Friday, February 22, 2013

When You Need To Be Brave


Jesus.

I whisper Your Name late at night when I can't sleep, can't breathe, can't find my way in the dark.  It's the changing of the guard, one day giving way to the next, and I lay down this armor of mine just long enough to speak the only word I can find, the only Word Who Is.

Jesus.

But it's Your Name on my lips that's my undoing at last, all this striving and writhing breaking apart and me just lying here broken and open and emptied right out.

Jesus.

Are You near?  Will You come?  The weight of a life, it can press a heart straight into the ground, and oh, Jesus, I am weary.  Too weary to stand.  Too weary to keep breathing in and out.  Too weary to hold on.  Can You hold all this together--hold me?

Jesus.

You've named this month with just one verse, and those are the words echoing here in the night.  But I don't know how to be strong.  How to "take heart" when everything's fallen to pieces.  How to wait for You without giving up, giving in, giving it all away.

Jesus.

It's late and I'm worn through, but Your Word, it calls me into the dark and I'm not turning away.  I open the Hebrew and I'm lost, but I open this and it's right there on the page:

Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.
Psalm 27:14, Amplified Bible

Be brave.

Jesus?

I don't feel very courageous tonight, but I'm taking off the armor and I'm laying my head right down against Your chest.  This is me being brave.  This is me waiting, hoping, expecting You to hold firm when all else gives way.

Jesus.

I feel Your heart beating sure and strong against my cheek and I know it now--this is me taking heart.  And this is You taking me as I am, small and weary and broken through and through.  I am Yours and I am held and I am fiercely loved.

I close my eyes, and I breath in and out, and I sleep for the first time in weeks.


Sharing a day late (aren't I always?) with the community over at FaithBarista.com, all of us whispering thoughts this week on the only Word Who Is--Jesus.  Join us?




Thank you for grace as I walk through these days when the words are short and the demands are long and all I can do is breathe His Name and wait for morning.  Your prayers are strengthening me and I am holding all of you close in my heart, even when I cannot write or read or extend a hand across the miles.  May you know Jesus intimately in whatever path you are walking.

18 comments:

  1. So glad you're here, whispering the only Name that knows beyond knowing...

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    1. @HisFireFly: Thank you for coming by and offering a quiet hello across the miles. The only Name that knows beyond knowing. Yes. He knows each of us and knows our suffering even more intimately than we ourselves know it. What comfort there is in being known in the truest, most loving way. Grace to you, Friend.

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  2. Dearest Courtney, how I wish I could ease your pain as I read your desolate words. I am trusting that the arms of Christ are enfolding you even when you may not be feeling it. I think the enemy of our souls uses our feelings of sadness and despair to try to drag us away from the Truth who is Jesus. You ARE held and fiercely loved and NOTHING can separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. Blessings and peace to you.

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    1. @Sandee Story: I see we are linked up side by side at the Faith Jam again this week...this makes me smile wide. I'll be by soon to read your words and wave in the comment box.

      Nothing can separate. Yes. Oh, thank you for this reminder. Can there ever be enough reminders that we cannot be separated from Him, the One Who Is Love? I've only to stop all the striving and surviving to feel that He's near and I'm held and there's strength enough to keep on breathing after all. May You, too, feel Him near and strong in whatever battles you are fighting today.

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  3. Even when everything else feels lost, the name of Jesus makes it all found. I hold to a moment when my heart raced, and I thought I might not have another breath here, and all I could say or think was a whisper of Jesus. Always enough. Blessings to you, dear Courtney. May you have peaceful rest tonight.

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    1. @Amy: What joy to find your words tucked in here! I'm eager to wander over to your place and catch up on all the happenings. No matter how many times I experience it, it still takes me by surprise, the power of His Name just in the uttering of it. Yes. Always enough. And that singular truth is life sustaining in the hardest days. Thank you for kindness and blessings. Grace to you, Friend!

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  4. Oh, I'm so sorry, Courtney! This breaks the heart. You sought refuge in exactly the right place. His name is a prayer. May our compassionate Savior hold you close when you can't hold on. May He restore body and soul with deep, peaceful sleep. He loves you so!! Grace and peace to you in Him. my love to you too, sister.

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    1. @tinuviel: Thank you, my Dear. These weeks are stretching me thin, testing my resolve to hope and trust and wait. But I'm still breathing and knitting and praying the broken and ragged prayers, and I'm still certain that He has not abandoned. Learning to take refuge in Him, it's not what I thought it would be--but is it ever? God knows the path I need and I'm just asking for the strength to follow the broken way, wherever He is leading. Sending much love right back to you, dearest sister-friend.

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  5. Hi Courtney!
    This is a wonderfully intense and heartfelt post. Every word is streaming from your heart to ours. May the Lord you and keep you, on your journey. Many blessings to you! ~Cynthia

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    1. @Cynthia: Thank you for sweet words, Friend. This really is my heart streaming out into the world--thank you for receiving it so graciously. Grace to you!

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  6. hi Courtney,

    yes, you are His, and you are held, and you are loved--even when you are too weary to stand or breathe, or exult in His love, even when everything around you is giving way and falling to pieces. To be held in God's love, you needn't be whole, or unbroken, or strong: His strength is made perfect in your weakness.

    Giving thanks for your sleep, and praying you'll have much more of the same...

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    1. @chris: Thank you for prayers...and for your note last week. Sleep is still sporadic but I'm trying not to get discouraged. Thank you for the affirmation that I "needn't be whole, or unbroken, or strong" to be held in His love. Because I am none of those things right now and I have to keep choosing to believe that it's okay. That I needn't be more than I am right now. That He'll hold and He'll carry and He'll make a way where there doesn't seem to be one. Much grace to you, Dear Friend, all the way across the world. I am grateful for you.

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  7. My Courtney,

    I've been offline for a few days...just...taking a break. I've been trying to write a bit again, and posted something tonight that I wrote a few nights back. Then, as I always do, I stopped over here to see what you are up to and...I laughed and cried. Our hearts are running close, friend, and your words help me to understand the way Jesus loves us in the night seasons. In the dark. I don't think you can really know what your words have meant to me these last months, and I am grateful beyond words of my own to you for sharing your heart. Even so, my friend, in all your struggles, in all the pain and the swirling of the world. Even so...you are strong, and you lift the broken up to the light where all His beauty can shine through the holes in our hearts. You are a precious gift, and I love you. Wearing your heart around my neck, and your name in my prayers. Always, Courtney. Always. You are loved.
    Bernadette

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    1. @Bernadette: Oh, Friend, how I've missed you these last weeks and months!! I about fell off my chair when I saw there were some new posts from you yesterday--this is GOOD. And I am grateful. I'll be over soon to cherish your words and grab hold of your hand. And you always know the one thing I need to hear: Even when I'm broken, I can still shine the Light and carry the broken ones to Jesus. Because I *am* broken. Through and through. But to be useful to Him? To bring Him glory here? This gives me reason to keep breathing, keep believing, keep holding on for dear life to only One Who Holds. Love you for always.

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  8. Courtney, we are so often on the same page. I've been through so many nights like this, and I'm so glad you finally found rest and peace and sleep in His arms. Psalm 27:14 is beautiful. I hadn't read that before. It reminds me of one of my favorite verses, Psalm 130:5 in the Amplified translation: "I wait for the Lord, I expectantly wait, and in His word I do hope."

    The hope that Christ gives can hold us and change us more than anything else. I pray that you continue to find peace and rest in abiding in Him (exactly the path I'm walking, too ... I'm glad we're here to encourage each other.) Hugs.

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  9. @Kim: Yes, me too--so glad to share a bit of the life road with you as we stumble towards a deeper relationship with Jesus. I've been turning to the Amplified translation a lot lately and it's helping me to see the fuller meaning in every verse, especially the ones that have become too familiar and thus have lost some of their impact. I guess the Truth is sometimes too big to fit into a succinct translation, much the way God's too big to fit into a neatly defined box or place in our lives. Hugs back to you, Friend!

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  10. I always claim David's promise, "I will lay me down in peace and sleep." I find too many times in my lying awake, I feel a lack of peace. This promise has keep me peaceful many nights. I don't know what I would do without His presence in the quiet.

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    1. @Pamela: So lovely to find a new face here in my little part of the world. Yes, that verse from the Psalms is one that's often been on my lips, too, over the years. I don't know what it is about the lying awake at night, but you are right, it most often leads to anxiety. Joining with you in giving thanks for the One Who never sleeps and always holds. Grace to you!

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