Pain woke me early. My head was on fire. I stumbled into the kitchen to get medicine and slowly made my way back. I sunk into the wrinkled sheets of a bed that had been tossed and turned in. Tears made their way down my cheeks.
I cried out, ďWhy the pain, Lord? I canít do this anymore. Why donít you take it away?Ē
The room was strangely silent except for the fanís vain attempt at keeping me cool. Sweat soaked my pillow. I could lay for a bit more and then it would be time to get up.
I stood in the shower. The water cascaded down my head. The tears again began to fall, mingling with the water. I cried out to God and even attempted to cover myself at the same time. I then remembered He sees all and itís useless to hide anything from Him.
God knows my pain. He knows my nakedness. He knows my every weakness. My quiet sobs turned to moaning. I covered my mouth to try to smother the noise. After a time, I dried the tears along with my body and got dressed.
This day, like everyday, I had to decide how to handle the unrelenting pain. Do I succumb to it and go back to bed?
If I get up and go, do I answer the, ďHow are you?Ē question truthfully?
Do I smile and nod my way through a crowd until I can get away and be in peace? I can keep up the charade only so long. Well-meaning acquaintances have a way of asking but not really wanting to know the truth. Sometimes itís hard to discern which is which.
I managed to get through my short time away and then made a four-point landing into my rumpled, unmade bed once again. My computer rested on my upright legs. Through Instant Message, I let feelings go to a friend who lived far away.
I canít stop crying, I wrote.
Whatís going on? she responded back.
I donít know, I typed through tears. I whispered to no one. ďI honestly donít know.Ē
I got off the internet before she had an opportunity to respond. If only I could vanish off the face of the planet so easily. I wanted to escape the oppression that fixed itself so firmly in my head. So many things I want and cannot have.
My IM friend caught me with a phone call. Itís hard to run away from these loving friends of mine. She had a verse to share from Psalm 56:8 in The Message. She whispered it into my ear:
ďYou've kept track of my every toss and turn
through the sleepless nights,
Each tear entered in your ledger,
each ache written in your book.Ē
I got off the phone as quickly and politely as I could. Iím good at spilling out my true feelings in writing. Catch me face-to-face or on the phone and youíre lucky if you get a smile and a half-hearted, ďIím fine,Ē as I choke back the tears.
My friends who have been with me through most every step of this know whatís going on. Many can even discern the hurt while reading and listening to what isnít shared. In order to continue to play the game, I have to stay away. But to isolate myself from my online friends is more than I can bear. So instead, I slowly write it out, tap, tap; tap it out onto the screen. It may take a minute or it may slowly come out throughout the day or a week, but out it comes, much to my dismay, because you see: I like the game of charades.
But when I stop the game I receive texts messages such as these:
I know itís so very wearing on you, precious one.
O baby, wrapping arms around U.
And a card came in the mail that set off a fresh bucket of tears. Iíd rather play the game. Iím very good at hide-and-seek and the ever-popular charades. But instead of struggling alone, God softens my heart and allows me to share. And even though tears begin again, they are mostly tears that come from knowing I have friends who care.
The battle is ongoing, the game continuous, tears never-ending. To live this life is more than I can handle but to do it without my faith is more than I can fathom.
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