“I don’t want to do this,” I half scream at her, half plead to God. “I don’t want to walk this path, I don’t want to be this person, I don’t want to raise this daughter who doesn’t know who she belongs to and sometimes hugs me tight but sometimes pushes me far. I don’t want to let this birth mom live with us, knowing she can leave whenever she pleases and rip these wounds wide open again. I don’t know if I can do this.”
“I don’t want to do this,” she sobs into my shoulder. “I don’t want to tell another parent that her child is dead. I don’t want to hold another baby while he struggles to hold on to life, ultimately failing. I don’t want to feel responsible when children in my care die. I can’t do it.”
We sit in the lantern light late into the night and the tears stream. We sit broken and I choke out the ugly words, words that have been there but I have been too appalled to voice, “I think sometimes, I am afraid to trust the will of God.” Ugly sin. All these shortcomings, all these iniquities, I let them flow. “I mean. I do trust Him. But sometimes I am still afraid of what He might bring next.”
We sit long and spill the ugly, inadequate tears and we let His light fill up the holes.
I murmur, thinking out loud. “God did not give me a spirit of fear… perfect love drives out fear… do not be afraid I am with you…” I know these words well; they are etched in my heart. Do I believe them? “Am I dumb enough to think that things would be better if I was in control? That things like this would not happen if I was in control?” It hits me. “If I was in control, I would not send my only child to die for this crazy world.”
I think of Him who would carry my burden. I think of a pool of blood drenching my brokenness and I can hardly stand as I think of Him bent low carrying my sin – that too heavy cross – and all of this.
He knelt in the garden and He prayed, “Abba Father, everything is possible. Take this cup from me.” (Mark 14:35)
“I don’t want to do this.” My Savior. Fully God, but fully human. He knows. He knows sorrow to the point of death, anguish and sweat like great drops of blood, this fear of what might come even at the hand of the Father. “Yet not my will but Yours,” He says. Can we follow His lead?
Yesterday we pressed the blood out of the lamb, the stench enough to make one gag. We kneaded bread free from yeast reminding us to be free from sin – only by the blood of this Savior. We are reminded to run hard from our distrust, “Not my will, Father, but yours.” We eat the bitter green and remember bitterness in life and the way our Savior has just soaked it all up. Remembering all the long way He carried those Isrealites, remembering all the long way He carried that cross, and remembering all the long way He has carried us. Oh, how He has carried us!
Now my tears flow not because I don’t want. I am crying because how can I not when I think of this life blood flowing from His side and Him in such anguish thinking of me, of all of us. I weep knowing that each time I hide my face, refuse to take this cup the Father has given me, I drive those nails deeper and He in great pain hangs there willing.
No. We wont’ hide. Today we approach this cross unworthy and we grab onto the Saviors feet and we cling tight and we let this blood cover and pool and we remember the ugly stench of our sin and we believe that when He rises Sunday we will rise with Him, He will take us by the hands and pull us with Him yet again allowing us to rise into His glory.
Daily I turn my gaze in distrust. Daily I remember the Jesus who already washed clean this mess and I fall to my knees, sorrowful and repentant. How can I not trust? And He reminds me that I must die with Him – not just that once but every single day – choosing to throw off the distrust and walk with Him in the newness of life. Daily. Hourly. Sometimes seemingly every five minutes.
Today I gaze at my Savior and I know: courage is not the absence of fear.
Courage is to say, “I am afraid,” but walk it anyway. Courage is to stand broken and limping and look into these faces around us, His faces, and say, “Not my will but yours Father.” Courage is to say, “I don’t want to do this,” but to grab tight to a slaughtered Son and let His blood pool in my sin-holes and allow Him to pull me with Him into glory.
Today we remember the moment that we were engraved into the palms of His hands and we believe that He holds us there still. Tonight, He dies and I learn to live. To live willing to spill out, spill out and let Him fill.
Praising Jesus for a sister to sit broken with.