Two weeks ago, I realized I was empty --a black hole kind of empty. Perhaps a spinning vortex of black matter is not the best image here, but it’s the one that jumps to mind. Needless to say, it was dark, and each miserable day started the same.
I woke up with dark thoughts. I drank my coffee with heavy sighs. And thoughts darker than the sludge I sipped would raced through my brain. The work you are doing is lousy. No one wants you here. These women don’t care. Nothing will ever change.
I would then sit through devotions, clapping to the beat of the African refrains, but my heart was far from worship. Lord, I have lost my joy. Fill me, Papa. Help me to worship You in this dark time. However, trying to drown these thoughts out with praise didn’t always work.
My third cup of sludge in hand, I would then walk with lead feet toward the clinic, murmuring to myself. Is any of this helping? Am I not just wasting my time? These women don’t care. Things will never get better.
Like I said, it was dark.
Then as I would work through the long line of prenatals, I found myself not only gloomy but defeated. These treatments are not working. The women are still coming back week after week with STDs. No one is willing to deliver at the clinic. They don’t want my help, they want the free stuff I hand out.
What is worse is I found myself lecturing them and trying to make them feel bad. Who was this miserable cuss of a person I’d become? I didn’t even want to be around myself.
It was bad.
Oh Lord! What is wrong with me? Help me gain new perspective. Please, open my eyes to see Your marvelous works! Show me Your hope for this nation.
It was a battle. Some days I won out over my dreariness. But other days, I caved to fatigue and frustration. I’m not proud of this; it just is the fact.
“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:11
Hope. I talk about it frequently because it is where I am attacked the most. Why God would let me wonder and waver on this issue is interesting to me. What is it that He desires me to understand? Why does He constantly bring me back to HOPE?
I don’t know yet... but I’m confident it will be good when I do!
Today, a full two weeks later, my weary weeping has passed, and I cling once again to hope. But the battle scars are still a bit raw.
Are all my questions answered? No. Do I know what the future holds? Not exactly. But in the end if hope remains, does it matter?
He is God and I am not. His ways are higher; His plans are good; for He is good. In this I can and do delight.
Thank you for praying for me through this dark time --even if you didn’t know it had come.
Expect more stories soon. I have so many to share. I’m just running low on time to write them! Suffice it to know that the ‘slow season’ has ended; the clinic is now wildly busy again.
Please hold up the staff in prayer, that none of us would grow weary in doing good. Thanks.