Thursday 27th August 2020
Scripture:- Genesis 32:1-32
Topic:- When You Reach The End Of Yourself, God Is Still There 
Text:- Genesis 32:28
When you reach the end of yourself, God is still there. Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear.
The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say “My tooth is aching” than to say “My heart is broken.” ~ C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain.
A waiting person is a patient person. The word patience means the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us. ~ Henri Nouwen, Eternal Seasons.
I’ve spent more than my share of dark nights curled up and alone, screaming at a storm raging outside the window of my life, knowing I could do nothing to bring it to a stop.
But still, I waited for someone to find me rocking and weeping, to lift me up, to hold me close and tell me everything was going to be okay.
There was a time I doubted the validity of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Until I went to the dentist a few months after cancer. One moment I was sitting down in a chair for a replacement filling and cap, and the next moment I was hyperventilating in a near panic.
The dentist and hygienist looked bewildered, confused by my reaction to a routine procedure. Not only would it be over in a handful of minutes, I’d done it before. My reaction didn’t reflect my circumstances. And although I knew this intellectually, I couldn’t do anything about my physical response to it. I was at the mercy of memory.
Somehow, I managed to get through the appointment, as well as several other dental visits since. But after surviving head and neck cancer, I no longer respond to medical appointments with nonchalance.
I now must dig deep for emotional resilience and allow space for recovery. Each time, I return home exhausted, hands shaking and tears brimming. Even when I know everything is okay.
Signs of my trauma show up in other ways. Each year, during the months of November through March, I struggle to sleep. Those are the months when cancer showed up, in 2010, in 2013, and again in 2014.
I often have nightmares during the holidays, either reliving my almost dying or enduring a new diagnosis that requires the same suffering. Each time, I wake up in a sweat. And it takes me a full day to convince myself it was only a dream.
And then there are the random encounters, online or in person, with people who bear the same scars that I do. And while my heart wants to connect with them, my body rebels against it, as if their proximity stirs up too many memories. I find myself either on the verge of anger or tears, or fighting an urge to run away as fast as possible.
A few weeks ago, while I was getting blood drawn for yet another blood test, the Phlebotomist told me a story of her son. In early childhood, he endured a freak accident that nearly killed him. She spent months next to his bedside, helping him through multiple surgeries and hospitalizations and nursing him back to health. He’s now in his late twenties, married and with children, and his medical trauma sits two long decades in the past.
Even so, he told her about a recent routine physical and blood workup. When the Nurse ripped open a packet containing an alcohol swab to clean his skin, the smell sent him into a panic.
He experienced a rapid heart rate, difficulty breathing, and an overwhelming sense of terror. All because of the familiar smell of alcohol. Twenty years later and his body remembers.
Prayer Point:- Oh Lord God, never let me lose Your presence, never in my life, in the name of Jesus Christ.
Have A Glorious Thursday!