IMG_190131 Days Walking Through Chronic Illness

day ten

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,

and he turned to me and heard my cry. 

He lifted me out of the pit of despair, 

out of the mud and the mire…  Psalms 40:1~2a 

Fifteen years ago, I found myself on a slippery slope.

Pick and shovel in hand, I had done the digging myself.

Sure, I had gone through big life changes. Loosing a business. Our livelihood.

A move, from my hometown, away from family, familiarity. A seven hour drive between me and them.

A little scraping. A little digging. The first beginnings of a hole to jump in.

Driving away, my son in the review mirror, even farther away. Finishing out his college years.

The wayward child. Her own demons to fight. Shredding my heart to bits.

More digging. The hole deeper now.

Another move. One thing leading to another. Job loss. Financial loss. Rebuilding. Devastation of all I knew.

Scrapping with my bare heart and hands, making a hole big enough to jump in. I plunged in.

A pit of slime and mud, mired up to my neck.

I stayed there five years, till my heart squeezed tight. My fingertips lightly touching The Hand reaching out for me.

…He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. 

He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to out God.

Many will see what he has done and be amazed.

They will put their trust in the Lord.

Psalms 40:2b~4 NLT

The beginnings of climbing up out of that pit, came through Sara Young’s small but powerful Jesus Calling Devotional. A lifeline, thrown out from a precious friend.

As I reflect back to that time and wonder why I ever made such a choice as to blatantly turn away from God, I get a peek at the big picture. The “Upper Story.”

There was purpose in the pit. Preparation for the time to come.

That’s why we can be sure every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. Romans 8:28 The Message

I believe God sometimes allows us to jump into the pit so we can learn. Learn a life that is not totally dependent on Him is life not worth having.

The time in the pit showed me I never wanted to live my life without God again. Never wanted to turn away, stripped of His unfailing love. Unending Grace.

I slowly rebuilt my life with Him at the center. Tossing away any preconceived notions of what that looks like. Through Scripture, Bible Study, and surrounding myself with godly women. Picking back up journal and pen. Writing love letters everyday, to the Lover of my soul.

He wooed me. Wowed me. Slowly filled my empty heart back up with Him. I became in tune to His voice. The quiet whisperings into my heart, through His Spirit.

I prayed fervently from that day on: no matter what was thrown my way, regardless of what I was called to walk through, I would never turn my face or heart from God again.

Bold prayers. Courageous words. He answered.

When my illness clipped my legs and robbed my life, I was called to step out into the deep.

“Everyone stumbles. Some stumble into the pit of guilt. Others tumble into the arms of God.” Max Lucado~Glory Days

I stumbled. I faltered. Days I thought I would drown.

In it all I chose to tumble into the arms of God.

Gifts of Grace

Tammy Mashburn