sleep or my head for my ‘other life’.
My healing continues to this day. My healing will continue until the moment I return Home to God. There are still days when I am on the edge of the Abyss, but I have not been inside for a long time. I am grateful for that. I am grateful that even when it seemed I was abandoned I was not. Like that poem “Footsteps” I can look back and see where God was with me throughout this long, albeit dark at intervals, journey of life that is mine. I can see where He stepped in at the last moment when all hope was lost and pulled me back, showing me it wasn’t time for me to go Home.
And while the Abyss is ever with me out on the horizon, I have a firm belief that I will not go Home one iota before I am supposed to (unless it is by my own hand).
And even though the Abyss is there, the Presence of God looms larger and stronger than that darkness and I have faith He, the Beautiful Face of Love and Peace, will keep me safe, even if I fall in.