You know when you're in the midst of a storm and the lights flicker, you wonder how bad the storm really is? Or if you've missed a weather report about something more serious? Maybe there has been an accident because of the wind and rain and you may lose electricity for some time? My kids always ask repeatedly, are the lights going out again? When will the lights come back on? And I'd say that I had all of those questions and more on this day in 2019.
I grew up on the Gulf Coast and we were no stranger to hurricanes. In fact, my family never left home during a storm so I know the awe and fear these big storms can bring, especially as a child. I remember hearing of neighborhoods or areas nearby that experienced a tornado in the middle of a huge storm. This time last year felt much like that for us. We felt as if we had been in the middle of pounding wind and rain for some time and then on top of that this smaller, yet more powerful storm hit us hard even while the bigger, yet less power-packed storm still raged all around. Lights always flicker when storms come and it was no different for us on this day. It was a literal flickering of life though. Those lights don't often come back on, yet God, in His great compassion, brought light back. I can't thank Him enough!
I remember in the chaos of the moment, walking back by Mark's ICU bay from my tour of where I'd be staying that night, I thought I was about to get another sneak peek at him resting, recovering, beginning the healing journey. The picture I saw though was everything but what I anticipated. I felt fear grip me like I've never felt before. I had seen him passing in a dream or vision a few nights prior and prayed, begged & pleaded with God to return the light of life to Mark. During this night, I never saw the ending, so as the nurse grabbed me and pushed me close to his bedside, every possible outcome ran through my mind. Another nurse told me to get back and then I overheard the first nurse whisper, "she needs to say goodbye". I know she didn't think I heard. She may not have even meant it as a forever goodbye, but I did hear and I knew what the outcome would be without a miracle.
Last night I was reading about Paul in 2 Corinthians. "That experience is worth boasting about, but I'm not going to do it. I will boast only about my weakness. If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I don't want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message, even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep my from becoming proud."...."Each time He said, 'My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness!'" I see these scriptures in a new way today. God has most certainly brought us through some stuff! Especially in the last 18 months... But we've in no way arrived at perfection or full understanding of His ways. Some days I want to put myself in time out for being petty in my thoughts or impatient in my ways. I say to myself, after all God has done, how can I question or wonder or worry. I have to remind myself that these are the very things, weaknesses, that allow Him to be bigger and stronger in my life - when I let Him. This time last year, I felt as helpless and weak as I'd everbeen in my life, yet I look back now and see His strength. I see faith in a truly fearful situation. I see provision when there was much to lose. I see new growth, even in a desert season. I see God. In His gentle yet powerful way, at work. God is the source of Light and of Life and I'm so humbled and thankful that He brought them both back so strong in Mark's life!